Religious Life News for the High Holidays

Following up on an idea initiated at the end of the last year by the Religious Life Committee (RLC) supported by the Ahavas Israel Board of Trustees early this year, the RLC worked to hire a Shaliach Tzibur (cantor) to lead our upcoming High Holiday services. An RLC subcommittee reviewed 12 candidates’ resumes and sound files which lead to Ed Miller and Rabbi Krishef interviewing our top candidate, Rabbi Shlomo Atzil-Zacharow and offering him the position which he accepted in March.

Rabbi Zacharow will be traveling from his home in Jerusalem, Israel to lead our High Holiday services. Rabbi Zacharow has led High Holiday services as Cantor or Rabbi all over the world and has been a Lecturer in Rabbinics at the Conservative Yeshiva, Jerusalem since 2003. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia with a B.A., Cum Laude in International Relations in 1990 and received his Rabbinical ordination and M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, Jerusalem in 2000.

Rabbi Zacharow has a very warm personality, a great voice, and lots of ruach. We are excited and really looking forward to Rabbi Zacharow leading us for the upcoming High Holidays. Rabbi Krishief will be coordinating High Holidays cantorial leadership with him, so please contact Rabbi Krishef for any questions.

 You can listen to samples of Rabbi Zacharow's singing, below: 

It’s never too late to join or create a Havurah!

Movie Lovers, Vegan Topics, Gaming, Young families, Outdoor Activities, and more!
You want to join in on the fun? Find the Havurah selection form at Or you can send your responses to the Synagogue office, or submit your responses to Melissa Hillman (616-540-0103 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Shoshana Jackson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 734-709-3434). Questions, suggestions? Contact Melissa or Shoshana.

 Havurot listed in Bold are currently active:

Personal/Family-Based Groups:

Topic-Based Groups:

•Young Families Havurah •Board & Card Games Havurah  
•LGBTQ+ Havurah •Hiking, Biking & Outdoor Activities Havurah
•Mother's Havurah •Movie Lovers Havurah (Jewish/Israeli, etc.)
  •Photography Havurah
  •Vegan Cooking & Topics Havurah

Making Choices Michigan Update

No one can predict when a sudden illness or accident may occur, leaving a person unable to make personal healthcare decisions. Currently, far too many people enter the last stage of life without ever having a conversation about their preferences for end-of-life care, documenting those preferences, and informing loved ones or a patient advocate of their desires. When you cannot speak for your self, the health system’s default is to provide every treatment available to extend life. The alternative is a reliable, documented plan called an Advance Directive.

When your wishes for care are known and have been honored, surviving family members experience significantly less anxiety, stress and depression. Thus, making your health care choices known is a gift that gives beyond one’s death.

Making Choices Michigan, established in 2010, is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit community collaborative committed to helping people determine their end-of-life preferences, documenting those preferences in an advance directive (AD), developing a system for storing and retrieving the AD, and educating the healthcare community to honor a person’s AD to ensure that end-of-life preferences are respected. Congregation Ahavas Israel is an active participant in an interfaith outreach program of Making Choices Michigan. For more information, please contact Making Choices Michigan at 421-4840. There is no charge for this service which provides you with a legal, reliable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Will.

Building Use Policy Update

The Congregation Ahavas Israel building is heavily used, by both the synagogue and by those who rent space, including the Federation, All Souls Community Church, and the Children’s Workshop preschool. Ahavas Israel’s office manager, Deb Johnston, manages the building-wide calendar and schedules building use. All scheduled classes, meetings, programs, and events need to be cleared with Deb in advance. If a building request requires setup and cleanup, she schedules that with our custodian and takes that into account when considering other building requests.

In order for Ahavas Israel’s building request system to work, Deb needs all requests, including a detailed setup plan, to be submitted at least 14 days, (two weeks) before the event. If the information is not submitted on time, we reserve the right to say no to the request. She makes every effort to accommodate all requests. If she says that a room is not available on a particular date, it is because it has already been scheduled by another group or another event. Please understand that in matters of building use, she speaks with the authority of the Ahavas Israel board of Trustees. Please respect both her deadlines and her decisions.

Thank you,

Sandy Freed, President
David Krishef, Rabbi

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