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2021 JFNH Shem Tov Award

Naomi and Mark Goldman

Naomi and Mark joined TBI in 2006. Mark joined the board that same year and Naomi followed by joining our board in 2009. Mark has served as an officer and Financial Secretary since 2009, expertly handling our member dues tracking and serving on the Finance Committee. Naomi has served on the Ritual Committee, Membership Committee, chaired the Holiday Committee, did a lot of work with our Fundraising/WeCare Committee, and is especially famous for her strudels at the Food Festival! Naomi’s Holiday Committee has put on many fun programs including Israeli dancing, wine and olive oil tastings, Purim Shpiels, art auctions, and many delicious meals in our social hall.

Naomi and Mark are originally in Washington Heights in New York City. They lived in Massachusetts for 20 years and then moved to Connecticut for 20 years, finally retiring at their second home in Alexandria on Newfound Lake. Mark worked with microwave devices for the communications industry. Naomi was a full-day Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher, starting at Hanscom Field in Lincoln MA, followed by a stint with a Solomon Schechter Day School. They have two daughters, Deborah and have 3 grandchildren ranging from 11-17, and Rebecca and 2 grandchildren, ages15 and 19.

Their dedication to Temple B’nai Israel has been exemplary and they are most deserving of this Shem Tov Award as they truly represent the best of TBI!

The award will be presented by JFNH Board Member Harry Shepler at our Shabbat service on Friday, November 19, 2021. Mazel tov to Naomi and Mark!

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The Salvation Army Lunch Program

Practicing Tikkun Olam in the Lakes Region

Temple B’nai Israel takes pride in giving members the opportunity to not only “be” Jewish, but to “do” Jewish through our Social Action Committee and the Salvation Army “Friendly Kitchen” lunch program that helps those facing food insecurity for themselves and their families.  The staff of the Salvation Army and/or volunteers prepare lunch in their kitchen six days a week.  The lunch program is supported by many Lakes Region religious and civic organizations who provide and serve a hot lunch about once a month.   Generally, there are 30-40 people served, however, during the pandemic as the need increased, lunches were packed in to-go containers for the clients to take with them.  Last month they returned to serving sit-down meals.  If there is anything not consumed at lunch, it is served at the Carey House, a residential home run by the Salvation Army, that evening.

The TBI Social Action Committee Salvation Army lunch program is currently co-chaired by Rhoda Goodman and Lois Kessin and all the food is supplied by the temple.  Rhoda and Lois shop, prepare, and deliver nutritious and tasty meals once a month.  A meal generally consists of a protein with vegetables and rice or other carbohydrate and varies from month to month.  There are the standards like Shepherd’s pie, baked chicken, spaghetti and meat sauce, Sloppy Joes, a hearty chicken, vegetable, and rice stew, and during the summer, tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches.  Desserts are always included – fruit, brownies, or other homemade baked goods from temple volunteers. 

Sometimes an unexpected menu opportunity pops up such as a blintze souffle that was prepared with the homemade blintzes from the Jewish Food Festival.  A salad was added to round out the meal.   Last month in celebration of Sukkot, the religious school students, teachers, parents, and Rabbi Dan Danson went to glean vegetables in the fields at Greens and Beans Farm in Gilford as part of a Tikkun Olam project and learning experience.   The gleanings were cooked with chicken into a hearty vegetable and chicken soup that will be served with salad, corn muffins and brownies for dessert.

Rhoda Goodman has been an integral part of the lunch program for more than three years and enjoys the process and the results.  “It is our pleasure to be involved with providing meals for those in need.  The clients are very grateful to TBI.  They always thank us in their prayers before the meal and as they are served.” 

Temple B’nai Israel looks forward to the post-pandemic days when TBI volunteers can return to serving the meals that are prepared in the TBI kitchen to the Salvation Army clients.  A meal is more than just food, it’s community for a senior that would otherwise be shut-in or a sense of normalcy for a family that lost their home.  TBI is proud to help The Salvation Army in its mission to fill empty stomachs and empty hearts.


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A Night To Remember!

October 23, 2021, Laconia, NH – Oh what a night!  Five O’clock Shadow did not disappoint the sold-out audience that came to The Colonial Theatre to experience “a cappella that rocks!”   The six-member vocal band sang a varied assortment of popular music from “Hip to Be Square” to their own “pandemic version” of “Stuck in the Middle with You” retitled “Stuck Quarantining with You,” and ending with a stirring encore of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Their signature sound was performed with perfection – every note, every vocal intonation, each carefully rehearsed instrumental sound, rang out through the theatre to thunderous applause.  This was just the second live performance for FOCS since the beginning of the pandemic.  It was clear they were thrilled to be back on stage performing their music, sharing their stories, and engaging with the audience. 

The show was opened by Plymouth State University a cappella ensembles, Mixed Emotions, an all-female group, and Vocal Order, an all-male group.  Both ensembles had the unique opportunity to study with members of Five O’clock Shadow earlier that day, learning new techniques and preparing for the evening’s performance.  After the groups’ impressive appearances on stage, FOCS member Dan Lennon congratulated the students and he explained to the audience that FOCS is dedicated to continuing education and outreach to young performing groups.

The We Care concert series allows local nonprofits and businesses the opportunity to come together to form mutually beneficial partnerships as well as bringing awareness to the public of their individual mission, services, and products.   This event was a record fundraiser for the 18th We Care concert since its inception in 2013.  100% of the net proceeds from ticket sales, contributions from the main event sponsors, Audi Nashua, Miracle Farms Landscaping, The Bank of New Hampshire, Pemi River Fuels, and Hannaford, as well as many local businesses and individual contributions amounted to a donation of $24,000 to The Bridge House in Plymouth, NH.

Cathy Bentwood, executive director of The Bridge House, offered her thanks via email: “I love the ‘Little Temple that Could.’ Thank you all for exemplifying the best team effort I’ve ever experienced.”

Marybeth Bentwood, owner of Brand Elevation Communications and marketing coordinator for The Bridge House also offered her thanks: “this event raised my appreciation for how individuals, who are committed to supporting and uplifting their community, can move mountains.”

And the beat goes on … get ready to rock and roll with We Care again on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 28, 2022.  Stay tuned for more details to be announced soon,