Submission #375 by Beth El Temple Men's Club - West Hartford (217)

Submission information
Submitted by DavidDiamondMC
Sun, 2013-05-05 11:27
24.60.231.39
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Beth El Temple Men's Club - West Hartford (217)
Best Overall Programming
Club Representative
Person completing form
David
Diamond
Club President at time of Convention
Jacob
Kovel
Club President Now
Jacob
Kovel
Best Overall Programming

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In the past 2 years, our Men's Club offered a huge array of programming activities covering a wide range of topics such as:
- Awards and recognition
- Human interest
- Israeli Affairs
- Jewish Holidays
- Judaism and spirituality
- Medical and Health Issues
- Mitzvah and Tikkun Olam
- Politics and Government
- Social
- Sports and Entertainment
1. April 3, 2011 – Men’s Club co-sponsored with Sisterhood, Chai Society, and the Religious School, a breakfast program with temple member Irene Levin Berman, author of “We Are Going to Pick Potatoes”. In 1942, four-year-old Irene Levin was one of 1200 Norwegian Jews who escaped to Sweden to avoid deportation to a Nazi death camp. Her family was among the 2000 Jews who were living in Norway during the German invasion on April 9, 1940. Some 771 Norwegian Jews were sent to Auschwitz. Only 28 men survived. More than 60 years later, Irene Levin Berman decided to share her story to help answer the many questions she has received from her American contemporaries and to bear witness to a largely untold and nearly forgotten chapter in the tragic history of the Holocaust. Following the program, Yellow Candles were boxed for Yom HaShoah Remembrance Day.
2. April 10, 2011 - The Men’s Club prepared and served a pre - concert dinner for those attending the Cantor’s concert at the temple.
3. April 13, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
4. April 21, 2011 - Men’s Club Movie Night: “The Prince of Egypt.” Refreshments provided to attendees.
5. May 1, 2011 – Men’s Club Breakfast with Peter Eisner, past editor for the Washington Post, who wrote a book entitled “The Freedom Line” about the brave men and women who risked their lives and rescued Allied airmen from the Nazis during WW II.
6. May 1, 2011 – Men’s Club co-sponsored with the T’Green Olam Committee: Electronics Recycling Day
7. May 13, 2011 – Men’s Club and Sisterhood Shabbat Service and Installation of Officers. Men’ Club and Sisterhood members participated in the service. Board members of both organizations installed. The clubs co-sponsored Oneg Shabbat afterward.
8. May 15, 2011 - Men’s Club Movie Night – “Cast a Giant Shadow.” Refreshments provided to attendees.
9. May 17, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
10. May 21, 2011 – Joint Brunch program with Chai Society “Finding Atlantis and Tarshish:The Rest of the Story” with the temple’s “Indiana Jones” Dr. Richard A. Freund, Professor and Director, Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford. Could the fabled lost city of Atlantis have been located? Using satellite photography, ground-penetrating radar and underwater technology, experts are now surveying marshlands in Spain to look for proof of the ancient city. If the team can match geological formations to Plato's descriptions and date artifacts back to the time of Atlantis, we may be closer to solving one of the world's greatest mysteries. Is there a connection to the Jewish People?
11. June 5, 2011 - The Men’s Club prepared and served a pre - concert dinner for those attending the Cantor’s concert at the temple.
12. June 12, 2011 – Annual Congregational Meeting with Men’s Club providing breakfast
13. June 16 – 19, 2011 – New England Region of the FJMC “Layman’s Institute at Camp Ramah.” Representatives from the Men’s Club attended.
14. June 19, 2011 – The Men’s Club was a sponsor of the 2nd annual Tour de Shuls CT bicycling event to benefit Camp Ramah’s Tikvah Program for special needs campers. Event was hosted by Beth El Temple. Several Men’s Club members (including the event co-chair) participated on the planning committee for the event.
15. June 22, 2011 - Annual Men’s Club Board Meeting and Dinner. The Men’s Club’s board reviewed programs held during the prior programming year and brain-stormed plans for upcoming programming year.
16. July 19, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
17. August 16, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
18. September 18, 2011 - Men’s Club and Sisterhood hold a Tailgate Party Breakfast for Religious School parents in an effort to attract younger members for both organizations.
