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Men's Club Update

During the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic, while challenging, did not stop the TBA Men's Club from thriving.  It took some out-of-the box thinking, but we were able to utilize technology to bring to our community some amazing programs that have been recognized by the international Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs (FJMC).  

We are one of a select group of Clubs that have won this year’s “Quality Award. ”  This award is given to Men's Clubs who during the year meet specific criteria including: enhance their temple and their Jewish Community, support their temple’s religious services, promote men’s health,  and support the FJMC ideals. 


Two of our programs this year have won coveted "Torch Awards."    These awards are for "programs and practices that achieve excellence. Gold, Silver and Bronze Torch Awards are presented based on the individual quality of programs.  The awards are given across many broad categories" (excerpt  from the FJMC website).  

  • We won a Bronze Award for leading a multi-temple program entitled, "Unpacking Antisemitism: How American Jews can Confront Antisemites."  Our guest speaker gave us a unique understanding of how Jews are stereotyped, and how in America, both the far right and the far left are united by their anti-Jewish messages, using similar tropes.  The program covered the implications for our interfaith communities, and steps on how to address this societal issue.

  •  We won a Gold Award for leading multi-temple Cantorial Concert,  " Shirei Tikvah V’Hahavah:  Songs of Hope and Love." In the heart of the quarantine during the pandemic, where so many were feeling disconnected and disheartened, we brought together our Jewish Community to celebrate hope and love with a virtual concert featuring Hebrew, Yiddush and English songs performed by clergy across 5 temples.  

Men's Club T Shirt

Men's Club Shofar Article - June 2021

I cannot believe summer is here already. Soon we will start preparing for High Holidays. This month ends my first year as TBA Men’s Club President. It went by fast, but I cannot believe what we have accomplished. I did not anticipate this type of year, when I thought about my tenure as the Men’s Club President. However, I could not be happier and more proud of our Men’s Club. We have a dedicated group of men who consistently come through. We thought out of the box, and thrived. While we were not able to have our standard Sunday morning breakfast programs, we brought engag-ing speakers virtually to TBA. We led the efforts for the first multi-temple Men’s Club program in our area’s his-tory with an uplifting Cantorial concert, followed by a unique program on antisemitism. We were instrumental, both financially and with volunteerism, in helping TBA bring outdoor and indoor Shabbat and High Holiday ser-vices to our congregation. We were one of the major do-nors for the new Sukkah canvas, and our Sukkah squad came together to ensure we had a Sukkah this year. And most of all, we found innovative ways to stay connected, and support each other in good and bad times. We are thrilled to start off this month hosting our annual Men’s Club Shabbat on Friday, June 4th. This year, we are doing a “Shabbat Under the Stars,” celebrat-ing our ability to once again come together in person to welcome Shabbat. And we are hopeful that we will soon be able to bring back our annual Dinner Show and the Sisterhood/Men’s Club Pancake Breakfast. Please moni-tor your email closely for future announcements about these and other programs. And as we do a “reboot” of TBA and start com-ing back to shul on a regular basis, we have another new beginning - our new religious leader, Rabbi Edelstein starts his tenure with us. I am personally looking forward to working as a member of the Welcome Committee, and am excited to have our new Rabbi as an active member of our Men’s Club. We will be purchasing a Wine on the Vine to welcome Rabbi Edelstein and his wife Audrey to our Temple. If you would like to purchase a vine for Rabbi Edelstein, for a celebration, or for an honor of a loved one’s memory, please let me know. Your $18 will help Israel’s wine industry and Israeli charities, in addition to supporting our club. And the family or person honored will receive a beautiful certificate (PDF included or a physical certificate mailed for a small processing fee). And if you have not already done so, please re-member to purchase your Men’s Club pride T-shirt - available for $18 per shirt. We have sizes Medium through XXL. To order please contact Rick Robinson (metsfan63@gmail.com). Your shirts will be hand deliv-ered to your home.

