From the President, September 2023

As I sit down to write a column for the September issue of the Voice, I am thinking ahead to Rosh Hashanah and what it means. Rosh Hashanah, as we all know, is the Jewish New Year, the beginning of the month of Tishrei. On this holiday we imagine Hashem is reviewing the behavior of … Read more

From the President

As we look forward to warm summer days, I’m reminded that our biggest fundraiser of the year has just kicked off. That is the Cadillac of Raffles. I strongly encourage everyone to purchase a minimum of one ticket. If a ticket has not been sent to you, don’t worry, you can still get in on … Read more

From the Board, May 2023

Most of you have now heard that Cantor Fair will no longer be serving Ahavas Israel, and we just wanted to share a few thoughts on his departure. Our original contract with Temple Emanuel to provide cantorial services gave us Cantor Fair for four hours a week of his time. This equated to about two … Read more

From the Board, April 2023

In March, the Jewish Community Legacy Project had its first meeting for presidents of small congregations, which are defined as those made up of 130 or fewer member units. We met on Zoom for a discussion on the various challenges facing congregations.  The topic of Engagement was discussed, which seems to be a very common … Read more

From the Board, March 2023

My family moved to Grand Rapids in 1973 when my husband accepted a position as a pathologist at St. Mary’s Hospital, and we became members of Ahavas Israel. I have been a member of the Wednesday morning minyan for over forty years and a regular at Shabbat services. I’ve been active at Ahavas Israel in … Read more

Yom Tov – Miscellaneous

Question: I am a Christian that feels lost like I am missing something very important.  I need to know my Jewish history, feast dates, etc.  I know God said a lot of the feasts were forever to be observed and I am greatly confused as to why the churches I have been to do not.  … Read more

Yom Tov – Purim

Question:  Hi, We learn in Purim that you are supposed to give Matanot La’evyonim. Well what if I send a letter with money in it to my friend in Israel for him to give out.  I live in America. Do I still fulfill my obligation of Matanot Laevyonim if it comes too late or too … Read more

Yom Tov – Hanukkah

Question:  How do different Jewish families celebrate Hanukkah throughout the world? Answer: Hanukkah is basically celebrated the same all around the world.  We say the blessings and light the Hanukkiah, and eat foods that have been cooked with oil, such as Latkes and Sufganiot (jelly donuts) to remember the miracle.  I think the dreidel game … Read more

Yom Tov – Shavuot

Question:  I am confused about Shavuot.  Is it the giving of the Torah or the 10 commandments to Moses or both.  Is it that the Commandments are contained in the Torah?  How did Moses receive the torah if the Torah contains the stories of Moses including his receiveing of the commandments and his death?  did … Read more