October 2014

Presidents' Message

L'Shana Tova to all of you!

Thank you for all of you that participated in the evaluation of our Rabbi. The executive committee recommended to our Board of Directors to begin the negotiation phase of the contract with our Rabbi. The board approved this action. Per the bylaws, the board approved two members of the congregation who are not on the board to join the contract negotiation committee. Anita Osman and Harvey Stein will join the executive committee for this contract negotiation phase.

As we look back at our year, we can all be thankful for a wonderful year at our synagogue, with our members, our Rabbi, our wonderful Religious School, our friends and our families. We thank you for all you do to make our Congregation the best it can be! We wish each one of you a very healthy and wonderful year!

As always let us know if you have any questions and we welcome your feedback.

Sandy & Debbie

Rabbi's Message

By the time you read this, I hope we are witnessing a change in the weather, at least a few of the trees changing colors of their leaves, and, hopefully, a little cooler temperatures. The earth has no clock, nature has no tie-in to the internet to properly set its watch. All of nature has within its own mechanisms for its own timing. 

We human beings have something similar. However, it doesn't cover every need, so we invent watches and wall clocks and we put them where we can see them to help us mark the passage of time, even in our cell phones and computer screens. There used to be a screensaver of a clock that we could see across the room to help us know the time as it wandered around the screen.

We Jews also have our Holidays and Holy Days in the Fall to help us mark the passage of time. Sukkot, the Feast Of Booths or the Festival of Tabernacles is our Fall harvest festival that reminds us of how our ancestors wandered in the wilderness and lived in huts. But it also helps us city-dwellers to notice what the farmer sees in his or her work, that the seasons change, and its time to reap. 

I hope that this Sukkot season helps you to, as they say, stop and smell the roses along the way, to notice the beauty of nature as it changes through the seasons!

Chag Sukkot Sameach!! A happy Sukkot!!

Rabbi Stuart Federow

Thanks for the help!

Thank you to Al Lapidus, Stan & Jeri Walden, Leslie Schwanke, Shelly Kahle, April Buchanan, Isaac Rosen, Gary Kerr, Ronnie Weiss, Roger Weiss, Jerry Trant, Jay Bergman, Neil & Sandy Ostrosky, Debbie Angel, Tom Niemczura, and David Hirsch for volunteering to help setup for High Holy Days. And finally a special thank you goes out to Patricia Cushman for helping to polish the silver.


September was a wonderful month for Sisterhood !  Beginning the year with our Paid-Up Membership Dinner,  we saw many new members joining us.  Please consider joining us…if interested, contact our Membership VP, Jennifer Nixon, 480-980-7817.

 Many thanks to Cathy Leonard and her committee: Risa, Andrea, Sheilla & Jennifer for their hard work on our dinner.  As always, our Torah Fund Chair, Sharon Rosenthal, gave an excellent overview of Torah Fund and presented this year's beautiful pins to those ladies who have alreadycontributed to Torah Fund this year.

Melissa Kirkland has done a wonderful job organizing babysitting for the High Holy Days.  Special thanks to everyone!

 We hope you will join us for the D'Feet Breast Cancer Walk on October 18th in Galveston.   Please consider joining the Sisterhood ladies in this special event.  Contact Miriam Kestenbaum, 281- 333-2593, for more information.

 Our next meeting will be at CSH on the evening of November 16th.  Join us for a special jointDecember 20th Chanukah celebration with our Men's Club.  Please contact Risa or Leslie, if interested in attending or helping with any of our future meetings.

We look forward to having you join us, but, also remember, you may join as a 'book member' and support Sisterhood as we assist our congregation as it continues to grow.

 L'Shana Tova v Gmar Chatimah Tova,

 Leslie and Risa

Social Action

Yom Kippur Food Drive

Jewish tradition tells us that the destiny of each and every person is written in the book of life on the first day of the Jewish year (Rosh Hashanah), and after a reprieve period of 10 days, on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the book is closed and sealed. These 10 days are called "Yamim Nora'eem", Days of Awe, and are devoted to meditation, repent and asking forgiveness of people and God (in that order!). The 10 days culminate in a day of fast, Yom Kippur itself.

It is the tradition of Congregation Shaar Hashalom, much like the traditions of Jewish congregations around the world, to conduct food drive, asking its members to donate the equivalent of food that each family would have normally consume during the 24 hours of the fast.

Items to donate: canned meats, canned vegetables, canned fruits, cereal, juices, jelly, peanut butter, pasta, size 4 diapers and hygiene products. The drive enlisted the cooperation of Kroger on El Camino Real that donated the brown paper bags. Each student at CSH will receive and decorate a grocery bag. Students will be recognition for the best decorated bag upon their return to the congregation. The donated food will go to Interfaith Caring Ministries Food Bank in League City.

Also look for Kroger brown bags with a flyer attached all through the High Holy Day services. They are you to take home and return to CSH. Leave the donations to the food drive in the hall way across from the office.

Veterans Day Coat Drive

Congregation Shaar Hashalom in Clear Lake is heading up a Veterans Day 2014 coat drive for homeless veterans in the greater Houston area. There are, as of 2011, 2,600 homeless veterans in the greater Houston area. Many suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other disorders. The suicide rate among veterans is staggering. Since 2004 over 90,000 veterans nationwide have committed suicide. How much could you help by deciding to donate a coat or two? These men and women offered to make the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. Can you spare a jacket or two for these people who were willing to lay down their lives for you? Help us help them be warm this winter. We are trying to collect as many coats as possible by Veterans Day November 11th. We welcome all donations from all denominations and individuals. Start to collect your donations for this future event.


September 2014 brings with it many events that are celebrated at Shaar Hashalom. And so we here in Publicity, have been busy trying to keep the synagogue in the public eye as much as possible. We sent press releases and event calendars about the High Holy Days, the upcoming Open House and Acoustic Shabbat, the Yom Kippur Food Drive and of course – the monthly Israeli Dances announcement, to all available publications. All these – publicity we get free of charge.

Additionally, Wendy has been quite busy placing paid ads for the Open House in the Bay Area Magazine, Galveston County News, South Belt Leader, News Citizen and the CLA Chamber of Commerce.

If you organize or know of any event that you think should be publicized, please send us all the detail, at least 6 weeks before the event. We will take care of it!

Wendy Kane - wskane@verizon.net

And Nurit Mittlefehldt - nurit77@att.net