Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
11 March 2021 - 27 Adar 5781
Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
This Shabbat is the last of 4 special Shabbatot before Pesah. It falls on the Shabbat before the month of Nisan begins. The special maftir aliya for Shabbat HaHodesh (Exodus 12:1-20) described the night of the 1st Passover-- called by our tradition Pesach Mitzrayim. The people are commanded to eat the Passover offering (pesach) with unleavened bread (matza) and bitter herbs (maror), to paint the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the doorpost, and to prepare for redemption. Reading this passage reminds us that it is time to get our Passover preparations into full gear-- make sure to authorize me to sell your hametz, clean your house, buy your food, register for the community Zoom seder... Make sure to read the section of my 5781 Passover Guide (linked below) about what to do when Passover begins on Saturday night.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
A Message from our President

This past week you all received a letter in the mail about this year's Shomrei Kehillah Awards Celebration to be held virtually on April 11th. This event gives us an opportunity to honor a group of individuals who personify the character of our community and have helped to make Congregation Agudat Achim what it is. This is also an important fundraiser for our community, helping to keep our congregation financially viable. Back in January, when we chose the date for this important event (which was postponed several times last year due to the pandemic) we understood that it came right on the tail of our Mishloach Manot project. At that time, we sent an email to you to let you know that this was going to be the case. In that email, we explained that there is no obligation to participate, but if you wish to, you can participate as a Shomrei Kehillah honorary committee member and defer payment until May. There is no charge to attend the event itself, so we hope that all of you will join us to honor these dedicated individuals.

Jackie Rowen
Birthdays: Ellin Friedman, Arlene Mendelson, Carl Englebardt, Luann Goldner, Ronald Ehrlich, Amanda Middleton, Mary Greenfield, Tiara Jaron-Borysewicz, Ari Kaufman, Elias Woods, Phyllis Ritterband, Barbara Rowen

Anniversaries: Rebecca and Eric Montijo, Adrienne and Doug Klein
Yahrzeits: David Agdish, Boris Benjamin, Libby Elson, Dinah Mishkin, Eric Wuerzburger, Wihelm Frisch, Harry Kintz, Julie Mendelson, Dorothy Weiner, Frieda Oshinsky, Harold David Sondheimer, Gertrude Goodman Goldstein, Samuel Karp, Murray Packer, Sidney Engel, Shelley Fyman, Paul Garber, Bella Jaroszewski, Robert Shaller, Molly Sher
We have learned with great sorrow the passing of long-time congregant Barry Kline, beloved husband of Carol Kline on Sunday, March 7. Our condolences go out to the Kline family.

Imek & Pola Metzger welcomed twin great-grandchildren Everest James and Eden Lily, this past week, to proud parents Alex and Vanessa. Mazel tov to the Metzger Family!
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services.
Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Joe Shiang, Rachael Besser
Daveners/Service Leaders: Dan Mayer, Elie Moses
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Steve Schmidt
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
Tonight: Back to the Basics Holy Times II
New Kabbalat Shabbat Time
This Friday afternoon, our Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat service will be (for the last time this season) exactly 60 minutes before candle lighting, at 4:40p, on Zoom.
Beginning next week, and remaining constant throughout the summer, Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be at 5:30p.
Final PJ Library Pajama Havdalah Event of the Season: This Saturday Night 13 March
Cooking with Rise' and Barbara this Sunday
Modern Hebrew Class starts this Tuesday at 6:00p
Next opportunity to seek
20 March at 9:00a
Passover Events
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.

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.
Hamentashen for sale!

$5.00 per pack
(regular only)
Gluten free are sold out! 
Stop by the synagogue today (Thursday)
from 2:00-3:00
or contact Risè at
to arrange a pick-up
While supplies last!

Ongoing Events
Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer
Next Class 9 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. The teaching from last from week, Tuesday (9 March) can be found here. 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

Back to the Basics: Holy Times                                                                                      
Thursday 18 March at 7:30p
A Three-Part Exploration with Rabbi Rafi Spitzer
Following up on the "Back to the Basics: Living a Jewish Life" class from this past November, which covered Shabbat, Kashrut, and Tzedakah (and which can be viewed on the CAA website), Rabbi Spitzer will continue with a survey of the Jewish Calendar and Holiday Cycle. The first class (4 March) will be an overview of how the calendar came to be, is it lunar, is it solar, and the features of the calendar. The second class (11 March) will be a discussion of the themes of our fall holidays, and the final class (18 March), just a week before Passover, will cover the spring holidays. This class is open to learners at all levels, including members and nonmembers, people of other faiths or of no faith, prospective Jews-by-choice, Hebrew school dropouts, teens and adults, and those with some knowledge who would like to learn more.

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 noon.

CAA Book Club
Meets on the Second Wednesday of each month, at 12:00p Next Meeting 17 March

CAA Men’s Club Torah Study
Meets twice monthly on Sundays at 7:40p; Next Meeting 14 March
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
COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Information

The CVS in Schenectady County that will provide the vaccinations is located at the CVS in Glenville, 259 Saratoga Road. Scheduling will start on February 9, with appointments starting on February 11. People can go to or call CVS customer service at 1-800-746-7287 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in vaccinations without an appointment will not be provided.
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]  []