To make the evening really fun, we need volunteers who would like to read part of the scroll of Esther for the community. To tell your section of the story, you can use the language of anything from Gone with the Wind to Shakespeare. Don't be afraid to create or use a very creative "translation" of your verses! (See below for some ideas.) Email RabbiBearman@templebnaichaim.org if you'd like to participate!
 
Downton Abbey Megillah:

LADY ESTHER: Lord Ahashuerus?
LORD AHASHUERUS: Yes, Lady Esther?
LADY ESTHER: I'm so sorry to disturb you.
LORD AHASHUERUS: Nonsense, you weren't disturbing me at all. I was just sitting here in the library thinking about the collapse of the empire.  What may I assist you with?
LADY ESTHER I wished to invite you and Sir Haman to lunch at my manor this afternoon.
LORD AHASHUERUS: Will the Dowager Vashti be there?
LADY ESTHER: I hadn't invited her.
LORD AHASHUERUS: In that case, we'd love to come.
 
Game of Thrones Megillah:

AHASHUERUS STARK: So tell me, my darling Esther, what is the purpose of this banquet?
ESTHER STARK: (ominously) Adar is coming.
 

With Pesach quickly approaching, I want to give you an opportunity to expand your telling of the story of Freedom beyond the Hagaddah and our own struggles.   Remember, the Hagaddah reminds us that “until all are free, none are free.”   Have a happy and spirit filled Pesach.   – Rabbi Lipper

A TOMATO ON THE SEDER PLATE
Standing with Farmworkers in their Struggle to Uproot Modern-Day Slavery

Background: This Pesach, as we commemorate our liberation from slavery, we draw our attention to those still in bondage. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a widely-acclaimed organization of farmworkers who are working to end abusive conditions in Florida’s tomato fields, which have long created fertile ground for modern-day slavery to flourish. Over the last decade, their Campaign for Fair Food—led by farmworkers and supported by people of conscience across the country—has brought about historic changes in the fields. We celebrate their victories while recognizing that much work is left to be done. With our own story in mind, we commit ourselves to working alongside them until they, too, can commemorate their liberation. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights is an organization of rabbis from all streams of Judaism that acts on the Jewish imperative to respect and protect the human rights of all people. T’ruah mobilizes the Jewish community to participate in the Campaign For Fair Food as part of its larger commitment to fight modern slavery and human trafficking. 

At Your Seder: The seder plate contains a variety of foods that symbolize the Jewish journey from slavery to freedom. To raise awareness about the Campaign for Fair Food, we have been invited to add a tomato to our seder plates, a symbol of the farmworker who picked it. The foods on the seder plate are meant to elicit questions that lead to the telling of the story of the Exodus. We hope the tomato will lead to questions about the legacy of slavery today and to discussion about the progress being made by the CIW—supported by Jewish communities—to bring about a just, slavery-free workplace. 

Read this: Why is there a tomato on the Seder plate? This tomato brings our attention to the plight of farmworkers everywhere who fight oppression and modern day slavery to provide us with food, fruits and vegetables for our seder table.  It also reminds us of our commitment to Social Justice in our world.  Let us remember that while we are free to eat and recline at our Seder, there are people around the world and in our own communities who struggle for the same freedoms, both physical and economic that we enjoy.   May we commit to work for their freedoms as we celebrate our own.

(From T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights)

NAME:  Allie Agnew

HOME TOWN:  Westport, CT

B’NAI MITZVAH DATE:  April 12, 2014

TORAH PORTION:  Ahareit Mot

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  For my Mitzvah project, I collected school supplies for The George Washington Carver Community Center in Norwalk. The Carver Center offers after-school tutoring for underprivileged children. Students come to the Carver Center daily to get help with their work from school and are given many other opportunities such acting, dancing, singing classes and field trips. I was inspired by the work that my older sister, Emily, has done with this organization over the last five years, and I want to volunteer at The Carver Center in the future. My project has taught me how grateful I am for what I have and that I should try to help others that may not have what I have.

Please join us for an evening of fun and friendship at the Temple B'nai Chaim Single Malt Whisky Tasting on

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the TBC Social Hall

Click here to register for this event!

At this very special event, we will be exploring the Isle of Islay, Scotland which is the epicenter of malt whisky distilling. Specifically, you will taste & learn about The Bruichladdich brand (pronounced “brook – laddie”) which is a world renowned craft single malt established in 1881. The tasting will comprise 5 single malts (unpeated & peated) ranging from $55 per bottle to ultra rare Black Art at $300 per bottle. We will also unveil and taste The Botanist, Islay dry gin which is crafted from 22 local Islay botanicals and produced locally at the Bruichladdich distillery.  For more info on Bruichladdich & The Botanist, please visit www.bruichladdich.com.

This is an invitation-only private event, not open to the general public. The person registering for the event or one of their guests must be a Temple B'nai Chaim member. All participants must be a minimum of 21 years old. You may register up to six participants. The event charge is to cover the facility, setup and food. Only 40 spots are available on a first come first serve basis.

The event will begin at 7:00pm with hors d'oeuvres followed by education and a whisky tasting from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Each paid registrant will receive a premium Bruichladdich Whisky drinking glass as a special gift.

Please RSVP by Thursday, May 1.
(Earlier replies are very much appreciated).

RSVP on or before May 1 and advance payment - $50 per person
RSVP after May 1 and at the door - $60 per person (if space is available).

Click here to register for this event!

Contact Judd Zusel at judd.zusel@gmail.com should you have any questions.

NAME:  Grace Goldberg

HOME TOWN:  Ridgefield, CT

B’NAI MITZVAH DATE:  May 16, 2015

TORAH PORTION:  Behar Bechukotai

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  I am creating going-home packages for PAWS, an animal shelter in Norwalk. This is where my family got our cat, and she has been a loveable part of my family for years. I am hoping these bags will help create similar bonds. The bags will include a homemade treat for the pet (be it a dog or cat) and a pet-specific toy. The purpose of this is to help pets become accustomed to their new homes and for new pet owners to learn to care for their new friends.

HELP NEEDED:  I am putting up a collection box at the entrance to the temple for pet toys and treat ingredients to put in the bags. I would like people to donate a new toy for a dog or cat. Donations of small paper gift bags, flour, powdered milk, and honey for the treats would be greatly appreciated. The box will be there from January 7 until February 7. Thank you!