MRT Bulletin – Summer/Fall 2021


MRT Community News
Summer/Fall 2021
Welcome back to Monmouth Reform Temple as we start another year together. COVID-19 changed all of our lives this past year and a half as we became adjusted to technological solutions, replacing face-to-face meetings and events. And while some of the restrictions and CDC recommendations seem to change almost daily, we continue to make use of Zoom for many of our meetings, clubs, and for religious school. In-person Shabbat services resumed in July and our livestream platform was greatly enhanced by LiveControl, brought to us through the efforts of Cantor Clissold and funded by several generous donors. Whether in person or online, MRT is a place which works to bring all of us together.
This month as we prepare for the High Holy Days, we continue to welcome you back, to sit with your loved ones in our sanctuary with a mask, singing with Cantor Clissold, reciting the blessings with Rabbi Kline, hearing the shofar and listening to our choir. High Holy Day prayer books can be borrowed from our temple (more information in the Eblast and in this newsletter). As always, services will continue to be available on livestream by clicking on
There is always so much to being a part of our MRT family! In addition to our worship services, come be part of an afternoon of study on Yom Kippur. Please bring your young children to worship at our main service or our children’s service later in the day.
Being the president of MRT gives me the opportunity to help our Kehillah Kedosha – our holy congregation – in these very challenging times. The past year has challenged us all to take stock of what is important. I have been honored to serve our MRT family as your treasurer. Even now as your president, I continue to spend time rehearsing with the choir and weeding our Gan Mazon garden.
Please read this newsletter for important information about ways you too can engage with your MRT family. Our synagogue is filled with opportunities to grow as we work to make that this year ahead be a great one.
Wishing you a good year, a healthy year, L’Shana Tovah!
Wayne Hallard
All services will be held in person and livestreamed on the MRT website, on our Facebook page, and on YouTube.
Saturday, August 28th
Study, 7:00 pm
Service, 8:00 pm
Erev Rosh Hashanah
Monday, September 6th
Service, 7:45 pm
Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, September 7th
Morning Service, 10:00 am
Family (Children’s) Service, 3:00 pm
Tashlich, 4:00 pm (immediately following the family service)
Kol Nidre
Wednesday, September 15th
Service, 7:45 pm
Yom Kippur
Thursday, September 16th
Morning Service, 10:00 am
Family (Children’s) Service, 2:00 pm
Afternoon Workshops, 3:00 pm
Yizkor Service, 4:45 pm
Closing Service/Neilah, 5:30 pm
Did You Receive Your
High Holy Day Packet?
Envelopes containing tickets and detailed High Holy Day information were mailed out last week. Please contact the office if you have not received yours.
Saturday, August 28th
Study: 7:00 pm
Service: 8:00 pm
Join us in welcoming the High Holy Days for Selichot, as we begin a conversation on perceptions and perspectives. Our world needs to bridge the chasm that separates those who think differently than do others. Our goal this holy day season will be to create personal “toolboxes” through which we can see each other’s hearts and help them see ours. For Selichot, we will watch two short provocative (really provocative) Jewish videos and then, in smaller and larger groups, formulate responses to each. One is a slightly off-color comedy, and the other is a heartwarming and challenging drama.
Sisterhood Apple Pie or Babka & Honey Order Pickup
September 2nd, 1 pm-5 pm
September 3rd, 11 am-3 pm
MRT Annual High Holy Day Collection
September 16th, During YK services
September 19th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
September 23rd, 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm
More information about the HHD Collection can be found further down in this newsletter.
Outdoor Walk to Tashlich
September 7th, 4:00 pm
Tashlich will begin promptly at
4:00 pm. Immediately after the Family Service, we will walk together or meet at the river at Riverdale Ave. Bring your own bread!
Directions to the river from MRT: From Hance Avenue, passing MRT on the left, turn left onto Riverdale Avenue. Drive approximately one mile and park on the side of the road.
High Holy Day Prayer Books Available to Borrow
For those of you that will be joining us virtually for the High Holy Days, prayer book distribution will be from
11 am -4 pm on the dates below:
Monday, August 23rd
Tuesday, August 24th
Thursday, August 26th
Friday, August 27th
Monday, Aug 30th
Tuesday, August 31st
Thursday, September 2nd
Friday, September 3rd
If those dates/times are not convenient for you, please contact the office to arrange a pickup time.
Masks must be worn by all attending High Holy Day services, with the exception of people on the bema, who must be fully vaccinated.
Men’s Club is seeking ushers for the High Holy Days. Contact Dave Makow via email if you are interested in volunteering.
Memorial Book 2021 (5782)
The final deadline for submissions is this Friday, August 20th.
Every year for the High Holy days, MRT publishes a memorial tribute book to remember people our members hold dear.
