Home Havdalah Gathering, Nov. 10, 7:00 p.m.

Sandy and Barbara Freed will be hosting the Home Havdalah Gathering on Saturday, November 10 beginning at 7:00 p.m. Their home is at 2820 Edgewood NE in the Riverside Park neighborhood; north off Three Mile Rd between Plainfield and Monroe.

Dance For Kindness

Dance For Kindness is a WorldWide event in celebration of World Kindness Day. Groups from across the globe join together to perform a Kindness Freezemob/Flashmob to the same song, same dance, all happening on the same day -- Sunday, November 11. Ahavas Israel is hosting the Grand Rapids DWK event. 10% of the money raised locally will go to Children’s Food Basket here in Grand Rapids. Together, we participate in an event that empowers participants to experience the true reach of World Kindness!

Our coordinator in Grand Rapids is Sophie Reed. For more information or the link to register, see www.danceforkindness.com or the facebook page at .www.facebook.com/events/516224528821279/.

Onetable.org

OneTable is an organization dedicated to helping people in their 20’s and 30’s with no children, to slow down, unplug, join together, and have a meal together on Friday night. Sign up at OneTable.org to scroll through open dinners, or create and post your own. From a traditional Shabbat experience to a picnic or Karaoke Shabbat, OneTable will help you make it happen.

You will see dinners hosted by people in Rapids Rapids posted on OneTable.org. Sign up and meet some new people. Or create a OneTable account and register as a host. They’ll match you with a Shabbat Coach, provide you with ritual guides, a potluck organizing feature, recipes, playlists, Nourishment Credits, and more.

If you are not in the target demographic but know someone who is, please let them know to check out the web site.

Ahavas Israel and the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids have teamed up to bring OneTable.org into Grand Rapids. Check out their FAQ page for all of the OneTable details. Need a bit more? Reach out Rabbi Krishef (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); Marisa Reed, Jewish Federation Grand Rapids (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); or Associate Director, National Community Expansion Sara Fatell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

First Wednesday Open Mic Night - November 7

Anyone for enjoying some home-grown talent?  We will begin holding an open mic night on the first Wednesday of the month 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 Thursday, February 21 at 6:30p.m. to discuss: 

Our next book selection is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.
 
In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition- era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra- nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.
 
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.

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 November 24, and December 22, January 26, 2019 and February 23. Mark your calendars!

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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