February 20, 2021
8 Adar 5781

Shalom AKSE Congregants and Friends of AKSE:

The Torah portion for this Shabbat is Terumah. It is also a special Shabbat--Shabbat Zachor. Rabbi Saks' sermon has the provocative title "It's All About the Ark, Stupid!"

We did meet for an outdoor Mincha service last Tuesday, and the weather forecast looks hopeful for this Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the JCC parking lot. Please contact Rabbi Saks as usual to let him know you will be there.

It is difficult to believe that we have experienced nearly the full cycle of the Jewish year already since the country began a lockdown due to COVID last March. For many of us, the Purim Megillah reading a year ago was the last time we were together for an indoor service.

Please join us for one or more of our virtual Purim events this week. Cantor Redfern presents a pre-Purim lecture and performance this Sunday from 5 to 6 p.m. See details below. Then, on Thursday we observe the Fast of Esther during the day. In the evening, put on that costume if you'd like and have your grogger ready via Zoom for the chanting of Megillat Esther by our readers Mel Zussman, Scott Slomowitz, Sam Romirowsky, and Neil Lattin. On Friday, there will be a second reading of the Megillah, as well as a virtual Seudah and study session. See the full schedule with times below.

Finally, take advantage of the opportunity to order Thai or Chinese food from a new kosher restaurant in Baltimore, with free delivery to the JCC this Monday. See details below. Thanks to Gail Weinberg for making it happen.

Shabbat Shalom!



Friday, February 19 at 4:30 p.m. -- Kabbalat Shabbat, Torah reading by Cantor Redfern (1st Aliyah), D'var Torah

Saturday, February 20 at 6:45 p.m. -- Ma'ariv, Havdalah

Sunday, February 21 at 5 p.m. -- "Unique Chanting of Megillat Esther" (lecture and singing of popular Purim songs by Cantor Redfern)

Wednesday, February 24 -- Parsha & Pizza, class at 6 p.m., Ma'ariv at 6:45 p.m.

Thursday, February 25 at 8 a.m. -- Shacharit (Fast of Esther)

Thursday, February 25 at 5:15 p.m. -- Mincha (Fast of Esther)

Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m. -- Ma'ariv, Megillah reading, virtual costume parade (PURIM)

Friday, February 26 at 8 a.m. -- Shacharit, Megillah reading (PURIM)

Friday, February 26 at 12 noon -- Virtual Seudah with study session (PURIM)

Connection to all AKSE events is the same - either of two options:

1) Video and Audio on PC, tablet, or smartphone
Click on this link to join Zoom meeting: 

2) Phone
Dial in to +1 646-558-8656 and input Meeting ID: 628 081 3362

Tuesday, February 23 at 3:30 p.m.

Join us for a socially distanced outdoor Mincha service at the Siegel JCC. We will be gathering in the area near the parking lot past the swimming pool (the same place we gathered for the Shofar blowing in September).

If you would like to sit during the service, please bring a lawn chair or other portable chair; also, please bring a siddur. Due to COVID-19, social distancing and mask wearing will be enforced.

If you plan to attend, please let Rabbi Saks know by texting or phoning him at 302-494-7928 or emailing him at stevensaks5@gmail.com. That way we can ensure a minyan and also inform you of any changes due to weather. A decision will be made by 12 noon on the day of the service in case of inclement weather.

SHABBAT ZACHOR - FEB. 19 & 20, 2021    8 ADAR 5781
Candle lighting 5:21 P.M.
Havdalah 6:23 P.M.
Sidrah of the Week
Exodus 25:1 - 27:19
Stone - p. 444

Deut. 25:17 - 19
Stone - p. 1066

I Samuel 15:2 - 34
Stone - p. 1214


It's All About the Ark, Stupid!
How can we hear God's voice today, though we no longer have an ark? View Rabbi Saks' sermon here.


The Congregation, Rabbi and Cantor express nichum aveilim to the Greenberg and Gluck family upon the passing of Mitchell Greenberg. “May the mourners be consoled among all who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.”

The Congregation, Rabbi and Cantor express nichum aveilim to Sandye Turnauer upon the passing of her sister, Mildred Poliner. “May the mourners be consoled among all who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.”


