November 28, 2020
12 Kislev 5781

Shalom AKSE Congregants and Friends of AKSE:

The Torah portion for this Shabbat is Vayetze. In his sermon, Rabbi Saks describes Jacob's cycle of bad choices, and how we can do better.

On Monday our congregation made a momentous and exciting choice--to approve a lease on the house on the immanuel Church (IC) property at 2414 Pennsylvania Ave. The lease has now been formally signed. December will be a month of transition, as we move from our transitional home at CBS to our new permanent home. So, we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We thank CBS for their hospitality during our transition, and we look forward to writing the next chapter in the AKSE story.

For those who have not seen the IC House, we have provided a few photos below. Any use of the facility will, of course, be in keeping with protection from the pandemic as long as it is a threat. Regular gatherings in the house itself will likely await post-pandemic times, but we may make use of a large social hall in the neighboring church for some socially distanced activities. Stay tuned.

Attendance at our in-person socially distanced outdoor Mincha services continues to be strong. We plan to hold the services every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. through December outside the Siegel JCC, weather permitting. See details below. Please contact Rabbi Saks to let him know you plan to attend.
You won't want to miss two special Zoom lectures by Cantor Redfern covering great songwriters and composers of Jewish music of the mid- and late-20th century--Sunday, Dec. 6 and 13 at 5 p.m. See details below.

Chanukah is only two weeks away. Zoom events include a Chanukah history class on Dec. 10, A Chanukah celebration on Dec. 12, and menorah lighting every night. See details in the December Shofar, which is now available online here.

Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom!



Friday, November 27 at 3:45 p.m. -- Kabbalat Shabbat, Torah reading by Cantor Redfern (1st Aliyah), D'var Torah

Saturday, November 28 at 5:45 p.m. -- Ma'ariv, Havdalah

Wednesday, December 2 -- Parsha & Pizza - 6 p.m. class, 6:45 p.m. Ma'ariv

Thursday, December 3 -- History class--Jewish Life in Christian and Muslim Lands - 6 p.m. class, 6:45 p.m. Ma'ariv

Connection to all of these 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

Tuesdays, December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 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 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 - NOVEMBER 27 & 28, 2020        12 KISLEV 5781
Candle lighting - 4:21 P.M.

Sidrah of the Week
Genesis 28:10 - 32:3
Stone - p. 144

Havdalah - 5:21 P.M.

Hosea 12:13 - 14:10
Stone - p. 1140


Breaking the Cycle
Why do we repeatedly find ourselves in the same painful situation? How can we avoid these painful situations in the future? View Rabbi Saks' sermon here.


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

The Congregation, Rabbi and Cantor express nichum aveilim to Jim & Sharon Marshall upon the passing of Jim’s sister, Gloria Singer, from Cleveland, Ohio. “May the mourners
be consoled among all who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.”


This week we observe the Yahrzeit of the following individuals:

November 27 - Joseph Cohen, Sidney Hessan, William Plotzker, Israel Slogoff

November 28 - Rose Gainen, Marilyn Harwick, Betty Kreshtool, Pola Waserstein, Alexander Vega

November 29 - Morris Eisenman, Pauline Brown Rogasky, Sadie Sacks

November 30 - Benjamin D. Barshay, David David, Gilbert Kates, Max Raskow,
Helen Weiner, George Weinstein

December 1 – William Bronstein, Naomi Goldstein, Stephen Novick, Irene Ofter,
Bernard Panitz, Isadore Teder

December 2 – Tess Hanig

December 3 – Theodore Aber, Marvin Balick, Laura Marshall, Irving Weiss

May their memory be for a blessing.

Two musical lectures by Cantor Yehoshua Redfern

1) Sunday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Velvel Pasternak: Famous Publisher of Jewish Musical Legacy

“BEHIND THE MUSIC: Stories, Anecdotes, Articles and Reflections” by Velvel Pasternak, Tara Publications, Cedarhurst, N.Y. 2017, 299 pages.
For all of us privileged to know and love Velvel Pasternak (and those two categories are inseparable), his book BEHIND THE MUSIC is an enthralling reading experience to be savored.
With humor, pathos, and vivid reflections, he provides us with an intimate glimpse into the world of authentic Hasidic music. This is a volume for both scholar and lay person, for both musicologist and niggun appreciator. It provides us not only with a treasure trove of information, but with the desire to listen with love and newfound appreciation to the melodies Velvel has devoted his life to both explicating and popularizing.
 BEHIND THE MUSIC is guaranteed to leave you humming, singing and even dancing with thoughtful appreciation.
Professor Eli Schochet
Academy of Jewish Religion, Los Angeles

Cantor Ben Tsiyon Schenker: Famous Singer and Composer of Chassidic Melodies

Ben Zion Shenker was one of the most gifted and inspired composers of Hassidic  niggunim  and other related “operas” that became a feature of the Modzitzer dynasty’s tradition.
"Milken Archive of Jewish Music"

2) Sunday, December 13 from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Cantor Seymour Rockoff: Famous Cantor, Lyricist, Composer

Funny, Brilliant lyricist, and wonderful pianist and brilliant teacher of our Prayers, Torah and Talmud. 

Cantor Sherwood Goffin: Famous Cantor, Composer, Entertainer

Cantor for over 50 years in one synagogue. Able to project a melody from another prayer or from the Bible, to a prayer in the K'dusha of Musaf where everyone in the congregation could sing and transform their spirit to our Jewish roots.
Cantor Redfern will give a lecture with highlights of each person's work and sing a few melodies from their compositions.

Connect via Zoom, 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

House on Immanuel Church Property - 2414 Pennsylvania Ave.
Taught by Rabbi Steven Saks via Zoom
Thursdays at 6 p.m. (30-45 min. sessions)

If you missed recent sessions, you can view recordings of them at these links:

This history course focuses on the encounter of a rabbinic civilization shaped centuries earlier in the Near East with the emerging new social, political, economic and intellectual environments of medieval Islam and Christianity. We will explore how these three major Western religions interacted with and influenced each other between the 7th and 17th centuries.
Topics include: 

Jewish Life Under Islam 
Saadia Gaon 
Spanish Jewry 
Christianity and the Crusades 
Medieval Jewish-Christian debates 
Kabbalah and Safed 
Shabbetai Zevi 
Eastern European Judaism 

Based on the teachings of Professor David Ruderman of the University of Pennsylvania.  See his bio here.

Shofar header
The December 2020 SHOFAR is now available online.

Procedures for Accessing CBS Building

Congregation Beth Shalom is now providing access to their building for volunteers and congregants who have a need to do so. They have established procedures that are detailed in a document here.
Listing of Community Resources

A listing of community resources to help you weather the pandemic may be viewed here. Thanks to Gail Weinberg for assembling it.
Office Hours

Please note that, although our office administrator and bookkeeper are working from home, they do have "office hours." From 10 AM to 3 PM Monday to Thursday and 10 AM to 1 PM Friday they are available and will respond promptly to emails (  and and phone messages (302-762-2705).
Shop at Amazon and Earn Money for AKSE

Visit the AKSE website and scroll down to the "Shop at Amazon" link. Once this link is clicked, any purchases you make from Amazon will  earn AKSE 4%-10% of your purchase total! See the AKSE website  for further instruction. Let your friends and family know how easily they too can raise funds for AKSE!
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Please see details here.
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