Please click the button below for more information and to verify/submit your list of names.
SEPTEMBER 16th at 3 PM
A Jewish Approach to the Military and Our Veterans
 Facilitated by Rabbi Marc Kline
In a world where we find ourselves in a nation divided, and at a time when our Torah calls on us to heal the breach between us, it is time to address our concerns more humanely and honestly. This Yom Kippur, we will continue a theme that has defined much of our recent community engagement: “Returning to Human,” as we face tough conversations in a non-partisan spirit. For Yom Kippur afternoon, we will host a conversation on religion and gender in the military, engagement with Veterans, and the Jewish response to what we should be doing to protect and care for those called to service.
The Power Of Stories To Illuminate Our Souls And Transcend Ourselves
A Yom Kippur Tefilah Lab Program
Facilitated by Elliott Familant
Before there was Talmud or Torah, before there were Rabbis or Priests, there were hill country Cannonites gathered around a nightly campfire trying to make sense of their world. The primary tool for doing this? Storytelling. Stories give us insight into our lives in ways we may have never considered. But more than this, they allow us to emerge from the narrow boxes we live in most of the time and become part of something other than ourselves. Have you ever gotten lost in a book, absorbed in a movie, or binged on a T.V. series? You have experienced the power of stories. When told in a group setting, they foster community and togetherness. And for this reason, stories are at the heart of every major religion and are an integral part of all cultures. In this afternoon session, we will be experimenting with storytelling. To do this, we will be doing a group reading of Mark Twain’s short short stories Eve’s Diary and Adam’s Diary. Today, we commonly consider different variations of biblical stories through Talmudic commentary and discussion. But before this form became prevalent, it was done by simply telling different versions of the same story. This is evident throughout the Torah. Indeed Genesis opens with two different creation stories. Twain offers a different twist on the Adam and Eve story. His work is both funny and poignant and through a group reading, we will experience some important ways that storytelling affects us all.
For those people that will be joining us virtually, there are three ways to watch services via livestream:
3) On YouTube (ideal for watching on a smart tv):
High Holy Day Appeal 2021
Monmouth Reform Temple is committed  to raising the funds needed in order to support our programs in a way that is consonant with our values as a community. Members sustain the congregation both through financial support as well as through gifts of the heart given through volunteer service.
It’s vitally important to support our synagogue throughout the year. We should be grateful that together we build a community of deep value and meaning.
We invite you to participate by mail or online at our website:
More information about our High Holy Day Appeal will be forthcoming.
A Welcome Back Message from Rabbi Marc Kline
Welcome Back! We love our summers, but we love the return from summer even more. It gets lonely around here when everyone is away. Even more, we love the energy that everyone brings as you return.
Over the last year plus, even while we could not be together in person, we have continued to keep a beyond full calendar of online events and offerings. Over the past summer, we have started coming back in person and enjoying our return into each other’s presence! As we embark on the new year, we find ourselves growing in numbers and in projected programming.
Please pay attention to the emails and temple notifications. Whether it is helping-out in our religious school, adult education, working with any of our social action projects (garden, mentoring, voting rights, etc.), development, administration needs, ritual, or any other facet of temple life, we hope that everyone will find a niche that helps make life more meaningful and our community more whole.
The Rabbis teach us that serving a community provides blessings for the one serving and even more for the community served. Our continued success depends on how we can enhance your walk through life. Thank you for trusting us to join you on life’s path. May we grow stronger together and make this coming year one filled with blessings. Please let us know where we can help, what ideas you may want to “run up the flagpole”, and/or what pieces of life attached to MRT work really well for you and your family (close and extended). Cantor Clissold, Magda Reyes (Temple Educator), Jordana Steinberg (administrator), and I are always available.
Bags to fill along with the list of needed items will be distributed on Rosh Hashanah. They will also be available during prayer book distribution times and when picking up Sisterhood Fabulous Foodie Fundraiser orders.
Filled bags will be collected on the following dates:
September 16th
During Yom Kippur Services
September 19th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
During Religious School
September 23rd, 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
During Sisterhood Dinner in the Sukkah
For The Center and its Partner Organizations
Due to the generosity of Monmouth County residents, the non-perishable usual food items are not needed at this time. However, there is a need for cleaning and hygiene supplies, healthy snacks, nutritional supplements, & diapers (for Lunch Break). Please note that many of these items are not covered by food stamps.
Monetary donations are also welcome.
A Note from Cantor Gabrielle Clissold
When I look back on the many months of uncertainty in our lives since March of 2020, I am amazed how much I have learned. Although it has been sincerely difficult at times and remains so, I have also gleaned profound joy and meaning during this time. I have new skills and with this came opportunities with emerging technology to do what I have always done, but now had to do in different ways.  