This week we observe the Yahrzeit of the following individuals:

February 19 - Sam Drescher, Dora Ptashkin, Ethel Stiefel

February 20 - Daniel Cheitlin, Leonard H. Rosenblatt, Ralph Russell, Rose Shapiro

February 21 - Anita Erdman, Lester Finkel, Lillian Greenwald, Eleanor Kursh,
Rhea Cooper Tannen, Judah Vega

February 22 - Nancy Drescher, Max Harris

February 23 - Benjamin Braverman, Eva M. Bronstein, Seymour Aaron Fisher,
Bessie Golder, Fannie Goodman, Jules Heims, Sherman Julius, Philip Liebman,
Abraham Schwab

February 24 - Michael Aber, Margie Bleier, Edmond Jacobs

February 25 - Sarah R. Bloom, Joseph Brother, Richard Harwick, Francis Hirshout,
Dorothy Meritz, Dora Moskowitz, Bertha Ritter, Frank Rosen, Judy Saphire, Lillian Slogoff

May their memory be for a blessing.

Cantor Yehoshua Redfern
Sunday, February 21, 5 PM to 6 PM

Cantor Redfern will deliver a virtual lecture on the Unique Chanting of Megillat (Scroll of) Esther. He will also sing and play on his guitar popular songs from the holiday of Purim. The holiday takes place later that week on Thursday evening, February 25 and Friday, February 26.
Cantor Redfern will demonstrate and discuss the added expression and drama, special musical variations, emphases, and stylistic direction that have emerged in conjunction with reading certain verses, phrases, and words; these performance features have become traditional in many communities. According to our laws and customs, the story of Purim must be heard by all men, women, and children. The style of the rendition of Megillat Esther is much different than that of the other four books (Megillot)--Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes.
Please join us via Zoom for this lecture and songfest to honor our upcoming holiday of Purim. Connect by either of two options:
1) Video and Audio on PC, tablet, or smartphone
Click on this link to join Zoom meeting:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6280813362
2) Phone Dial in to +1 646-558-8656 and input Meeting ID: 628 081 3362
History Course via Zoom by Rabbi Saks
Thursdays at 6 PM

If you missed previous lectures, you can view them here:

The Dead Sea Scrolls provide us with an invaluable window into the Judaism of the latter Second Temple Period. This is the Judaism from which modern Judaism and Christianity were born. 
Based on the lecture series of Professor Lawrence Schiffman:
The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Truth Behind the Mystique.
Regularly on Thursdays at 6 PM. Lecture subjects are:
The Qumran Library 
Scandal and Publication 
Sects of the Second Temple 
The Halachic letter and the Sect’s
The Qumran Sect
Women and the Dead Sea Sect
Beliefs of the Sect
Biblical Interpretation
The Torah During the Second Temple 
The Messiah and the End of Time
The Temple Scroll 
The Scrolls, Judaism and Christianity 
Controversial Messianic Text 
The Scrolls Today  


In the interest of trying to keep us all as safe and as healthy as possible, we are passing the following information on to you. As the State of Delaware is now in Phase 1b, you can go to Delaware (COVID-19) Vaccination Info for information about where to get a vaccine.

There are three possible places to get the vaccine in Delaware: public vaccination events, pharmacies, and doctors. You can sign up for a vaccination event here. Signing up places you on a waiting list. You will then receive an invitation when an appointment is available.

Some individuals have been successful in making first and second vaccination appointments at Walgreens and Giant Pharmacy. Here are the links:
See other pharmacy options here. Please know that you may need to try several times to "get through" to find available appointments, so please be patient. Also, Walgreens requires that you have an online Walgreens pharmacy account; if you don't have one, you will be guided through creating it before making an appointment.

You can also contact your doctor to ask whether he/she is offering vaccinations or can help direct you to where to get vaccinated.

If any of you become aware of other vaccination sites, please reply to enews@akse.org and we will forward this information to the congregation.
Shofar header
The February 2021 SHOFAR is available online.

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Our office hours are 10 AM to 2 PM Monday to Thursday. During these times at least one of our office staff will be in the office and respond promptly to emails (office@AKSE.org  and  bookkeeper@AKSE.org) and phone calls (302-762-2705).
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