Introduction to Judaism 2018

Taught by Rabbi David Krishef

Beginning Monday, October 8, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. 

Cost:  $70/members and B’nai Noah affiliates, $95/non-members (includes the cost of the SourceBook)

A basic introduction to Jewish history, beliefs, rituals, holidays, and life cycle celebrations. Taught in partnership with the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program of American Jewish University. The syllabus can be download here or call the office to have it emailed/mailed to you. Contact the Ahavas Israel office, 616-949-2840 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

AJU MillerIntro

Sukkot - Sunday, September 23

Sunday night, September 23, Sukkot

            Candlelighting                         7:23 p.m.

Monday, September 24, Sukkot

            Shaharit                                   9:30 a.m.

            *Candlelighting                       after 8:19 p.m.

Tuesday, September 25, Sukkot

            Shaharit                                   9:30 a.m.

            **Havdalah                             8:17 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday, September 26 and 27

Hol Hamoed Sukkot

            Minyan                                    7:00 a.m.

Sunday, September 30, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., “Sukkah Hop”

Hop from the Sukkah of Valerie and Daren Shavell between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. (2570 Red Clover Dr. SE, in Ada) and to our new Ahavas Israel Sukkah (on the patio behind the social hall) between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m.

If you can contribute a dairy or parve soup, appetizer, casserole, or other treat, please text or email Valerie at (616) 550-1355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Karen Reifler at 975-9577, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Shemini Atzeret - Sunday, September 30

Shemini Atzeret

Sunday night, September 30, erev Shemini Atzeret

            Candlelighting                         7:11 p.m.

Monday, October 1, Shemini Atzeret

            Shaharit, including Yizkor      9:30 a.m.

Monday night, October 1, Erev Simhat Torah

            *Candlelighting                       after 8:06 p.m.

            Ma’ariv with Hakafot             8:00 p.m.

            (dancing with Torahs)

Please join the congregation on Simhat Torah evening for a Simhat Torah celebration.

Tuesday, October 2, Simhat Torah

            Shaharit with Hakafot             9:30 a.m.

            **Havdalah                             8:04 p.m.

      *Use a 24 hour candle lit before the first night of a Festival to light on the 2ndnight and on Shabbat.

      **Havdalah after a festival omits the candle and the spices.

First Wednesday Open Mic Night - October 3

Anyone for enjoying some home-grown talent?  We will begin holding an open mic night on the first Wednesday of the month beginning in October at 7:00pm in the Social Hall.

An open mic is an opportunity for anyone to come up in front of a supportive group and play a few songs on your instrument of choice (often a guitar but can be anything else), recite poetry, Greek tragedy, a scene from a play, or tell jokes. It should be fun and entertaining. There are very few rules other than a 10-minute time limit and family-appropriate content.

Contact Sandy Freed at 540-2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up for your 10 minutes of performance time. Bring an adult beverage or two if you like. Ahavas will not be providing these but will supply some snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

Ahavas Israel Reading Group

Our next book discussion will be on Monday, October 10 at 6:30p.m. to discuss:

And After The Fire by Lauren Belfer

In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him.

In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history—and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past.

In Berlin, Germany, in 1783, amid the city’s glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely despite simmering anti-Semitism, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the manuscript of an anti-Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach’s son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come.

Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined. Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy.

The author, on her website, has links to purchase the book as well as a reading group guide and a link to listen to music from the book.

Please contact Leah Sauer for more information at 616-805-3778, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Torah Study Shabbat

Please join us for a Torah Study Shabbat/Abbreviated Shabbat service on the 4th Shabbat of the month. The schedule is:
  • 9:30 a.m. Torah study
  • 10:30 a.m. Service
  • 11:55 a.m. (approximately) Kiddush

Upcoming Torah study Shabbat services will be on August 25, September 22, October 27, November 24, and December 29. Mark your calendars!

A new feature this summer - pre-service chanting, led by David Reifler.

This past January, David Reifler completed an 18-month series of four chanting retreats with Rabbi Shefa Gold entitled Kol Zimra. On June 23, July 28 and August 25, beginning at 10:15 am, David will lead a guided chanting of Modeh Ani in the Chapel for fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of our shortened Shabbat morning service. 

Study Groups

Rabbi Krishef’s study groups:

• Thursday Tanakh study, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m., Schuler Books and Music, 28th St. (either in the back of the store or in the café). We are studying the books of Kings. Exciting narrative! Intrigue! Politics! Backstabbing! Join us.

• Jewish mysticism/Zohar study group, Mondays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Ahavas Israel library. We are reading through Daniel Matt’s translation and commentary of the Zohar.

Betzalel Art Group

BETZALEL ART GROUP, Thursdays, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m., room #1

Join the fun at the Betzalel Art Group and be inspired by others as you work on your own projects. Bring your fiber art project or oil painting or any other art or craft you enjoy doing. Everyone is welcome. This is an open and flexible group, so come as your schedule allows.

For more information, please contact Pat Weller, 453-2954 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Delving Into Our History

With the help of Peg Finkelstein from the Temple Emanuel Archives, significant progress has been made on Ahavas Israel's Gen and Jack Finkelstein Archives, generously funded by Mort and Peg Finkelstein and Raleigh Finkelstein in memory of their parents. Contributions to the Gen and Jack Archive Fund provide continued support. The committee is working at the synagogue Wednesday mornings from 10AM until noon.  If you are interested in being a part of this important project, please contact Toby Weiner Dolinka at 949-6528.
If you have materials (especially photographs) that would be valuable for the archives, please contact Toby.

Family Promise

We provide meals and support to our partner congregation in the Family Promise shelter program, Trinity Lutheran Church, 2700 Fulton St E. Please help - we need volunteers to bring part of a meal and participate in organizing children’s activities. To help, contact Mort Hoffman, 616-949-6088 or 616-361-2738.

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