This continues to be a profound life lesson, if we want to be successful we must adapt and grow. Our temple is a beautiful community and over the past 20 years you have all taught me so much. However, I am not the same person I was when I first began 20 years ago. I have learned through raising my children and taking care of my parents. I have learned by experimenting and making mistakes. I have learned from teaching adults and children. I have learned from singing with our congregation, choir and band. I have learned from every Rabbi and Educator. I have learned from all of our temple leadership and most of all I have learned by being with you during life’s most precious and difficult moments.  
Thank you for being part of my journey. I hope you write MRT on your calendar and I see you in person and virtually at worship, study, celebration and community service. I truly hope that amidst the incredible challenges of these many many months that you know we are here for you at MRT. I wish you a new year of peace, health and happiness!
 L’shana Tova
Membership Directory Update
Have you recently moved or has your contact information changed (email, phone number, etc.)?
If so, please notify Jordana Steinberg in the office at Our new directory will be coming out in October and we want to ensure that all of the addresses and contact information we have on file are current.
Farewell Tribute to Dr. Barbara Thomson
After eleven years of touching our lives with her beautiful music, MRT organist Dr. Barbara Thomson will be retiring this year after the High Holy Days. Join us on Friday, September 10, 2021 at 7 pm for a Shabbat Service, during which Barbara will be honored for her artistry and dedication to MRT.
Everybody is welcome to pray, meditate, or eat in the MRT Sukkah. The special events in the Sukkah are:
Men’s Club Potluck Dinner in the Sukkah
Monday, September 20 at 6 pm
Sukkot Festival Sunrise Service
Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30 am
SMARTY Dinner in the Sukkah
Tuesday, September 21 at 7:00 pm
Religious School “Pizza in the Hut”
Wednesday, September 22 at 5:30 pm
Sisterhood Dinner in the Sukkah
Thursday, September 23 at 6 pm
Shabbat Service with Yizkor
Friday, September 24 at 7 pm
Congregational Simchat Torah Celebration
Tuesday, September 28th @ 7pm
Please join the Adult Education Committee on October 10, 2021, to welcome our Scholar-in-Residence: Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel
Program topic: “Jesus the Jew”
Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel is a Professor at Rutgers University and is an instructor of Jewish Studies and Classics. His research interests include Rabbinic Literature, Bible, Hebrew, Greek, and Plato.
Visual Worship
In Exodus Chapter 35, we read how God cares a great deal about the visuals in worship. There was intricate detail about the color, size, shape, and textures of every aspect of the ancient worship service from the Altar, to the Ark of the Covenant.
Join us at our four Visual Worship Services at MRT this year, and experience the beauty and images surrounding text and prayer.
October 22, 2021
February 25, 2022
April 29, 2022
June 17, 2022
Gan Mazon
Summer Volunteer Opportunity
Thank you to all of the volunteers that are helping to make the Gan Mazon summer volunteer opportunity a big success!
For the past several weeks, volunteers have been meeting at MRT’s vegetable garden every Wednesday at 5 pm to work and to socialize. If you would like to join, please see the below note from Gan Mazon director, Eric Nathanson.
For the rest of the summer, volunteers will be meeting at MRT’s vegetable garden every Wednesday at 5 pm. We will work together for an hour or so and then, if there’s enough interest, spend another hour in a more social capacity. Think of it as a post-garden work session oneg, where all are welcome to bring a meal, snack, drink, or whatever suits the occasion. Feel free to bring some to share or not. This is a standing volunteer opportunity that can be put on your calendar as a regular, weekly event
As a reminder, your friends and family are always welcome!!  Important note: If you’re child needs service hours and wants to earn some at the garden, we ask that at least one parent or guardian attend at least the first time to meet the people your child may be working with and understand the tasks at hand.  
If you decide to participate, bring anything that you’ll need to contribute, including your garden tools (e.g., hand trowel, pruners, scissors, three-tined garden fork, etc.), a hat, sunscreen, water, etc., and then of course, your snacks, drinks, meal, etc. A foldable camp-style chair may also be useful if you decide to stay for the social part. 
Please contact Eric Nathanson or 908-433-4120 with any questions or to discuss.
Registration is available virtually.
Please complete the form below and let us know that we should save a space for your
September 12th – Religious School for K/1 – 7th grades
September 22nd – Religious School for 4th-6th grades
September 26th –
Bagels and Blocks, Kesher Kids, Mitzvah Academy,
and Confirmation
Hosted by the MRT Men’s Club
On Sunday, September 12th at 11:45 am, immediately following Religious School
As we begin the fourth year of our time as co-presidents, we realize this will be our last year. It is definitely the time to pass the torch after serving two terms in this position. We have not yet had anyone banging down our door to take over this role, but we are sure that there will be some women who would be willing to enjoy this position as we have. Of course, we will be around for the transition and moving forward since, as past presidents, we will remain on the Sisterhood Board. In fact, many of our board members are past presidents. Please let us know if you are interested in taking the helm, alone or with a co-president.
