THE CAS NEWSLETTER       January 2018

Upcoming services and events

Sunday, January 6, 2019, 10:00am – 12:30pm: Study session at the home of Rabbi Cohen. Bagels and coffee included, so a commitment is needed for planning. Please send a firm RSVP by the Thursday before this event to

Saturday, January 12, 10:00am: Shabbat Service followed by coffee, tea, pastry and conversation.

Monday, January 14, 6:00pm: CAS Board Meeting.

Thursday, January 24, 2019, 9:00am – 1:00pm: People's Pantry at St. James Place, Great Barrington, MA.Generally 2 hour shifts: contact Walter Orenstein at to participate. If schools in Great Barrington are closed for snow ... so is the Pantry.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00am: Shabbat Service followed by coffee, tea, pastry and conversation.

Sunday, January 27, 10:15am: Book Group: "Dinner at the Center of the Earth" by Nathan Englander. Please contact Diana Richter at for location of this meeting. Check for changes as this group occasionally changes the date or time.


CAS honors Kay and Mike Jaffe

On Friday, November 30th, the congregation honored Kay and Mike Jaffe at a special Shabbat service. The Jaffes have been very active, long-time members of CAS who are moving to Florida in December. They have been an integral part of the book club, attended Barbara’s Torah study sessions at the synagogue, and were volunteers for many organizations in the larger community, including the People’s Pantry. They attended most CAS programs and events and were always willing and ready to help support the congregation. They will be truly missed.


Our 2018 Chanukah Party

The 2018 CAS Chanukah Party will be held on Saturday, December 8th from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

This year, the celebration will at the synagogue on North Street! 


Both floors of our building will be radiating light and featuring a delectable selection of vegetarian pot luck dishes. Please bring your menorah and candles; remember this is the 7th night of Chanukah. Please bring latkes and/or your favorite dish. If you haven’t already sent in your RSVP by now, please do so immediately (contact Alison Adams-Weinberg at or 914-319-1621). We need to know how many people are coming, what you are bringing to the feast, and whether you can help with the set-up or clean-up.


Milchidika with Marty: Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Act II

In a previous column, I introduced you to my wife Isabelle, who also likes to write. She wrote the short story, "One Thousand Dollars."


It was the story of how, when she was on her way to college; her mother, who had scrimped and saved all of her life; gave her $1.000 to buy the proper clothes for school. She then went with an aunt to pick out her wardrobe; and when she arrived at college, her roommate looked at her brand new clothes and told her "that she had no taste."


But as we grow past the college years, there are other things to consider. Here are Isabelle's thoughts.


                                       Which is Harder: Getting Older or Moving?


                    I guess both are moving

                    in a sense.

                    Moving from familiar

                    to unfamiliar.

                    Going into territory

                    yet to be mastered.


                    If you have a sense of yourself,

                    Who you are

                    Deep within you

                    And carry it with you

                    From place to place,


                    Then home is where you are

                    You have that inner you

                    To come home to. 


The CAS Upstairs Gallery: Lori Rothstein Art Exhibition

Rothstein  Lori_edited.jpg

Lori Rothstein is exhibiting a large group of her paintings in the Upstairs Art Gallery, as one of a continuing series of art shows by CAS members. The exhibit runs from December 8ththrough mid January.

Lori graduated from a high school in the northern suburbs of Chicago that provided a wide array of art opportunities. She took classes in the fundamentals of drawing and painting and experimented in techniques of etching and sculpture. 

She attended the University of Michigan School of Art (now the Stamps School of Art & Design) in Ann Arbor for two years, where she enjoyed introductions to ceramics, watercolor, color theory, figure drawing and graphic design in a new state-of-the-art building, inspiring her interest in architecture and interior design. 

Formally leaving UofM after attending a one year program in intensive interior design study at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Lori transferred to Pratt and matriculated as a Junior, graduating with a BFA in Interior Design with honors in 1982. 

At Interior Contract Furnishings (ICF) in Manhattan from 1981 to 1987, she worked as a graphic artist on their catalogs and as a designer and draftsman creating residential and commercial spaces using the company’s kitchen and bathroom cabinets and their furniture line. She also designed the company’s furniture display showrooms around the country. Her work at ICF offered the opportunity to create and supervise installations in apartments and offices, both simple and celebrity, in Manhattan and the surrounding area. Designing and supervising the installation of presentations at national and regional furniture fairs and supervising installation of product displays in the company’s showroom displays, she traveled to cities across the US. 

After a short period working in Manhattan at a different kitchen cabinet company, selling custom wood cabinets built in England (and during which time she married her husband, Dan), Lori also worked as an office systems designer and installation supervisor for WB Wood, a furniture procurement and project management organization that installed Herman Miller office systems in the Time-Life building in Manhattan and Chemical Bank branches throughout the NYC and suburban area during her tenure. 

After working freelance intermittently, always sketching, raising a family with Dan, and helping him to grow their CPA business, she finally returned to fine art in earnest a few years ago. Starting with figure drawing sessions on Sunday mornings and taking a variety of art classes offered in the area, Lori worked to find her visual “voice.” 

Working in watercolor, acrylic, collage and multi-media, she currently paints primarily en plein air (in the open air) in oil. 

Her signature “LJAR” stands for her full name, Loretta Jean Armstrong Rothstein. 

So much energy is packed into Lori's contemplative work. Masterful brushwork and rich, beautiful color choices compose her engaging still-life and landscape paintings. Come see them!

Rothstein-Connecticut River Valley (9x12
Rothstein Tree in Garden - Clermont (8x1

Connecticut River Valley                                                                                                                                                   Tree in Garden, Clermont


CAS Book Group

On Sunday, December 16th at 10:15 a.m. the CAS Book Group will discuss I’ll Always Have Paris: A Memoir by Art Buchwald. 