Mens's Club Shofar Article - May 2021

Shavuot is this month. TBA has a tradition of getting together to celebrate the gift of the Torah, with wonderful dairy foods (many prepared by our own chefs) and fun study sessions. For many years we have asked other shuls in our community to join us. I am confident that TBA will work out a way for us to celebrate Shavuotsafely. Our congregation has shown its strength and per-severance through both virtual and in-house services and programs over the last year, as we have worked diligently to keep everyone safe and connected. The Men’s Club has played a significant role, hosting virtual programs and supporting TBA efforts. We will continue to support TBA and continue the Jewish year with two very exciting programs over the next cou-ple of months: Trivia Night - Back in January, we hosted a virtual Trivia Night that was a lot of fun for those attending. We are in the midst of planning a second Trivia Night this month. At the time that I am writing this article, we have not yet solidified a date. But please keep watch for upcoming announcements, so you do not miss out. “Shabbat Under the Stars”- On Friday, June 4th, the Men’s Club will be hosting a Kabbalat Shabbat out-door service at the temple. Thank you Rick Robinson for coordinating this service. All appropriate Covid-19 Protocols will be in place (masks, social distanc-ing, preregistration, etc.). Registration is currently open on Shul Cloud. If you are a Men’s Club member and would like to lead a prayer or reading, please contact Rick Robinson at metsfan63@gmail.com. We have plenty of room outdoors, so please register with confidence, and celebrate Shabbat with us.https://www.templebethahm.org/event/mens-club-shabbat-under-the-stars.htmlPlease also remember our “Wine on the Vineprogram when celebrating a simcha or honoring the memory of a loved one. Your $18 will help Israel’s wine industry and Israeli charities, in addition to supporting our club. And the family or person honored will receive a beautiful certificate (PDF or physical for a small pro-cessing fee). Please see the flyer in the Shofar and the midmonth mailings for details. Finally, please do not forget to celebrate your Men’s Club pride with the purchase of your double sided TBA Men’s Club T-Shirt - available for $18 per shirt. We have sizes Medium through XXL. To order please contact Rick Robinson (metsfan63@gmail.com). Your shirts will be hand delivered to your home.

Men's Club Shofar Article - April 2021

As we start April, we are in the midst of Passover. I want to wish everyone a Zissen Pesach. I hope you were able to join friends and family either in person or remotely at a cele-bratory Seder. As a child, I remember Passover as being my favorite holiday. From the time I was 11 years old, my parents allowed me to lead the Seder. I would make special gifts for all our guests. And some of my favorite memories are my father and the family doing his rendition of Chad Gad Yah with all the different voices. We would all end up laughing and enjoy-ing being with each other. Last month we celebrated Purim, and the Men’s Club donated Yellow Candles that were included in everyone’s Pu-rim Basket. Thank you to all who donated towards the Yellow Candles this year. We raised over $300 that will be 100% do-nated to CHHANGE (Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education at Brookdale). Last month we were also very fortunate to co-sponsor two virtual tours of Israel; one of the Holy City, and one of the Northern Borders. We had over 60 people attending each tour, and the feedback received was wonderful. I want to give a spe-cial thank you to both Ken Philmus and Karen Pollock for or-ganizing these tours, to Matthew Kaufman for his help with Zoom, and to all our sponsors: Gold Sponsors: Seth & Janice Arbital, Sandy Finkelstein and Jay Turoff, Gary & Jill Fishman, Alan & Ann Gabel, Ken & Irma Philmus, Karen Pollock, Rick & Allison Rob-inson, Steve & Anne Schuman, Ivan & Carol Sokoloff,David & Monica Young, and Marvin & Ellen Winston Silver Sponsors: Leroy & Risa Doris, Bettyann Honig, Edie Jacobs, Ruth Lipman, and Paula Pollack We look forward to working with Sisterhood and other temple arms, co-sponsoring events in the future. Upcoming Programs On Wednesday evening, April 21st, we will be hosting a zoom presentation about the Yom Kippur War of Octo-ber 1973, where Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on two fronts. This war was pivotal in US-Israel relations The conflict resolution had a significant impact on Arab-Israeli relations, and ultimately led to permanent peace between Egypt and Israel. Our speaker is Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest. (https://embassies.gov.il/chicago/Speakers/Illinois/Pages/Itzhak-Brook.aspx). Please keep a lookout for email an-nouncements with further details and zoom registration information. Men’s Club will be hosting a “KabbalatShabbat Under the Stars” on Friday, June 4th. This will be an outdoor ser-vice with appropriate Covid-19 Protocols (masks, social distancing, preregistration, etc.). Registration is currently open on Shul Cloud. If you are a Men’s Club member and would like to lead a prayer or reading, please notify Rick Robinson at metsfan63@gmail.com. Our club is also working on a fun, interactive, and compet-itive scavenger hunt. We are targeting this program for the summer. Please keep your eyes peeled for detailed an-nouncements.

