קישור שלום ~ Kishur Sholom

Staying Connected with the Temple Sholom Community

1 May 2024 ~ 23 Nisan 5784 ~ 8th Day of Omer

Parashat Acharei Mot

Dear friends, chaveirim y'karim,

I am reaching out to you today — because I worry about the students on college campuses. I can’t imagine what it is like to go to school and have to witness the encampments and many protesters who are calling for the demise of Israel and spewing vile hatred against the Jewish people. I find myself becoming enraged as I listen to the news while I sit in the comfort of my own home - physically far removed from the commotion. How can a young person prepare for finals or finish a semester in an environment that is so hostile and so indifferent to the Jewish people’s wellbeing?

And so I write this email in the hopes that you will pass it along to anyone whom you think might need a little bit of support, encouragement and/or information. I am available to speak with anyone you know. Please pass along my email address rabbicohn@tsholom.org and I will happily connect with your children and/or grandchildren. 

While there are many protesters, I also know that the vast majority of students on the college campuses just want to go to school. Many, perhaps even most, students don't really understand the conflict. Complicating matters, many of the major news outlets do not present complete stories. And even sadder still, many of our kids get their news from TikTok, which skews 200:1 in posts opposed to Israel.

While I do not imagine we will change the protesters' minds, I do believe in working to educate people who are uninformed or who are just forming their opinions now. 

Please share these articles and podcasts widely:

  • Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, a peace activist who lives on Kibbutz Hanaton in northern Israel, wrote a letter to student activists who are now protesting throughout the United States. She challenges the protesters with an important question as she asks them to consider: Are you helping to foster a peaceful future or are you promoting violence? 

  • Shai Davidai on Dan Senor's Call Me Back. Recently, Davidai has been barred from campus and describes his view since October 7, the early signs of antisemitism he identified at Columbia well before that horrific date, and the common misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the rhetoric and incitement being used by a number of Columbia student organizations and faculty. You can follow him on X here: @ShaiDavidai

  • The Times of Israel Daily Briefing from April 29, 2024 featured senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur, who includes an in-depth discussion about the spate of campus protests taking place across the United States. He inquires: How seriously should we be taking them? What could be their lingering effects? And what should be the lessons learned for Israel?

These are challenging times for our people. It is important that we remain informed and well-educated as we do our part to support the State of Israel and remind ourselves that while the world around us feels out of control, all is far from lost - in fact, we have seen worse. 

The protests on campus speak not just to the war between Israel and Hamas but to Western values, democracy, and the very essence of what constitutes a liberal society. The irony of college students defending the epitome of misogyny, terror, corruption, and tyranny should not be lost on anyone. The sadness as some college administrators seem to lose their voices and fail to uphold their positions of power is a greater threat than perhaps even the students realize. I am grateful for colleges where free speech is upheld and students are able to go on about their business of being students safely.

Again, please reach out if you have questions or know of others - students in particular - who need some insight and/or support. 

As always, if wish to speak, disagree, mull over together, do reach out - l'shalom,

Rabbi Mark Cohn

PLEASE REGISTER for Thursday, May 9th at 7 PM, "HOW OCTOBER 7TH CHANGED ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH WORLD" at the Jewish Federation of Western CT / Congregation B'nai Israel Campus (444 Main Street North, Southbury). Guest speaker, Yossi Klein Halevi, will address the ever-shifting reality of what our Jewish world - and Israel, in particular, has been experiencing over the last seven months. Join us for a pre-event solidarity rally at the above address at 6:15 PM.


Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin on Dan Senor's Call Me Back. Rachel & Jon's son, Hersh Goldberg-Polin is one of the 133 hostages who remain in Gaza and was recently on a video released by Hamas.

Those fine young Communists, by Isaac Simpson on Tablet Magazine. "How the schizoid discourse of TikTok captured the youth, and why their clueless elders are the bigger problem."

"Where Sesame and Arab Streets Meet," by Thane Rosenbaum in The Jewish Journal. "Something has gone terribly wrong when kids, raised the world over on Sesame Street, have forsaken Bert and Ernie, and their colorful Muppet cohorts, for murderous jihadis far grouchier than Oscar."

"The Palestine Propaganda Complex," by Einat Wilf in Sapir Journal. "The Palestinian movement has hijaked the meaning of words."


Psalm 121: Text // Melody

Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael: Text & Melody


Learning with Tikvah:

I. Zionism & Anti-Zionism;

II. Jewish Parents Form

III. The War in Israel

IV. Pirkei Avot during the period from Pesach to Shavuot.


What's the Omer? See this brief video - geared toward kids - but 100% works for the adults, too!

Count with intention - download the app and/or check out the website of Rabbi Simon Jacobson for meaningful reflections each day of the Omer.


MAY 6 @ 6:15pm. Yom HaShoah v'Ha'Gveurah Commemoration. Located at the Jewish Federation of Western CT / Congregation B'nai Israel Campus (444 Main Street North, Southbury).

MAY 9 @ 7:00PM. Yossi Klein Halevi - see information above.

May 14, 21 @ NOON. Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Mark Cohn. May 14: Undertanding the Omer (and a little more about the Moss Haggadah because we just barely got started!). May 21: Pirkei Avot as a source of wisdom for the Omer Period and all year long!



MAY 3, 17, 31



In an effort to spend more time with our community and to explore what might be most meaningful for Temple Sholom, Rabbi Cohn will offer a Shabbat morning service once/month. On that Shabbat, Friday night's Torah reading will be moved to Shabbat morning. Beginning in May, we will no longer offer Zoom services on the 2nd & 4th Friday evenings.


Led by CJ Kelly


MAY 4*, 11, 18, 25

*Led by Rabbi Cohn

Temple Sholom

122 Kent Road ~ P.O. Box 509

New Milford, CT 06776

(860) 354-0273

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