Israel Matters! – April 2023

Matzo Madness! Celebrating Passover in Israel

It’s that time of year again! Jews everywhere have cleaned out their pantries and refrigerators and cooked up a storm for Pesach. As you might guess, the ‘concepts’ are the same no matter where in the world you celebrate: Clean out the chametz, have a Seder and tell the story of Pesach, eat a lot of special foods, eat even more of those special foods, drink 4 cups of wine, pour some for Elijah, celebrate with friends and family. However, there are some things that we’ve discovered that are unique to Israel during Pesach. IM is happy to share some of these with our readers! (more…)

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March 2023: President’s Message

Purim has come and gone and, of course, we’re all in de Nile that Passover is just around the corner. I wrote last month that Purim is my favorite holiday, but it’s actually tied with Passover as my favorite holiday. You’re probably wondering why…and I can tell you it is not because of the gefilte fish and matzah. It’s because of the memories I have of my family’s Passover seders. (more…)

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Between You and Me

There is a tendency to bewail the fact that today’s children have no heroes. Or, if they do, their heroes are only the celebrities who have achieved notoriety rather than worthiness.

The coming of Passover reminds me that apparently Judaism does not believe in heroes. We see that Moses is not mentioned in the Haggadah. We also ought to note that while Judah the Maccabee, like Moses, delivered our people, and rescued us against enormous odds, Judah is similarly uncelebrated in Jewish literature. The Talmud makes no reference to him or to his remarkable defeat of the powerful Syrian-Greek Empire. (more…)

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Does G-d Have Hands?

Does G-d Have Hands?
On the walls of our Sanctuary, there are the first Hebrew words of the Torah (on the right), about G-d’s creation of the world, and the last Hebrew words (on the left), the last verse from Deuteronomy, that speaks of G-d’s power and miracles. The Torah expresses the idea of G-d’s awesome power with the idiom הַיּדָ הַגְּ ֹ דלָה hayyad hagedolah, the great hand). But what does this mean? Does this mean that G-d has hands? (more…)

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Israel Matters! – March 2023


The title of this month’s column is not a typo – with artificial intelligence (aka AI) at the top of the news these days, we decided to take the heralded large language model ChatGPT for an Israel-oriented spin. That is to say, we typed in queries to and received answers from a computer program! The interview below reports verbatim our Israel Matters questions (IM) and the computer program’s responses (BOT). Fasten your seat belts for an amazing AI ride! (more…)

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February 2023: President’s Message

There are two reasons why March is my favorite month.

Reason #1: It’s Purim and Purim is my favorite holiday. Purim teaches us many valuable lessons about who we are as a people and how we can overcome adversities in our own lives. It’s a holiday about unity, community, family and togetherness. (more…)

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Social Action – February 2023

TBS Social Action Committee – the Diane Kaplan Social Action Fund 

Each month we plan to highlight each of our agencies so you may know more about what they do. Please continue to give generously to the fund. It allows us to support these agencies in the greater New Haven area.

This month we will focus on three programs that have been helping many in our community; IRIS, The Food Pantry of North Branford, and New Reach. (more…)

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