19. September 20, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
20. September 25, 2011 –Breakfast Program with journalist, author and playwright Joel Samberg - “Comedy, Melodrama, Farce & Horror: The Life of an Often-Jewish Writer. Local resident Joel Samberg, a journalist, author and playwright who has written on many Jewish topics, shared some of the intriguing and illuminating stories of what his professional (and personal) life has been like as a writer. His nonfiction books include “Reel Jewish: A Century of Jewish Movies” and “Grandpa Had a Long One: Personal Notes on the Life, Career & Legacy of Benny Bell.” Samberg’s grandfather, the entertainer Benny Bell, wrote and recorded the novelty song “Shaving Cream” which was a hit in both the 1940s and 1970s.
21. September 25, 2011 - Sponsored a Father and Child Lunch and Miniature Golf Outing which took place after religious school on Sunday afternoon in an effort to attract younger members to participate in Men’s Club activities.
22. September 29, 2011 – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 – Men’s Club sponsored apples and honey.
23. October 16, 2011 –Breakfast Program with author Jason Alster – “A Hebrew American’s Sojourn in the Land of Israel.” "Leaving Home, Going Home, Returning Home” is an intelligent study of Israeli life, identity, roots and culture from a Hebrew American’s experience and offers a unique perspective on what is quirky, endearing, baffling, and infuriating about Israeli culture. A seasoned world traveler, Jason shared his adventures of moving half way around the world to Israel. Moving to a new place, or even moving back home, is not about courage or determination, it is about anticipation and the joy of discovery, new places, new friends, and new dreams. It's a true adventure of seeking roots and following your dreams.
24. October 18, 2011 – Octoberfest in the Sukkah, with beer, dinner and trivia contest. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
25. November 20, 2011 – Participated in the CT Valley Region of the FJMC “Keeper of the Flame” Awards. Men’s Club past president Dave Diamond was our honoree.
26. November 22, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
27. December 4, 2011 – Men’s Club prepared and served a pre-concert dinner for those attending the Cantor’s concert at the temple.
28. December 18, 2011 - Men’s Club and Sisterhood Joint Breakfast Program with Nancy Nahmias, “The Forgotten Jews – The Jews of Cuba.” Many Jews escaped to Cuba during the 20th Century to avoid persecution in Europe. What happened to those Jews? What is life like today for the Jews that are still living there? Temple member Nancy Nahmias traveled to Cuba earlier in the year on a mission to learn about the Jews of Cuba and what we can do to help them. Attendees were asked to consider bringing an over the counter medicine to donate to the synagogues in Cuba.
29. December 22, 2011 - Men's Club Board Meeting
30. December 25, 2011 - Men’s Club, Sisterhood, and Chai Society “A December to Remember”: Chanukah, Chinese Food, and Movies - “Zelig” and “Ratatouille.” {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
31. January 17, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
32. January 22, 2012 - The Men’s Club sponsored FJMC’s Build - A - Pair Tefillin Program for the 6th grade classes in the Temple’s Religious School. A video on the mitzvah of tefillin was shown to the students.
33. January 29, 2012 – As part of a Tu B’Shevat Weekend, breakfast program on “Jews Working the Land”, with Shamu Fenyvesi Sadeh, Director of ADAMAH at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT. Adamah (Hebrew for “earth”), is the largest educational Jewish farm in the U.S. and is affiliated with Hazon, Hebrew for “vision,” the largest Jewish environmental group in the country. We heard what makes a farm “Jewish”, how does the farm operate on a day-to-day basis and what types of programs it offers. We sampled the farm’s kraut and kimchi. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
34. February 5, 2012 - Participated in FJMC’s World Wide Wrap Tefillin Program. For the 2nd consecutive year, the 6th and 7th grade classes of the Religious School joined the adult minyan. Breakfast Program with Rabbi Ilana Garber and Rabbi Steven Chatinover “Tradition, tradition, and Tefillin.” {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
35. February 21, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
36. March 7, 2012 – Men’s Club members prepared food for the Religious School’s Purim Carnival.
37. March 18, 2012 – Men’s Club, Sisterhood, and Chai Society Joint Breakfast Program “One Book” with Rabbi Philip Lazowski who discussed his latest book “FAITH and DESTINY” which is the miraculous true story of two children whose religious beliefs and sheer will to survive carried them through four years of fear and tragedy in Nazi-occupied Poland. Program included a brief documentary based on the book. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
38. March 20, 2012 – Dinner and box yellow candles for Yom HaShoah Remembrance Day, followed by Men's Club Board Meeting. {Yellow Candle portion Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
39. March 25, 2012 – Several attended the New England Region FJMC Satellite Training: “Taking Your Club from Good to Great!” in Worcester, MA.
