Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
27 May 2021 - 16 Sivan 5781
Parashat  Naso
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
For my weekly message, in acknowledgement of rising incidents of violent antisemitism around the world and in the US, I’d like to share this essay from journalist and commentator Sarah Tuttle-Singer:
“Hide your Jewish star,” my homeroom teacher whispered to me on the first day of 9th grade. “What?!?” I asked.
“Don’t let them see!” she reached for the silver star dangling in the soft spot at the base of my neck. “I’m Jewish too!,” she whispered, in an accent reppin the shtetl. “It is not safe to let them see!” Them? Oh, you mean the other 9th graders?
Them? The guy with the pink hair and the earring slouched in the corner. The girl who wore silver star stickers over her pimples? Them? The girl with the dreadlocks and hemp necklace. The boy with the glasses? Two feelings swam through me.
1. Chill, this is LA. They play the Hanukkah Song on the radio, and half the school is MIA during the High Holidays.
2. OMG, what a life she must have had to make her afraid, even now, even years after moving to America.
But that was the beginning of a journey for me – a journey where I became That Kind of Jew: I’d wear a chai (in gold) or a magen david (in silver) depending on my eye makeup. I had an Israel Defense Forces T-shirt (olive) and a Coca-Cola in Hebrew T-shirt (red) … But the thing is, even in LA where you can float down Fairfax Boulevard in a sea of yarmulkes, where I swear to you I once heard a guy wearing a big old diamond cross around his neck tell his son to “stop schlepping,” where they sell Hanukkah gelt at the checkout aisle at RiteAid, I know that the tides are shifting, and the old nasty anti semitism scourge of the earth is eking out into our waters. From whispered little cruelties and Inuendo to mayhem and murder. To actual violence against Jewish people. It’s there and it’s real. Check The Times of Israel if you don’t believe me.
But am I scared? No. We are strong — sure, there are a lot of people who want to wipe us off the map but that is never going to happen. Want to know why? Because we got this. Moyshe has left the ghetto, ladies and gentlemen. And the day we start hiding our identity is the day we begin to believe we have something to apologize for…. It’s a lot to take on, I know — it’s a heavy weight to carry, sure. But I would rather shoulder this burden with pride than tuck my Jewish star beneath my shirt with tears in my eyes. We have a chance to be the change we want to see in the world by meeting others who have no idea who we are or what we are about. And if we go out into the world with our shoulders back and a smile in our eyes maybe they’ll see us for who we are: individuals. Wonderful, proud, open, Caring, insistently thriving individuals who grew from the roots of a deep and storied history. And if not? Their loss. We will shine on. Jewish and proud. And you’re damn right the next time I’m in LA - or anywhere else in the US - I’ll be rocking my Jewish Star.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
Message from our President

I hope that you were all able to attend our congregational annual meeting last night. I’m very proud of our accomplishments this past year. Many thanks to all who have played a role, big or small, in keeping our community thriving, vibrant, safe and connected in spite of the challenges we have faced.

Shabbat Shalom,

Jackie Rowen
Death After Dinner
Program Tonight!
Tot Shabbat this
Friday Night!
Last Chance to Register for the Movie SHTETLERS!
Summer Hebrew Class Starting Soon
Men's Club Program
More Adult Education Offerings
Click the buttons below to read information on each
upcoming event!
With our Members
Birthdays: Steven Eiger, Carol Kline, Alexander Goldberg, Aryeh Korevaar, Jaime Hollander, Marsha Jaros, Joann Krefetz, Jerry Kudan, Sam Sylvetsky, Bella Brusilovsky, Kayla Tombank, Sophia Garmil, Betty Hallenstein

Anniversaries: Joanna & Zachary Sanzo, Sam & Sandy Bell, Steven & Laurey Goldberg, Bob & Carole Feinberg, Jonathan & Susan Weil
Yahrzeits: Cecilia Levine, Samuel Pearlman, Wanda Woodlief, Florence Kline, Florence Schwartz, Sadye Hartstein Gardner, Dora Rubenfeld, Leonard Tombank, Irving Jarrett, Anna Mann, Abraham Mendelson, William Schechter, Murray Siegel, Dorothy Gold, Minnie Hoorwitz, Annette Routenberg, Jeanette Silver, Goldie Swerdlow, Jay Palatsky

We have learned with great sorrow of the death on 13 May 2021 of our long-time member and Carrot Festival Co-Founder, Rose Westheimer. Our condolences go to the Westheimer family.

Mazal Tov to Arthur and Debra Friedson on the arrival of their grandson, Harper Sydney Friedson, daughter of Matt and Olivia.
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services: Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Kati Illouz, Aryeh Korevaar, Steve Schmidt
Daveners/Service Leaders: Art Friedson, Alexandra Schmidt
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Barby Harris
COVID-19 Compliance Guarantor/Shamash: Barby Harris
Other Participants: Murray Jaros, Edith Kliman, Sonya Trevizo, Bob Weissberg, Roberta Steiner, Anita Merims, Rachael Besser, Steve Schmidt

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!

School Information

Final Days Schedule

June 3 4:00- 5:00pm 6th grade family program outside with Rabbi Spitzer at the shul.

