January 14-15, 2022
13 Shevat 5782

Shalom AKSE Congregants and Friends of AKSE:

We are "pivoting" again. This is an overused word in the age of COVID, because everyone is doing it, again and again. Or, as Rabbi Saks quotes Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu all over again." As we announced in an email yesterday, we have suspended our indoor, in-person gatherings, including services, classes, and meetings, because of the current COVID surge. The details from yesterday's email are reproduced below.

During this period, we are returning to the higher previous level of virtual activities. So, for example, since we are unable to hold Shabbat services online, Rabbi Saks and Cantor Redfern are restarting Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday afternoon (4 p.m.) and Ma'ariv/Havdalah on Saturday night (6 p.m.), both via Zoom. See the details below under Virtual Events This Week. Faith Brown will be delivering a D'var Torah during the Friday afternoon Zoom.

Rabbi Saks is also again recording his sermon for easy access online. His sermon for this week's Parsha, Beshalach, entitled "What Have You Done for Me Lately?," may be viewed here.

The one service we are continuing is Tuesday Mincha at the Siegel JCC. It will again take place outdoors in the parking lot past the pool. This Tuesday it will be a Mincha and Ma'ariv service beginning at 4:00 p.m. (please note the special start time). Marty and Ed Zukoff will be attending this Tuesday to recite Kaddish for the Yahrzeit of grandson and nephew Benjamin Zukoff at the Ma’ariv service. Please make an effort to attend so that we can have a minyan.

Tu Bishvat, the New Year of the Trees, is this Sunday night and Monday. We had a well received pre-Tu Bishvat cooking class via Zoom last Sunday. Much thanks to Sophie Longwill and her sister, Pascale Hadida Nahon, for presenting such a wonderful event. On Monday at 4:30 p.m., please join us online for Tu Bishvat Mincha.

Please note that Rabbi Saks is continuing his Zoom classes--History of Jewish Thought on Wednesdays and Parsha & Pizza on Thursdays. During the temporary shutdown, Parsha & Pizza will be Zoom only.

There are several community-wide events coming up in the next month. See the announcements below. There is also an Action Alert below about passage of Iron Dome funding in the Senate. Please consider contacting your Senators now by clicking here.

Please be aware that, due to the suspension of indoor, in-person activities, some of the event information in the January Shofar is no longer accurate. Please refer to our online weekly newsletters for the latest information.
Shabbat Shalom!



Because of the continuing surge of COVID in Delaware, the Health Committee has recommended, and the Board of Governors has approved, a temporary shutdown of all indoor, in-person assemblies.

Here are some details:
  • The shutdown is effective immediately and includes all indoor services, classes, and meetings.
  • The Tuesday Mincha service at the JCC will continue, but will be held outdoors in the parking lot.
  • The office remains open, and in-person consultations with Rabbi Saks are permitted, with masking and distancing.

Guidelines for resumption of indoor assemblies:
  • The shutdown will last until the New Castle County positivity rate drops to 10% or less over a 2-week period (currently at 31%).
  • Upon resumption, full vaccination will be defined as 3 vaccination shots, or 2 shots if it has been less than 5 months since the second shot. Documentation may be provided in advance by mailing a copy of the vaccination card(s) to the office, emailing bookkeeper@AKSE.org, or in-person at the time of first attendance at a resumed indoor event.


Owing to the continuing surge in COVID-19 and the high positivity rate in Delaware, the Executive Board has decided to postpone AKSE Academy. Stay tuned for announcements when the details for the rescheduled event have been decided.


Friday, January 14 at 4 p.m. -- MinchaKabbalat Shabbat, Torah reading (1st Aliyah), D'var Torah by Faith Brown

Saturday, January 15 at 6 p.m. -- Ma'ariv, Havdalah

Monday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. -- Mincha service (Tu Bishvat)

Wednesday, January 19 -- "History of Jewish Thought" class taught by Rabbi Saks - class 6 p.m.Ma'ariv 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 20 -- Parsha & Pizza (Zoom only): class 6 p.m.Ma'ariv 7 p.m.

Connection to all AKSE virtual 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


13 SHEVAT 5782
Candle lighting 4:42 P.M.

Sidrah of the Week
Ex. 13:17 - 17:16
Stone - p. 366
Havdalah 5:44 P.M.

Judges 4:4 - 5:31
Stone - p. 1152


What Have You Done for Me Lately?
Was B'nei Yisrael complaining right after being saved at the sea a simple case of "what have you done for me lately" or is there a deeper explanation? View Rabbi Saks' sermon here.


This week we observe the Yahrzeit of the following individuals:

January 14 - Rebecca Segal

January 15 - Mark I. Cheitlin, Dora Smith    

January 16 - Ester Kopolovic

January 17 - Nettie Esbitt, Harry I. Friedman, Ignac Moskovic, Ida R. Simon

January 18 - Bernard Jacobs, Katherine Walles

January 19 - Benjamin Robert Zukoff

January 20 - Jacob A. Weinstein

May their memory be for a blessing.

Tuesday, January 18 at 4:00 PM

Join us for a weekly Mincha service (Ma'ariv as well this week). The services are now outdoors in the Siegel JCC parking lot (past the pool). Masks are required.

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 so that we can ensure a minyan and let you know of any changes due to the weather.

Marty and Ed Zukoff will be attending this Tuesday to recite Kaddish for the Yahrzeit of grandson and nephew Benjamin Zukoff at the Ma’ariv service. Please make an effort to attend so that we can have a minyan. Please note the special start time of 4:00 p.m. this week.
Wednesdays - Class 6 PM; Ma'ariv 7 PM

Rabbi Saks’ Zoom history class is based on the lecture series “Jewish Intellectual History” by David Ruderman of the University of Pennsylvania.

An examination of how leading Jewish thinkers have attempted to reconcile Jewish belief with the reality of Jewish life.
See Zoom connection info above.

If you missed any previous lectures, you can link to recordings of them here:
Lecture 3 The Italian Ghetto
Lecture 5 Baruch Spinoza
Lecture 7 Heinrich Graetz
Lecture 12 Zionism

Urge Your Senators to Support Iron Dome Funding Now!

More than 4,000 rockets were fired into Israel this past May by the Iranian proxy Hamas, while Iran-backed Hezbollah’s stockpile of 150,000 missiles threatens Israel’s north. The Iron Dome system intercepted 90% of the rockets fired in May, saving both Israeli and Palestinian lives, and ensuring the conflict remained small and localized.

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to add emergency supplemental funding to replenish the Iron Dome system in September 2021 by a vote of 420-9. The funding has bipartisan support in the Senate. It is time to ensure passage of the funding to replenish Iron Dome supply as quickly as possible.

Several national Jewish organizations have combined forces in a final push for passage of Iron Dome funding. You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to stand with Israel. To easily take action, click here.
Shofar header
The January 2022 SHOFAR is available online.

Office Hours

Our office hours are 10 AM to 2 PM Monday to Thursday (except holidays). 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).
Rabbi Saks Available for In-Person Meetings

Rabbi Saks welcomes meetings in our new building. To schedule a meeting, please contact him at stevensaks5@gmail.com or 302-494-7928 or through the shul office.
Bring Your Shoes to Shul

Our successful shoe recycling project continues at our new location. Clean out your closets and start looking under your bed for gently used shoes. Every pair you recycle means shoes for those in need, extra funds for us, and less landfill waste. A triple mitzvah! See details here.
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Gift Cards Available
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Please see details here.
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