40. April 17-20, 2012 – Men’s Club board members personally delivered yellow candles to all religious school families, those who made donations to the program in recent years, and to those who requested it. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
41. April 19, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
42. April 24, 2012 – Breakfast Program with psychologist, reality TV star, and author Dr. David Tolin - “Face Your Fears.” Dr. Tolin, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at Hartford Hospital, was the host of the VH-1 series “The OCD Project,” as well as a featured expert on the A&E series “Hoarders.” The speaker discussed his work, his TV shows, and his latest book which touches on issues affecting over 50 million Americans.
43. May 6, 2012 – Breakfast Program featuring award winning documentary film “UNMASKED: Judeophobia and the Threat to Civilization”, followed by commentary and discussion with Gary Jones, Director of the CT Region of the ADL. The film examines the history of Anti-Semitism and what lies beneath the growing campaign to isolate and delegitimize the State of Israel. UNMASKED Judeophobia examines the political assault against the Jewish people and their right to self-determination.
44. May 15, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
45. May 20, 2012 - Prepared and served a pre-concert dinner for those attending the Cantor’s concert at the temple.
46. June 7-10, 2012 – New England Region of the FJMC Retreat at Camp Ramah. Representatives from the Men’s Club attended.
47. June 10, 2012 - Annual Congregational Meeting with Men’s Club providing breakfast.
48. June 14, 2012 - Sponsor of major temple fundraiser honoring our cantor. Men’s Club helped provide ushers for event.
50. June 24, 2012 - 3rd Annual CT “Tour de Shuls” to raise money for special needs campers. Men’s Club was a sponsor, and provided active participation on the planning committee.
51. June 26, 2012 - Annual Men’s Club Board Meeting and Dinner. The Men’s Club’s board reviewed programs held during the prior programming year and brain-stormed plans for upcoming programming year.
52. July 3, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
53. August 21, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
54. September 17, 2012 and Tuesday, September 18, 2012 – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Day 2 - Men’s Club sponsored apples and honey.
55. September 19, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
56. September 23, 2012 – Men’s Club and Sisterhood hold a Tailgate Party Breakfast for Religious School parents in an effort to attract younger members for both organizations.
57. September 23, 2012 - Men’s Club kick-off breakfast program with ESPN host Howie Schwab. Attendees were given the opportunity to play “Stump the Schwab” for prizes.
58. October 4, 2012 - Sukkahfest in the Sukkah with beer, dinner and trivia contest. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
59. October 8, 2012 – Simchat Torah LIVE! Sponsor of sundaes and beverages.
60. October 9, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
61. October 18, 2012 – The Men’s Club held its annual Distinguished Service Award Banquet honoring temple members Linda and Bruce Stanger. As in prior years, the dinner was a multi-course kosher catered affair held at the temple with a master of ceremonies, a keynote speaker, numerous testimonials, presentation of plaques and remarks by the honorees. There were well over 100 attendees. This banquet has become a “signature event” at Beth El Temple.