Men's Club Shofar Article - March 2021

Purim is here! The Purim Megillah reading and our annual Purim Carnival last year were the last TBA events prior to the pandemic shutdown. Unfortunately, we will not be able to have the carnival this year, but we will still be able to enjoy Rabbi Malik leading the Megillah reading on both Erev Purim and Purim morning. Some of us will attend in person, and most will watch via our TBA streaming service. I am confident that both will be meaningful and fun. It amazes me that with all the challenges these past 12 months have brought, how well our TBA community has adjusted. When weather allowed, we had outdoor services. We have had indoor services with limited attendance and social distancing. We have celebrated b’nai mitzvot. Last month, Janice and I enjoyed TBA’s virtual Tu B’Shevat seder. Our committees and leadership have been virtually active with meetings and events. And our Men’s Club has been very engaged. In January, we hosted our first TBA Trivia night (virtually), attended by more than 30 people. Prizes were awarded to our 3 top trivia masters. It was so much fun and we received such wonderful feedback that we are looking to plan another trivia night in the near future. In February, Rabbi Malik led services during our virtual World Wide Wrap. Our club has again donated Yellow Candles that are in your TBA Purim baskets this year for commemorating Yom Hashoah (evening of April 8th this year). Please note that all Yellow candle donations you make go directly to CHHANGE (Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education at Brookdale). During the month of March, the Men’s Club and the Sisterhood are co-sponsoring TWO FREE LIVE VIRTUAL ISRAEL TOURS. Pre-registration is required to obtain the zoom link. Please look for flyers in your email for registration links. The tours include:  Sunday March 7th at 12:30 PM - Our tour guide, Moshe Gold, will walk us through the markets and alleyways of the Old City of Jerusalem. We will visit the Temple Mount, the Ramparts, the City of David, and more!  Sunday, March 21st at 12:30 PM – Our tour guide, Anat Harrel, will take us to the northern borders of Israel. We will visit the villages/communities of the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights, and meet the people who live there. While these tours are free, we do ask to please sponsor the event if you can. There are two levels of sponsorships : Silver at $36, and Gold at $54. Please make all checks payable to TBA Men’s Club and send them to the temple. Our club is also working on a fun, interactive, and competitive virtual fund raiser for the end of the year when the weather gets warmer. Please be on the lookout for more information in the coming months. On Friday night, June 4th (rain date is Friday June 11th), we will be hosting a Men’s Club “Shabbat Under the Stars,” on the outside grounds of our temple. All appropriate Covid-19 protocols will be maintained. Please watch for further announcements of time. If you are a paid up member of Men’s Club and want to participate in the service, please contact Rick Robinson (metsfan63@gmail.com). Please also remember our “Wine on the Vine” program.

Men's Club Shofar Article - February 2021

As I reflect on the first half of my first year as Men’s Club president, I realize how proud I am of our Temple and especially of our Men’s Club. The pandemic has definitely presented challenges, but we as a community have met them head on. And I am happy to say that our Men’s Club has played a significant role. We had wonderful and inspiring High Holiday services a few months ago; we were the only shul in our area that allowed all our congregants to participate in a safe and comfortable way to each of us. While we had to modify how we observed the holiday, we did celebrate Sukkot in the Sukkah. And we honored two wonderful people, Alan and Ann Gabel, on Simchat Torah. Over the last six months we have enjoyed sharing in simchot, and have supported those grieving or commemorating yahrzeits. A large thank you goes to both Rabbi and Adi for their tire-less efforts. Thank you to our Scenario, CCOTF, and Security & Safety committees for making the onsite ser-vices possible. Many of our Men’s Club members serve on these committees, and I personally am proud to be on two of them. Our Club has been there both in service and financially to support our temple’s COVID-19 efforts. In addition to our religious services, our Men’s Club has been instrumental in bringing many virtual pro-grams to TBA, including our multi-temple Cantorial Concert, the Antisemitism Program, co-sponsoring a Virtual Historical Visit through New York City, and most recently our TBA Trivia Night, to name a few. We are currently working on plans for a Virtual World Wide Wrap on Super Bowl Sunday, a possible Virtual Israel Tour, and other events for the second half of our fiscal year. We have brought to TBA a new way to honor someone’s memory, or to celebrate a simcha or achievement through our participation in the “Wine on the Vine” program. The recipient gets a beautiful certificate, and you are helping Israel in addition to supporting our club. While the past 6 months have presented many challenges, and the next few months will as well, I urge everyone to keep rising to the challenge, and focusing on the positives in our lives and in our TBA community. Please join our virtual programs, and when possible again, our on-site programs. Feel free to contact me or anyone from the Men’s Club Board if would like information on becoming more involved, or have any questions about the Men’s Club. We always welcome new ideas. As a reminder, we still have some TBA Men’s Club T-Shirts left. You can find the order form in the mid-month mailings and in this Shofar. Hurry and get yours. Stay safe and healthy! I look forward to seeing you shortly online and hopefully in person.

