Support for LGBTQ in Masorti Israel

One of the fundamental principles of the NOAM youth movement is support for a pluralistic community. These two words contain the essence of the movement and its participants. NOAM-niks are an open and accepting community in which every member can feel comfortable expressing him or herself and conveying who and what they are.

The members of the NOAM youth movement come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and include members from different socio-economic backgrounds, from different ethnic origins (including members from the Ethiopian community, as well as immigrants from France, the FSU and Guatemala), and also a significant number of children with disabilities who are integrated into activities as individuals or as a group.

Members of the LGBTQ community are common within NOAM, and people find it a safe, supportive and friendly place. The movement’s professional staff encourage youth group participants to talk openly about their sexual identity and see members of the LGBTQ community as a natural part of NOAM. A number of actions are being taken during the year that raise awareness inside and outside of NOAM:

  • •During the school year, the NOAM movement’s high school students participate in a day on “Sex, Sexuality and Gender” as part of their class seminars; one month of the year is dedicated to the value of a “pluralistic community," and as part of this month the counselors and participants learn about “acceptance of the other"  in general, and they participate in a specific educational activity about the LGBTQ community as well.
  • •Within the framework of the “NOAM Council Statutes” (statutes determined by the high school students which are approved every year at the NOAM conference that takes place at the movement’s Hanukkah seminar) it was decided to choose struggles of the LGTBQ community as one of the four issues that guide the movement’s activities and to which it will commit its support. Thanks to this and to the high awareness of the participants concerning the rights of the community, every year NOAM members put on their green NOAM youth movement shirts and join the gay pride parades throughout the country to express their support.
  • •NOAM also participated in a number of collaborations with the gay youth organization, Iggy, as part of the joint partnership between the two organizations in the Youth Organizations Council.

The high level of awareness and openness displayed by the NOAM Youth movement towards LGBTQ issues allows the movement’s members to feel comfortable disclosing their sexual identity. As well it creates a reality in which there are members of the LGBTQ community serving at all levels of the professional staff at NOAM. Their identity is known to all.

NOAM believes that the value of pluralism and acceptance of others will be a leading value in Israeli society. We are making an effort to make this value present in the Youth movement and to impart it to everyone around us.

For more about the Masorti Movement in Israel, follow its​ blogs at

Weekly Service Times

Ahavas-Israel-chapelServices are held every Shabbat and on all Festivals.  Join us for a warm, participatory service that includes a great deal of singing.

  • Shabbat mornings (Saturdays, except for the 4th Shabbat) - 9:30 a.m. - 11:45 (approximately)
  • Torah Study Shabbat, Fourth Shabbat of the Month (November 23).
  • Note these following date changes to the second Shabbat of the month: December 14, January 11, February 8.
    • Torah Study - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30
    • Service - 10:30 a.m. - noon (approximately)
    • The schedule is:
      • 9:30 a.m. Torah service in the lobby
      • 10:30 a.m. Service
      • 11:55 a.m. Kiddush
  • Weekday Service times:

    • Wednesday mornings, 7:30 a.m.
    • Thursday mornings - 7:15 a.m.
    • Rosh Hodesh and Hol Hamoed, Wed. and Thurs. minyan begin 15 minutes earlier than the above times.
    • National Holidays, Wed. and Thurs. minyan begin at 9:00 a.m

Rabbi Krishef’s Sabbatical preparation


I am preparing for a three month Sabbatical from November 4 of this year until February 3, 2020. It looks like I have an opportunity to do some work on the intersection between the business community and the faith community. It is both a local project and a national project. More details to follow next month!

The Religious Life Committee and I are looking for volunteers to share Divre Torah and lead the monthly Shabbat Torah study. A d’var Torah should be about 12 minutes. The Torah study should be a 50 minute interactive session. If you would like my help, contact me prior to November and I can share resources and give tips, or give feedback on what you’ve written or prepared. To sign up, contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 616-949-2840) or go to or

Tot Shabbat/Young Junior Congregation

We are seeking a Tot Shabbat/Junior Congregation leader for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. please contact Rabbi Krishef, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 616-949-2840.

Requested: Occasional Minyan Help

Requested: Occasional Minyan help. The Wednesday minyan has nine regulars and is looking for (at least) one person willing to make a weekly commitment to help make the minyan. Might you consider trying it for a month and see what it’s like? Those who are saying Kaddish will be grateful.
Alternatively, are you willing to get a text or a phone call on a Tuesday or Wednesday night if we know that we are one or two short of a minyan? The weekday minyan services are looking for people who are willing to come to minyan when needed, even as few as 1-2 times a year. Please contact Rabbi Krishef to add your name to the emergency minyan call list.

Underwrite a Kiddush

Celebrate a simha or honor a loved one by underwriting a standard Shabbat kiddush or Sanctuary Shabbat kiddush. Cost is $54 for a Shabbat Kiddush paid to Congregation Ahavas Israel. Underwriting will be acknowledged in the weekly Shabbat announcements.  Please remember that no special food requests are permitted.  However, you may provide a certified kosher cake to mark the occasion.  Reserve your date by calling the synagogue office. Additional questions should be directed to Karen Reifler, 975-9577.


As a service to our members, stop by Ahavas Israel for your Yahrtzeit, Havdalah, Shabbat, and Chanukkah Menorahcandle needs.
Candles are located on the  self-service cart next to the office. Help yourself to what you need, and leave a donation in the envelopes provided.

Religious Life Committee ChaiLights

If you have any ideas or concerns for our congregational life, please feel free to share with any member of the Religious Life Committee: Rabbi David Krishef, Karen Reifler, Ed Miller, and Allyson Strauss.

Also, we are always looking to expand our pool of Haftarah readers, Ushers, and Gabba'im. If interested in knowing what this entails, please speak to Rabbi or Religious Life co-chairs, David Reifler and Elisabeth Rosewall.

Electric Shabbat candles

Thank you to Lynda Werba Bar for donating a set of electric Shabbat candles to the synagogue. If you will be in the hospital or at a Rehabilitation facility over Shabbat and you would like to borrow the candles, please contact the office. Lynda also donated a set to Spectrum - Butterworth Hospital - contact the Chaplain’s office to borrow the candles for Shabbat.

Kosher Challah

challah-breadThe Wealthy Street bakery has opened a second location, known as the Hall Street Bakery. Both locations are now under supervision for a limited number of bread products.

The following breads are kosher and parve:

Challah, Vegan Challah, French, Country White, Sourdough, Focaccia.

The bread slicer is used for dairy, parve, and non-kosher breads, and cannot be cleaned in between. Therefore, sliced bread is not under kosher supervision.

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