62. October 28, 2012 – The Men’s Club co-sponsors an Elegant Sunday Brunch and Political Forum with the Sisterhood and Chai Society in advance of the November elections. The moderator was Jeff Saperstone, Political Reporter, WVIT-TV. The panelists were US Senator candidates Chris Murphy (D) and Linda McMahon (R). Men’s Club members prepared the breakfast and a Men’s Club member lined up the participants for the debate portion of the program. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
63. November 6, 2012 – Dinner + Hearing Men’s Voices: “On Being a Father” - the joys, the setbacks, the challenges and the rewards
64. November 18,012 - Men’s Club co-sponsors a breakfast program with the Israel Engagement Committee. Brief introduction by AIPAC speaker Don Gershman. The movie “Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference” was shown. This documentary explores the positive characteristics of Israeli society from a humanistic, psychological, and emotional perspective. This insightful and uplifting documentary sidesteps the usual conversation of politics, conflict and violence, and tells the story of the Israeli people – whose resilience has propelled Israel to the forefront of world innovation and progress. Movie was followed by a discussion with Amit Gavish, a Jerusalem native and General Manager of Briefcam, an Israeli technology company. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
65. November 20, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
66. December 9, 2012 – Sponsor Chanukah Party with Religious School. The students enjoyed a sing-along with "Nappy's (shadowbox) Puppets" and Chanukah refreshments.
67. December 9, 2012 - prepare and serve a pre-concert dinner for those attending the Cantor’s concert at the temple.
68. December 16, 2012 – Breakfast program with Dr. Bruce Kaplan about the Cyber-Knife Radiation treatments for various cancers. Dr. Kaplan discussed the Cyber-Knife, a non-invasive alternative to surgery using a frameless robotic radiosurgery system for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors including the prostate, lung, and other parts of the body.
69. December 20, 2012 - Men's Club Board Meeting
70. December 25, 2012 - Men’s Club, Sisterhood, and Chai Society “A December to Remember II”: Chinese Food and Movies. Two double-features: Adult movies "School Ties" and “Defiance”. Kid's movies "Brave" and “How to Train your Dragon”. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
71. January 15, 2013 – Dinner + Hearing Men’s Voices: “Work and Worth - How to Balance Work and Family Life”
72. January 27, 2013 – Breakfast program with Documentary Film on Anti-Semitism “The Bystanders”, and discussion with Adam Dimanshteyn. Beth El member Adam Dimanshteyn produced this professional documentary as a personal project after hearing stories of the anti-Semitism his parents experienced first-hand growing up in the former Soviet Union as well as the ignorance and indifference demonstrated at his high school towards Jewish students. Driven by the lack of awareness by his fellow classmates, he decided to take a stand and educate his friends. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
73. January 22, 2013 - Men's Club Board Meeting
74. January 27, 2013 – Program with Rabbi Rosen on Tefillin, in advance of the World Wide Wrap.
75. February 3, 2013 - participate in FJMC’s World Wide Wrap Tefillin Program, followed by breakfast with representatives from "Torah on Site" to do a program on Torah and Tefillin.
76. February 19, 2013 – Dinner + Hearing Men’s Voices: “Moses and Career Change – Midlife Changes” To explore how midlife job loss and other mid-career changes affect our lives.
77. February 24, 2013 - Prepare food for the Religious School’s Purim Carnival.
78. February 27, 2013 - Men's Club Board Meeting
79. March 10, 2013 – Breakfast program with Keruv theme - Educating Our Children: Embracing Judaism and Celebrating Diversity. Ed Case, Executive Director of interfaithfamily.com, Rabbi Rosen and Laura Kinyon continued our conversation about interfaith issues. Books from Interfaith Family and The Jewish Outreach Institute was available for purchase. {Submitted for 2013 Torch Award}
80. March 14, 2013 – Dinner and Package Yellow Candles
81. March 21, 2013 – Dinner + Hearing Men’s Voices: “Retirement” - To explore how retirement affects our lives. Topics included: finances, volunteering, housing choices, losing friends, bucket list, hopes & dreams.
82. March 28, 2013 - Men's Club Board Meeting

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Self Assessment
Our Men's Club is very highly regarded for all we have offered our synagogue in programming activities. We have collaborated with various temple arms such as Sisterhood, Chai Society, Religious School, and committees such as Shomeri Ha'aretz, Israel Engagement, as well as collaborated with others in the Jewish Community such as the Jewish Federation, AIPAC,JRC. There are about 10 -12 board members who have accomplished nearly all of the programming activities, all of whom have other significant commitments.
Our activities consistently support the FJMC mission of Leadership, Innovation, and community
The Beth El Men's Club submitted 11 unique programs for 2013 Torch Awards.
Original Program
Previous Submission
Yes