Reviewed as funny, enchanting, poignant, and a true delight, I’ll Always Have Paris  is filled with columnist Art Buchwald’s wonderful gift for storytelling.  After growing up as a Jewish foster child from Queens, Buchwald began his young career at the age of 22 in 1948 by covering sidewalk cafes and weddings for the legendary Paris Herald Tribune. For the next 14 years he developed a life and career socializing and reporting on the folkways and foibles of some of the most powerful and famous people in the world. He married, adopted 3 children, and created the family and home he never had.

Please contact Diana Richter at for the location of this meeting and for any further information.

I'll always have paris.jpg

Our Online Presence

One of the difficult decisions about sending out a bunch of email blasts is maintaining the balance between enough information and too much information. We’re very aware of this issue. While we don’t want to overload your inboxes with unnecessary emails, we also dowant to keep you informed about what’s happening at CAS and our local community.

With this in mind, you have probably recognized how we have structured our email schedule. Here is the sequence of emails that we send on a regular basis:

                                                               Each Sunday: “Happening this week at CAS”

                                                               Each Thursday: “A Message from our Rabbi”

                                                               On the first of each month: THE CAS NEWSLETTERis published and presents a great                                                                          variety of schedules, informative articles and wonderful photographs; it’s accessed                                                                          through the CAS website ( 

                                                               There are also occasionalTuesday messages when something “special” or unexpected                                                                      comes up – and, of course, our comprehensive CAS WEBSITEis always availableand                                                                          contains virtually all of our information in one convenient place. 

Also note that at the top right hand corner of our website you can click on “Join Our Email List” to receive the email notices listed above. 


The CAS End-of-year Fundraising Drive

Dear CAS members and friends:


This year was a very successful one for the congregation and the Ahavath Sholom community, highlighted by the ordination of our spiritual leader, Rabbi Barbara Cohen.  We enjoyed inspiring Friday evening and Saturday morning Shabbat services and celebrated wonderful High Holy Day services at the South Berkshire Regional Community Center. The congregation hosted informative guest lecturers in programs open to the entire Berkshire community. The CAS website and monthly newsletters were developed further, the Book Group held their monthly meetings, Rabbi Cohen conducted two series of study sessions, and the congregation helped to staff and support the People’s Pantry. We also continued renovating our historic building on North Street.


While we completed a number of vital structural renovations to our building, we must move forward with a number of important new endeavors. We have decided to purchase and install a stairlift, so that all our members and visitors have access to the many programs and events that we offer on our second floor meeting room and facilities. There are trees surrounding the synagogue which must be trimmed or removed, and the building needs to be power washed. Finally, we have to underwrite our operating budget for 2019; as you are probably well aware, membership dues cover only a portion of our yearly expenses.


We are once again turning to you to help with our year-end fundraising campaign to support the congregation and our continuing building renovation. Please give generously. You can send a check or your credit card information or use the “donate” button on our comprehensive website ( If you choose to make a donation by December 31, it would be deductible from your 2018 taxes. However, all donations are welcome at any time!


The congregation is looking forward to another exciting year of services and events. We greatly appreciate any financial support you can give us at this time.




The CAS Board of Directors


A Final Session at the Don Victor Photography Archive

The committee working on the CAS Historical Project visited the historic Ramsdell Library in November for the selection of a final group of photographs related to the synagogue. Barbara Janoff, Arthur Hillman and Michele Waldman completed their examination of some of the remaining files in Don Victor’s nearly 200 file boxes of images. Throughout the visits to the second floor of the library, Bernie Drew, Great Barrington historian, columnist and author, offered his assistance and scanned all of the images the committee selected; CAS is most grateful for his help! This newsletter will continue to publish a number of these photographs under the Keep Smiling!article in this newsletter and each future issue.


Photograph by Bernard Drew

Mike & Kay 2004.jpg

Mike and Kay Jaffe in 2004

Dan, Lori & Diana 2004.jpg

Dan Rothstein, Lori Rothstein and Diana Richter in 2004


December Yahrzeits

“Much of our experience of divine goodness, grace and love has come to us through those whose lives  have touched our own.”                         Kol Haneshamah

 Hilda Isaacs

Kislev 24 5758               12/2

Isaac Broverman

Kislev 26 5704               12/4

Sallie Slote

Kislev 27 5752               12/5

Golda Kropkof

Kislev 28 5727               12/6

Katherine Tukel

Kislev 28 5719               12/6

Abraham R. Diamond

Tevet 01 5720                12/9

Louis Kassler

Tevet 02 5751                12/10

Sonya Richter

Tevet 03 5751                12/11

Mary Moskowitz

Tevet 04 5729                12/12


Joseph Steinberg

Tevet 06 5725               12/14

Fannie Radin

Tevet 06 5729               12/14

Joel Nova

Tevet 06 5744               12/14

Gertrude Schrager

Tevet 09 5758               12/17

Burton Elliott

Tevet 09 5774               12/17

Jennie Stein

Tevet 09 5718               12/17

Freda Schoket

Tevet 12 5734               12/20

Morris Goldberg

Tevet 20 5726               12/28

Maurice Millimet

Tevet 20 5730               12/28


Tevet 21 5739               12/29

December Donations

In Memory of Bud Elliott

Arthur and Louise Hillman

In Memory of Mildred Hillman

Arthur and Louise Hillman

In Memory of Beala Stark Schifffman

Stephen and Lisa Schiffman 


PJ Library Pajama Drive

2018 PJ drive Federation.jpg