Men's Club Presents TBA Trivia Night - was a great event on January 18th.  Keep looking out for more fun Men's Club Programs.

Men's Club Shofar Article - January 2021

This past month our Men’s Club took part in the NJ Federation of Men’s Clubs annual Man of the Year/Youth of the Year Program. I was honored to be chosen by the Men’s Club board to be this year’s Man of the Year, and thrilled to share this honor with our Youth of the Year, Abi Cohen. This year’s program was virtual. The Federation did a wonderful job with the presentation. The recording can be found at https://www.facebook.com/michael.keats.509/videos/10218326181006717. Thank you to everyone who attended the event. A special thank you to all that made donations in honor of Abi and myself, and who took out ads in the MOY/YOY journal. Please let me know if you would like a PDF copy of the journal.

On January 18th, we will be hosting a TBA Trivia Night. This will be a free event with gift card prizes to the top 3 trivia masters. Registration will be required. A flyer will be emailed to the congregation. Please sign up as soon as you can to ensure you receive the Zoom information.

Please remember the “Wine on the Vine” pro-gram if you are looking for a great way to celebrate a sim-cha, honor someone special, or honor someone’s memory. Each vine costs $18 and the recipient is emailed a PDF version of a beautiful certificate ($5 extra for a hard copy to be mailed). Orders can be made directly from the website https://fjmc.wineonthevine.org/product/plant-vines-in-israel, or you can email me at smarbital@gmail.com for an order form.

As a reminder we are selling TBA Men’s Club T-Shirts for only $18 per shirt. We have most sizes (M, L, XL, XXL) in stock, and we can order more if needed. This is a great way to support the Men’s Club and show your pride in the TBA Men’s Club.

Have a wonderful and safe secular New Year! As always, please feel free to contact me or any-one from the Men’s Club Board if you have any questions, feedback or ideas for events. Also, please feel free to contact me if you want to get involved with our wonderful club.

Seth Arbital, Men’s Club President

Men's Club Update - December 2020

Happy Chanukah!  I hope you all had a festive first night of Chanukah and you are finding a safe way to celebrate during this unusual time.
 
The pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to all of us this year.  We are unable to see each other in person. Just about everything is virtual. For me, this makes the in-person services we are able to have at TBA extra special. For our Men's Club, one of the biggest challenges we are having is with renewals. While we have continued to support TBA, and bring wonderful programs to our community, we need your help through your membership renewals and your ideas. 
 
Some of what our Men's Club has done so far this year include:
  • We funded the initial Covid-19 supplies to TBA
  • We helped fund the Rosh Hashanah gift bag
  • We built and dismantled the TBA Sukkah
  • We have supported our Religious School holiday programs
  • We initiated and led, for the first time in our Jewish Community, a multiple temple Men's Club committee that allowed us to bring to our community a Virtual Cantorial Concert, and a virtual Antisemitism program.
  • We have cosponsored/co-hosted several virtual programs with Sisterhood
We are planning some additional virtual programs this year, including a TBA Trivia Night in January, and a Men's Club Shabbat. We are also trying to work out the logistics so we can have our annual show this Spring (cancelled from November), ensuring that we adhere to all CDC guidelines and keep everyone safe. 
 
As a reminder, this Sunday is the NJ Federation of Men's Club's Man of Year and Youth of Year virtual program, where I am honored to be recognized as the TBA Men's Club Man of the Year, and where Abi Cohen will be recognized as TBA's Youth of the Year.  The live stream starts at 4:30PM at https://www.facebook.com/events/3632175073539141Please join us.   
 
If you have already renewed your membership, thank you!  If you have not yet, please consider renewing your Mens Club membership now.  Annual dues are only $40. You can notify Ivan Sokoloff or myself if you are unsure if you have renewed or not.  And if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please let me know.
 
Thank you and Chag Sameach!
Seth Arbital
President, Temple Beth Ahm Men's Club
Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782