Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
21 March 2021 - 5 Nissan 5781
Parashat Vayikra
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
At the opening of the Book (and parashah) of Vayikra/Leviticus, we hear, “Vayikra el Moshe,” God called to Moses. Rashi suggests that this calling is an expression of affection or love (chibah), like that of the angels in Isaiah’s vision of God’s throne room: “each one would call to the other, kadosh kadosh kadosh” (Isa. 6:3).

Yet this exchange is more than just calling – it’s giving and receiving. As the Targum Yonatan translates “each one would call to the other” (vekara zeh el zeh) into Aramaic, “each one received from the other,” (umkablin dein min dein).

The mystical Tikkunei Zohar (19) suggests that the angels’ mutual receiving is actually instigated by human beings, when we ourselves extend support to one another. For Isaiah reports that “the doorposts of the throne room shook from the voice of the calling” (6:4). That voice is the voice of Israel, calling to one another: asking for aid, receiving it, and returning it. Our need and suffering can shake God’s innermost chamber and inspire the angels—so too, our mutual aid and solidarity.

How do we reach out to exchange our care and love? It could be through tzedakah and other material support. It could be through sharing insights of Torah. It could be through praying for one another’s well-being and success.
The recipient of such care is not the only one who benefits. For of course, the opportunity to offer care is also a blessing to the one who offers.

We might even dare to suggest that when God calls to Moses, it is God too who needs Moses’s support (Midrash Exodus Rabbah, Shemot 2). If God can express affection and love by asking for help, then so can we. Let’s not hesitate to reach out and let others know we’re hurting. When we call to one another, we receive from one another, and we give to one another. Love and blessing circulate in both the physical and the spiritual realms, and the world can go on existing.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
Birthdays: Judy Ben-Ami, Aviva Hausler, Rose Westheimer, Grady Goldner, Nava Kaufman, Lawrence Routenberg, Cathy Winter, Daniel Korevaar, Mikhail Borodulin, Sandra Haber, Aviva Hallenstein, Ahbra Kaufman, Louis Gold, Bruce Trachtenberg
Anniversaries:  Ellen and Eric Kerness, Valentina and Yefim Khirge, Kristina and Emily Centonze
Yahrzeits: Saul Axelrod, Leon Levine, Mickie Becker, Charles Halpern, Tamara Kreinine Rubins, Helen Unger, Mary Glick, Elmer Wallach, Leonard Winer, Barbara Sevits-Lewi, Richard Braiman, Elsie Newman, Jack Beirach, Marjorie Drooz, Max Goldman, Cantor Irving Schock, Bennett Woll, Hugo Sternlicht
We have learned with great sorrow of the passing of Sharon Kasman, wife of Rabbi Robert Kasman. Our condolences go to the entire Kasman family.

We have learned with great sorrow of the passing of Cantor Jodi Schechtman of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany. Our condolences go to the entire Schechtman family and our friends at Beth Emeth.
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services.
Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Howard Mittleman, Alexandra Schmidt
Daveners/Service Leaders: Joe Shiang, Howard Mittleman, Steve Schmidt
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Dan Mayer
COVID-19 Compliance Guarantor/Shamash: Sharon Wohl
Contributors to our Security Fund, Attendees…“…those who give funds for heat and light, wine for Kiddush and Havdalah, bread to the wayfarer and charity to the poor, and all those who devotedly involve themselves with the needs of this community… May the Holy Blessed One reward them, remove sickness from them, heal them, and forgive their sins. May God bless them by prospering all their worthy endeavors, and let us say: Amen.”
Would you like to see your name on this list?
Get in touch with Howie Mittleman or Rabbi Spitzer!
Passover Is Coming!
Don't forget to authorize Rabbi Spitzer to sell your Hametz, donate "Wheat Money/Maot Hittin," and read Rabbi's 5781 Passover Guide.
Schedule for the Week
New Kabbalat Shabbat Time
Beginning this week, and remaining constant throughout the summer, Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be at 5:30p, on Zoom.

