קישור שלום ~ Kishur Sholom

Staying Connected with the Temple Sholom Community

29 March 2024 ~ 19 Adar II 5784

Erev Shabbat Parah ~ Parashat Tzav

Shalom, chaveirim - hello, friends -

The picture shown here is from a beautiful walk around my step-daughter's kibbutz in the north (near Haifa). With all that is going on in Israel, it is critical to remember all that is normal and beautiful and quite miraculous - including the Spring's flowers.

I'm not much of a stock market analyst and I do know better than to think a stock market tells a whole story. But if you look at the Israel Stock Market (TA-125) over the last year ... it reflects the reality: slight, steady growth, a serious drop in October and then not only rebound but resumed growth.

After nearly a month since my feet touched the ground here and that is about where the country is: resolved and determined, resilient and reflective. Everywhere, there is emotional heartbreak and deep mourning. Families are dealing with displacement on account of the war with Gaza and Hamas' horrific border infiltration, obligatory removal from the North in fear of a pending attack from Hizbollah. But whereas streets were empty in November because tourists had stop coming and 350,000 reservists were called to active duty (and showed up), in March, cafes are open, theaters are filled, and hotels are ... well, busier than they were but not what they normally would be. And of course, many hotels are busy because they have become the temporary homes of displaced residents.

In order to give a little insight to Tel Aviv, I have two videos. The first is of me on a balcony and the second is of popular destination in Tel Aviv on the famous Dizengoff Street. You will see one of the makeshift memorials to the hostages and those who died on October 7th. What is striking about this memorial is how the mixing of remembrance with living are not just juxtaposed but cohabit the same space. Note the music played by the saxophonist.

In this last week of my time in Israel, I have begun traveling with Amy's synagogue and our trip has been remarkably intense as we volunteered on a farm, visited the site of the Nova Music Festival, and spoke with people who survived the pogrom of Hamas on 7 October.

There is so much to say about my trip here and given the importance of visual elements, by way of reflecting and teaching, I will offer two Zoom classes April 10 & 17 at 7:30pm. While I love nothing more than teaching in person, given the nature of technology, I believe we can accomplish more on-line so you will see the pictures and images best.

Lastly, to be fully present in the reality of Israel is to also keep an eye toward international news - including, of course, the death of Senator Joe Lieberman, of blessed memory. Regardless of where you may stand - or stood - politically, Lieberman made history for a number of reasons. For us, as American Jews, he goes on record as the first Jew on a national ticket when he ran in 2000 on the Gore-Lieberman ticket. To me, he symbolizes the fusion of Judaism and American Promise, Patriotism, and Possibility. While much has been written about his life, I direct you to an obituary in The Times of Israel, written by Ron Kampeas (JTA).

With his death, I mourn and honor the values he embodied of moderation, kindness, cooperation, pride in America and his deep commitment to Judaism and Israel. May his memory be for a blessing and may we be inspired to bring such blessing to our world.

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Mark Cohn

The photo above is me in a warehouse packing medical supplies. In the picture are my fellow volunteers plus our Israeli army supervisors.


Monday, May 6 (6:00 PM) at at Congregation B'nai Israel, 444 Main Street North, Southbury. Yom HaShoah Memorial Serice and Speaker sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Western CT. See flyer.

Thursday, May 9 (7:00 PM) at Congregation B'nai Israel, 444 Main Street North, Southbury. Yossi Klein Halevi on "How October 7 Changed Israel and the Jewish World." See flyer.

Recommended Resources from the Rabbi's Desk (or more likely laptop)

Constant and important updates, podcasts, blogs, and articles from The Free Press, Times of Israel and Tablet Magazine.


"A Conservative Thought Experiment on a Liberal College Campus." A powerful story from Tufts University reported in Boston Magazine.

"What would you have Israel do to defend itself?" David Brooks in The New York Times.


"Is Israel Alone? With Haviv Rettig Gur." An incredible discussion between Dan Senor and Haviv Rettig Gur on Call Me Back. What does it look like if/when Israel stands alone? Does it matter?


Learning with Melton. With classes running regularly, The Melton School offers remarkable opportunities for engaged and thoughtful learning. Go check it out!!

"Lunch & Learn" with Rabbi Mark Cohn

NOON - 1:00 PM


April 9, 16, 30

Examining the Haggadah and getting ready for Passover: physically, mentally, emotionally, soulfully!



Services & Study

Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday Evenings 6:30PM


March 29 - this week!

Barbara Kessler

April 5, 19

Rabbi Mark Cohn


April 12, 26


Shabbat Morning Torah Study - 9:30am


March 30

April 6, 13, 20, 27

Help Needed for the Oneg

We have two Onegs a month all year long now. The Board of Trustees has cheerfully taken on the responsibility of sponsoring the

Onegs since July. However, having only the Board sponsor the Onegs is self-defeating. Onegs bring people together after Shabbat services on Friday. Onegs help build community and are a way for people to introduce themselves to the Temple and to each other. And most importantly, it’s a time to shmooze. And best of all: It’s easy! A challah, some cookies, some wine and juice. That’s it. Challah and wine are supplied by the Temple. The Rabbi will take care of the Kiddush blessings. A quick clean up and your finished with one of the 24 Onegs we will have.

And of course, a Board member is always ready to assist and help you. Call the office (860.354.0273) if you would like to sponsor an Oneg.

Temple Sholom

122 Kent Road ~ P.O. Box 509

New Milford, CT 06776

(860) 354-0273

Temple Sholom Website (www.tsholom.org)

Temple Sholom Facebook