June 6 last day ceremony
10:30am - 11:3oam
Outdoors at the Shul!
More information coming soon.


New Meals to Go Listings
Catering's Meals to Go
Freezers are Filled

Prepared and packaged frozen food perfect for small gatherings or everyday meals!
Just contact Rise' Routenberg at to place your order and arrange pick up.
Make checks payable to Congregation Agudat Achim 
Or call the office at 518-393-9211 to place a credit card order.

You can see the entire list of offerings by clicking on the button below

Schedule for the Week
Ongoing Events

Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer Next Class 1 June
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 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.

Back to the Basics: Life Cycle Spring Rabbi Spitzer Teaches a 3-part class on Jewish Life Cycle events                                    Thursdays 3, 10, and 17 June 7:30p

Tot Shabbat Next Date 28 May at 4:30p  
Mark your calendars for all of the upcoming Tot Shabbat Programs 28 May; 11, 25 Jun.  Time: 4:30p - 5:05p

L'chu N'ran'nah Shabbat morning spiritual seeking 9-9:45a
  • Iyyun Tefilah/ Learner's Service: 19 Jun

Adult Hebrew Classes with Zipporah Harris
Please become part of this group of learners!
Next series of classes; May 25
New series starts: Tuesdays at 6pm on 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 June; 6, 13, 20, 27 July, and 3 Aug
6:00-7:00 PM on Zoom
Register in advance for this meeting:

$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

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 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 June 9

CAA Men’s Club Torah Study
Meets Monthly on Sundays at 7:30p Next Meeting TBA
Summer Minyan Schedule
Our evening 7:15p service each night except Tuesday night will be Mincha.. Friday Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be at 5:30p, on Zoom.

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.
In the Community
Virtual Day of Action Against Antisemitism

Tomorrow, the American Jewish community will gather and speak with one voice to denounce the spike in antisemitic attacks and demand that our political leaders take steps to ensure the safety of Jews across the country.
Show your solidarity by joining the Thursday, May 27th Day of Action Against Antisemitism at 4:00 PM ET, co-sponsored by our RA, USCJ, American Jewish Committee, ADL, Hadassah, WZOA, Jewish Federations of North America, URJ, CCAR, Reconstructing Judaism, RRA, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
The virtual rally will feature the administration and Congressional leaders, civil rights organizations, inter-faith and community leaders standing up to the alarming increase in antisemitic harassment, assaults and other acts of hate. 
Register at to let us know that you will be attending. Please share this link widely with your communities. By standing together, we demonstrate our unity and our rejection of the hate that is targeting our community.

Book Launch Event
Join us for a discussion & reading with the authors

Thursday, May 27, 2021
10am PT / 1pm ET / 8pm GMT
Moderated by Rabbi Sharon Brous
About the book: 
In this Place Together: a Palestinian's Journey to Collective Liberation
by Penina Eilberg-Schwartz with Sulaiman Khatib
A joint project between an American Jewish writer and Palestinian peace activist Sulaiman Khatib, In this Place Together tells Khatib's story: how he spent ten years of his early life in Israeli jails, and how he came to dedicate his life to joint nonviolent work with Israelis. Ultimately, the project is a broader poetic and narrative meditation on joint nonviolence, on Palestinian-Israeli co-resistance in the face of occupation, and on the complexities of creating a new story. Intimate and political, In this Place Together opens a window to the questions of power, multiple narratives, and imagination that touch on struggles for justice everywhere.

Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, will offer affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at Congregation Agudat Achim on Thursday, June 24, 2021. 

A package of five screenings to identify risk for stroke, heart disease and other chronic conditions will be offered:
  • Carotid artery ultrasound to identify plaque buildup in the carotid arteries, a major risk factor for stroke
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound to identify presence of an enlargement in the largest blood vessel in the body
  • An EKG to identify the presence of atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk for stroke
  • Ultrasound of the lower legs to look for plaque buildup known as peripheral artery disease
  • Ultrasound of the shin bone to identify risk for osteoporosis
These 5 vital screenings are offered for only $149 and take 60-90 minutes to complete. If you register today, you will receive a $10 discount.

Register by calling toll free 1-888-653-6441 or text the word "circle" to 797979.
A Wandering People: Jewish Journeys, Real and Imagined
A new weekly learning series with JTS scholars. Mondays from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET, June 7 to August 23.

As the pandemic surged and forced us into our homes, many of us dreamed with new intensity of being elsewhere. For Jews throughout the ages, the promises and perils of travel have been central to shaping the individual and collective experience. Notions of home and homeland have been redefined by Jewish wandering.

Drawing on literary, spiritual, and historical sources and responses, JTS scholars will explore what happens when Jews—whether by force or voluntarily, whether in reality or in the imagination—travel from one place to another

 You can view all of the sessions here
Staff Emails
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer,, (518) 348-9478
Joshua Cooper-Ginsburg, Executive
Jack Mintzer, Education Director:
Chris Parisi, Administrative Assistant:
Rise' Routenberg, Catering:  
Board Emails
Jackie Rowen, President:
Steve Schmidt, Program VP:
Jeff Shapiro, Youth VP:
Neal Shapiro, Treasurer:
Our Sponsors
[518-393-9211]  []