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Newsletter 03/16/2011

Weekly E-Mail News, March 16, 2011
Congregation Beth Shalom

Location: 308 South B Street
Mailing address: c/o 200 West Washington
Fairfield, Iowa  52556

Become a Member:

President: Marc Berkowitz

Happy Purim From Beth Shalom!

This week’s highlights:

R.S.V.P. Purim Potluck Sunday, March 20; Shabbat services; Candle lighting times; Take National Jewish Survey; Free Jewish Genetic Testing; Petition to Protect Holy Sites in Israel; Shmurah Matzah; Torah Reading by R. Rabinoff

R.S.V.P. for Purim Potluck Sunday, March 20 at the Swartz’s

Fred and Janet Swartz have graciously offered their house, at 3410 West Van Buren, as the location for the upcoming Purim Holiday, at 12:30 p.m., March 20th.  We plan to have a Megillah Reading (by native Hebrew speakers Sheer-el Cohen and Shai Perelson) and Vegetarian Potluck there.  Come in Costume!   Bring your favorite dish or Hamantashen!

Please RSVP by contacting the Beth Shalom administrative office at:, so that we can get a count and an idea of what the menu will be.

Directions to Purim Party at Swartz’s, (3410 West Van Buren Ave.):

From downtown Fairfield,

1. Go West on Burlington Ave. (Bus. 34) toward Ottumwa

2. Turn LEFT (south) on  32nd Street (going past Best Western, John Deere, and just before Fesler’s Auto Dealership).

3. Take 1st RIGHT onto West Madison Ave.

4. Take a LEFT at the “T” (33rd St.)

5. Take the 2nd RIGHT onto West Van Buren Ave., and follow to the end.  Stop at the white fence!  Beige house, big garage and carport.  #3410 on house.

Shabbat Services 8:00 p.m., Friday Evening, March 18 (12 Adar II)

Shabbat Services will begin at 8:00 p.m. at Beth Shalom on March 18, weather permitting.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 18. Shabbat ends (Havdalah begins)  Saturday, 8:00 p.m. in Fairfield.

Other Megillah Readings  —  Iowa City

Saturday, March 19, 2011 • 8:30 PM at Lubavitch of Iowa City, 420 East Jefferson Street, Iowa City, 319-358-1323

Take the National Jewish Political Behavior Survey

Submitted by Mark Finkelstein,

Jewish Community Relations Commission/Des Moines Jewish Federation

We are forwarding to you a new survey instrument designed to explore Jewish political behavior.

This study encompasses a number of variables (age-education-civic involvement- levels of activism, political and religious affiliation etc…). It is designed in part to explore the scope and intensity of political involvement.

●        As a basis of this study, we are asking a number of core questions:

●        Are Jewish voting patterns changing?

●        What motivates political engagement on the part of Jews?

●        What issues are of particular interest to Jews?

●        How do Jews see the political landscape in 2011?

We would welcome your assistance in distributing this survey to as wide a circle of Jewish voters or potential voters as is possible.

Unlike many surveys conducted with Jewish voters, this is designed to measure grassroots involvement, drawing upon large and diverse segments of the Jewish electorate. So by generating a large sample, it may be possible to confirm or reject existing perceptions about how Jews vote and the levels and forms of their political engagement.

Each participant will only be able to complete the survey once. The survey can be taken on-line.. It will take approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete. No one need submit his/her name.  You must be at least 18 years old to participate.

Click on this link to take the survey:

For those who do not wish to answer on-line, a word-document format of this survey can be provided, allowing an individual to download and complete the questionnaire.  Please email Dr. Windmueller to receive a copy.  Completed written responses ought to be submitted to:

2011 Jewish Voter Survey

The Office of Steven Windmueller

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Jack H. Skirball Campus

3077 University Avenue

Los Angeles, Ca. 90007

The  new deadline for submission will be April 1st

Should you or any one participating in the study have concerns or questions, these may be directed to

All of our findings will be shared with institutions and individuals who request copies of the research.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to distribute this survey instrument.

Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.

Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service


Los Angeles campus


Jewish Genetic Testing Returns to Omaha in May – Free of Charge!

[Registration required.  Contact 402-554-0500 Joanie Jacobson, 812 North 66 Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68132]

By Joanie Jacobson

FACT: Jewish genetic diseases are devastating, debilitating and fatal.

FACT: Children rarely live to become adults.

FACT: One out of five adults are carriers of at least one Jewish genetic disease.

FACT: If both parents carry the same gene, the child has a 1 out of 4 chance

of being born with a Jewish genetic disease, and a 2 out of 4 chance of being

a “carrier.”

FACT: Jewish genetic diseases can be prevented through Jewish genetic testing.

Petition Against UNESCO’s decision to change 2 of Israel’s Holiest Sites to mosques.

Submitted by Joyce Cohen

The Executive Board of UNESCO has declared 2 of Judaism’s holiest sites (Tomb of the Patriarchs and Tomb of Rachel) to be mosques and demand that  Israel remove the sites from its National Heritage list.

The Petition reads, in part:

We the undersigned protest The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ruling that Israel has no right to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where almost all of Israel’s patriarchs and matriarchs are buried, to the National Heritage list. The Tomb of the Patriarchs, the oldest Jewish shrine and the second holiest site in Judaism, centers around the Cave of Machpelah, an ancient double cave revered for almost 4,000 years as the burial site of the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives. The connection of the Jewish people to the Cave of Machpelah was established some 3,800 years ago, when Abraham, the first Hebrew, purchased it for the express purpose of using it as a burial site for himself, his wife Sarah, and their future generations. It is the cradle of Jewish history and the focal point of Jewish identity. The rectangular enclosure over the caves is the only fully surviving Herodian structure. Thus the Tomb of the Patriarchs is of inestimable historical value as well as great sacred significance for the Jewish people.

We also protest the decision by UNESCO to re-label as an Islamic mosque the tomb of Rachel, Israel’s other matriarch, and to demand that Israel remove the site from its National Heritage list. The Tomb of Rachel, Judaism’s third-holiest site, has been the scene of prayer and pilgrimage for more than three thousand years, and has an especially meaningful connection for Jewish women. Rachel, the matriarch who died in childbirth and was buried at that spot on the road to Hebron, has been a comfort and hope to Jews since biblical days…

For Full Petition and to sign it online, go to:

Shmurah Matzah — Order yours today!

From Bob Rabinoff:

Passover is coming up soon, and I am planning my annual pilgrimage to Maccabee’s Deli in Des Moines to get Shmurah MatzahShmurah Matzah is matzah the wheat for which has been guarded against any hint of leavening from the time of the harvest until it is actually baked, by hand, into matzot.  It is made with plain wheat flour and water, and the time from when the water touches the flour until it is done being baked cannot exceed 18 minutes.  It’s the most authentic re-creation of the “bread of affliction” that our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt!  With the price of basic commodities going up (check the farm reports on WHO or in the paper <g>), the price of Shmurah Matzah has gone up a bit from prior years — it’s $22/box.   If you’d like me to pick some up for you please let me know right away at or by phone at 472-9842 in Fairfield.  Out of town check with your local Chabad house!