We hope you have had a wonderful summer. We sure did! Our “Kick off the summer” event was an Out and About on June 10, at the Blu Grotto. The food was delicious, the outside second floor patio was great for our group, and, despite the very loud music of the Nerds, we were able to talk and laugh and catch up. It was the first in-person event in a very long time and we were so happy to be together again! Also in June we held our most recent book club on Zoom. There was an intimate group and the women had an in depth discussion about the book Caste. We are hoping to hold in-person book clubs starting this Fall.  
Mahjong continued online on Tuesdays from 1-3. Often we would call each other, and were able to talk as we played, making it much more personable. The summer is generally busy for people, so we decided to put Mahjong on hold for a couple of months. Beginning in September, we hope Mahjong will be back in person at MRT. We will decide in the next few weeks.
We want to thank Brook Coppola and Nancy Zaslowe for being incredible hosts! On July 20th, Brook held our annual pool party at her lovely home in Little Silver. We have never had so many people in the pool! Everyone brought delicious food, and the 25 women who attended thoroughly enjoyed the time together. On August 3rd, we had a delightful luncheon at Nancy’s beautiful home in Long Branch. Everyone was pleased with the amazing food from Josie’s Good Eats in Bradley Beach. All 16 women enjoyed conversation, wine, mimosas, food, and dessert. Although the day was cloudy, five women went to the beach and were very happy to lounge for a while together.
Our final event of the summer is the annual book swap and potluck gathering at the Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club (SSYC) on August 23rd. This event in a beautiful location is always well attended. One highlight may be a fabulous sunset. As always, we are together for fun, laughs, discussions, and food.
For Rosh Hashanah, we hope for a successful apple pie and honey or chocolate babka with honey fundraiser. We really appreciate all the women who chip in to help wrap and label all the packages, for a quick turn around. A special thank you to Marci Rachlin, who is picking up the pies and babka. Last year, everyone raved about the tasty treats, so we are using the same bakers this year.
We have been making improvements in the temple kitchen for a few years now. This time around we will be starting work in the kitchen on August 18th. We are replacing the floor in the kitchen and in the hallway where the freezer is, too. We will also be painting both rooms.
Coming up…
Wrapping and order pick-up of apple pie/chocolate babka with honey at MRT on Thursday, September 2 from 11-5
Pick-up of apple pie/chocolate babka with honey orders at MRT also on Friday, September 3 from 11-3
Sisterhood in the Sukkah dinner-Thursday, September 23 at 6 pm
Out and About at the No Limits Cafe – Wednesday, Sept 29
White Elephant Bingo and Potluck lunch at MRT – Sunday, Oct 3
Our annual walk to end breast cancer will be on October 17.
Our next Book Club is on October 25 at 7 pm. Book TBD. Anyone is welcome to join us and you don’t even need to read the book!
Mahjong every Tuesday from 1-3
Reminder – All MRT women are welcome to be Sisterhood members. If this is your first year as a temple member, you do not need to pay dues. We will be continuing activities both indoors and outdoors, and some of our activities might remain online. We understand that some people feel more compromised than others, and we don’t want that to stop any woman from participating in Sisterhood events. Stay well and continue to be safe! Please reach out to us with any comments, questions, suggestions, or ideas.
MRT Sisterhood Co-presidents
Nancy Zaslowe and Ellen Goldberg
The MRT Men’s Club is in the process of resuming activities as we emerge from the COVID-19 restrictions. We have started up our regular poker night action at the synagogue. We had our first game in over a year in July 2021. If you are interested in getting on the invite list for this, send an email to Zach Gilstein at
We have resumed our in-person meetings. Our first one was held on Tuesday, Aug 10th at MJ’s in Tinton Falls. If you have not been receiving the Men’s Club email invites, please send me an email and I will add you to the list.
The MRT Men’s Club will be hosting a welcome back BBQ for all religious school children and their parents on Sunday, September 12th at 11:45 am. Dean Ross has graciously donated the use of his large grill. We have also opened it up to all new and prospective MRT members. We are coordinating with the school and membership committees to ensure the word gets out. Contact me if you would like to assist on this.
The Men’s Club will be building the Sukkah on Sunday, Sep 19th at 8:30 am and will be having our potluck dinner in the Sukkah on Monday, September 20th at 6 pm. Sukkah takedown is planned to be on Sunday, Oct 3rd at 9 am.
Contact me if you would like to participate in any of these activities. I look forward to an active and fruitful new year.
Dave Makow
President, MRT Men’s Club