Next opportunity to seek
20 March at 9:00a
Special Passover Storytime
Passover Seder Information
We would like as many children as possible to recite the Four Questions at this Seder. Please contact Rabbi Spitzer and let him know if your child will participate
More Adult Education Offerings
Click the buttons below to read information on each upcoming event!
School Information
Click here for a schedule of classes for the Elementary Grades.
Click here for a calendar for the school year.
Click here for a single page calendar of the year.

New School Passover program coming Thursday, 25 March, 4:30p

To read our latest school newsletter click here.

Jews who influence sports today
Our one shot class on 18 April at 4:30p will be on the topic will be The Jews who influence sports today. By this point most of us have heard of the great Jews who influenced sports in the past like Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz, Dick Savitt and Marshall Goldberg. But what about the Jewish Athletes of today? Join us on April 18 to find out.
Open to 6th - 12th grade

As You Like It Catering
Meals to Go

Catering has brisket and roasted salmon entrees as well as pecan pie, chocolate frosted chocolate cake and gluten free cookies available for sale.

Please contact Rise' at with any inquiries about food for sale.

Arrangements can be made for pick up on an individual basis.
Ongoing Events
Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer
Next Class 30 March
Rabbi Spitzer teaches a class on the weekly Torah portion on Tuesdays from 12:30p – 1:30p on Zoom. The link is on the CAA Online Programming Google Doc. If you missed this week's class (16 March) on Parashat Vayikra, the teaching we learned together can be found online. If you are interested in exploring the weekly Parashah please attend. All are welcome. Rabbi Spitzer invites you to call or email with your comments or thoughts.

L'chu N'ran'nah Shabbat morning spiritual seeking 9-9:45a
  • Iyyun Tefilah/ Learner's Service: 17 Apr, 19 Jun
  • Musical Psukei Dzimra: 20 Mar, 15 May

Adult Hebrew Classes with Zipporah Harris
Please become part of this group of learners!
Next series of classes: March 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27; and May 4, 11, 25
6:00-7:00 PM on Zoom
$10 per class, payable directly to Zipporah
Open to New and Returning Students!
Born in Israel, Zipporah is an experienced teacher who has taught Hebrew at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels for over 30 years. The class covers reading, writing, and conversation. Please become part of this group of learners! Classes. If you are interested in joining, write to Zipporah at

Scholars-in-Your-Residence: Judaism & Science                                         
25 Mar; 1 Apr 2021
Join us as four scholars speak with us about the intersection of Judaism and science and a review of the historical relationship between the two areas of study. All sessions will be held on Zoom immediately after minyan in the same Zoom room.

Back to the Basics: Introduction to Prayer Book Hebrew for Adults, taught by Rabbi Spitzer
Sundays 9:30-10:30am
Join Rabbi Spitzer and the Adult Education Committee as we present an introductory course for Prayerbook (liturgical) Hebrew. Registration for this course is now closed. Class dates for registered students 18, 25 Apr; 2, 9, 23, 30 May; 6, 13 June (all Sundays, 9:30 am – 10:30 am)

CAA Healthy Living Group
Every Wednesday on Zoom at 10a.

CAA Book Club
Meets on the Second Wednesday of each month, at 12:00p Next Meeting 14 April

CAA Men’s Club Torah Study
Meets twice monthly on Sundays at 7:40p; Next Meeting TBA
Links to Religious Services
Siddur Supplement
Until further notice, we are using the full Siddur Sim Shalom during weekday and Shabbat services. This version has both Shabbat and Weekday prayer services (whereas the "Slim Shalom," which only contains Shabbat services are typically used in the sanctuary). Rabbi Spitzer has made the following four prayers accessible.

We would like to make everyone’s experience of the service at home as barrier-free as possible so please get in touch with us if there are other things that we can do to increase ease of access.
Men's Club and Women's network information
In the Community
Staff Emails
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer,, (518) 348-9478
Joshua Cooper-Ginsburg, Executive
Jack Mintzer, Education Director:
Chris Parisi, Administrative Assistant:
Rosalie Fadem, Bookkeeper:
Rise' Routenberg, Catering:  
Board Emails
Jackie Rowen, President:
Steve Schmidt, Program VP:
Jeff Shapiro, Youth VP:
Neal Shapiro, Treasurer:
Our Sponsors
[518-393-9211]  []