Community Tu B'shavat Seder, January 16-17, 2022

Congregation Ahavas Israel, Temple Emanuel, Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids, and
 Chabad House of Western Michigan are partnering to bring the community a virtual Tu B'Shevat Seder, celebrating the New Year for trees.

A link to a video will be available Sunday evening January 16, featuring a team of your favorite Grand Rapids clergy, leading the service, focusing on themes of creation, stewardship, and our partnership with God. A special PJ Library Tu B'Shevat program will be available for children.

RSVP by Wednesday, January 12  and we’ll provide you with a package of fruits from the land of Israel, grape juice, and a copy of the Seder that you can pick up from the Federation office. For those unable to pick it up, we’ll deliver it to your home.

Look in your email for a RSVP link or call the Synagogue office (616) 949-2940

Tu Bishvat Seder RSVP Link

Purim 5782/2022

Mark your calendars for Purim: Wednesday night, March 16, 2022

  • Purim Dinner
  • Joint Temple Emanuel and Congregation Ahavas Israel Purimshpiel
  • Two Megillah readings/experiences, one by Congregation Ahavas Israel, one by Temple Emanuel
    Purim Flyer 4

Join Us for our Mini-Winter Olympics!

Sunday, February 13, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Park at the far end (west side) of the parking lot and walk around the back of the building, past the playgrounds.

Featuring (depending on weather):
• Ice mini-golf
• Snow-painting
• Snow-bowling
• Snow-people / Snow-dog competition (child, teen, and adult divisions)
• Pizza, hot cocoa bar and cookies

Installation of Cantor David Fair

Shabbat evening, March 4th, 2022, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Temple Emanuel
Shabbat morning, March 5, 9:30 a.m., Congregation Ahavas Israel

We will formally be installing Cantor David Fair into his position as the Cantor of Temple Emanuel and Ahavas Israel. Cantor Richard Cohn, the director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union-College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City will be the guest speaker on Friday evening.

Please join us on Shabbat morning as we continue the weekend celebration with a formal installation of Cantor Fair at Congregation Ahavas Israel.

Rabbi Krishef’s study groups and classes

Sunday mornings, 9:00 - 10:00 “Foundations for a Thoughtful Judaism.” Meeting at Temple Emanuel in a classroom, second from the end of the school wing, on the left side.

Hebrew classes - Contact Rabbi Krishef if you are interested.


Torah Reading with Cantor Fair

On Tuesdays, beginning January 4, 2022:

Cantor Fair will teach a six week class on how to chant Torah(or “leyn”) on weekdays and Shabbat. Students will study how to chant, what the trope markings look like, perfect their Hebrew-reading skills, and even learn a bit of history behind this sacred and holy art.

Contact Cantor Fair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to register.


Ahavas Israel Book Group

Make a note of the following books to read with the Ahavas Israel book group:

February 9, 7:00 p.m. - Becoming Eve, by Abby Chava Stein (non-fiction)
“Holy Creator, I am going to sleep now, and I look like a boy. I am begging you, when I wake up in the morning, I want to be a girl…God, you have enough boys. You do not need me to be a boy. I promise, if I wake up as a girl, I will make up for it by having many boys, who will be the most studied and pious boys.”

Abby Chava Stein remembers saying this nightly prayer as a child, which encapsulates much of what makes her memoir captivating: the balance between her love for the Jewish community and Jewish learning, and the restrictiveness of communal norms, the balance of humor and heartbreak in her recollections of growing up, and the core personality of an inventive girl, always hungry for learning, living in a world where inventiveness was frowned upon.

May, 2022 - The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman (fiction)
It’s not easy to make characters living in 70 C.E., fighting the Romans on Masada, breathe on the page, but Alice Hoffman’s masterpiece succeeds. Two women and five children survived the massacre, according to first-century Jewish historian Josephus. Hoffman builds upon his ancient account, using it as a starting point to tell the stories of four women whose divergent paths brought them to Masada.


Gemilut Hasadim/Social Action Projects

 CAI supports the community in which we live. Be a part of it:

The Center for Community Transformation is a collection of organizations working primarily with young people of color. Their mission is to develop, rebuild, and restore that sector of our city.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rabbi Krishef at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 616-949-2840.

The Corners of the Field Garden on the Northeast side of the building grows food for the Temple Emanuel Food bank and the Baxter Community Center.
Contact: Allyson Cole-Strauss, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (616) 406-6536.

• We are a support congregation for the Family Promise of Grand Rapids, helping Trinity Lutheran church feed families who find safe shelter in the church about four times a year.
Contact: Allyson Cole-Strauss, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (616) 406-6536.

• We participate in the National Wildlife Federation Sacred Grounds Program with All Souls Congregation, and have devoted a plot of land behind the Social Hall as a native plant and wildlife habitat.
Contact: Diane Rayor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (616) 791-8929.

• We are a member of the Grand Rapids Climate Resolution Coalition, working towards achieving community-wide carbon neutrality for Grand Rapids by 2030.
Contact: David Hast, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (616) 791-8929.

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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