Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
8 April 2021 - 26 Nissan 5781
Parashat Shemini 
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
Today we observe Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. How can we truly honor the tragedy that the Shoah was and is? Rabbi David Golinkin of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem believes that we should look to our traditional Jewish responses to tragedy, and therefore declared Yom HaShoah a fast day in 1984. He shows just three other examples (of many) of fast days instituted in memory of terrible communal catastrophes. One is an earthquake that struck the Land of Israel on the 23rd day of Shevat in the year 749 killing thousands of Jews and Arabs. We have evidence from the Cairo Geniza that the rabbis of the day declared the 23rd day of Shevat to be the Earthquake Fast. A second example is the fast that was declared by Rabbenu Tam and was observed by all the communities of France, the English Isles and the Rhineland, to mark the 20th day of Sivan 1171 when 32 Jews were burned at the stake in Blois, France, as the result of the first blood libel in continental Europe. The third one was also on the 20th day of Sivan, which was the date of the beginning of the Chmielnicki massacres which destroyed a large number of Jewish communities in Poland and murdered perhaps as many as 50,000 Jews - the worst murders of Jews until the Holocaust in our own day. Rabbi Golinkin reasons that if Jews fasted for loss of life in an earthquake and fasted for 32 Jews burned at the stake in France and fasted for 50,000 Jews murdered by rampaging Cossacks, if we still fast for the destruction of the Temple that took place 2000 years ago, surely we can fast for the loss of six million of our people that took place within the past 100 years. Do consider fasting today in memory of the six million.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
Message from our President

This coming Sunday is Congregation Agudat Achim’s Shomrei Kehillah awards program. About this time last year, the Shomrei committee made the difficult decision to postpone the originally scheduled brunch until the pandemic was under control. During the long wait we lost our dear Sylvia z”l and Dara and Eli went off to college. None of us imagined it would be a year before we would finally be holding the event, albeit virtually. This past year hasn’t changed anything about our honorees commitment to our community and we can show them our appreciation with a full zoom room for the awards program. Registration is required to receive the zoom link. You can register here, or call Josh in the office for assistance. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you all on Sunday!

Shabbat Shalom,

Jackie Rowen
With our Members
Birthdays: Peter Berry, Robyn Blackmore, Cara Korn, David Goldstein, Aviva Spektor, Tammy Weingarten, Mitchell Wohl, Ryan Weiss, Richel Blackmore, Abram Brown, Annette Keen, Peter Kudan, Michael Luft-Weissberg

Anniversaries: Karen and Allan Pearlman (belated April 1, 2021)
Yahrzeits: Valentina Sitnikova, Robert Woodlief, Harry Abramson, Frieda Fein, Ida Rubin, Marguerite Westheimer, Edward Mendelson, Harold Bidwell, Franklyn Foote, June Palmer, Richard Fadem, Gerson M. Sidewater, Phillip Glick, Gertrude Harrison

Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's
Shabbat services and Yom Tov services:
Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Howard Mittleman, Steve Schmidt, Art Friedson, Murray Jaros
Daveners/Service Leaders: Rabbi Rafi Spitzer, Alexandra Schmidt, Dan Mayer, Art Friedson
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Murray Jaros
COVID-19 Compliance Guarantor/Shamash: Sharon Wohl, Barby Harris
Other Participants: Roberta Steiner, Aryeh Korevaar, Barrie Handelman, Mark Handelman, Paul Zonderman, Bonnie Cramer, Steve Cramer, Jeffrey Handelman, Edith Kliman, Bob Weissberg, Ellen Carpenter, Ken Carpenter, Michael Karp, Anita Merims, Rabbi Spitzer
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!
Schedule for the Week
Summer Minyan Schedule
Our evening 7:15p service each night except Tuesday night will be Mincha, rather than Maariv, beginning 5 April. Remaining constant throughout the summer, Friday Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be at 5:30p, on Zoom.

Shomrei Kehillah Celebration
Please join us virtually on Sunday, April 11 at 1:00 pm as we honor six very special congregants at our Shomrei Kehillah Awards Celebration! It is our wish to have as many people as possible attend this very special occasion. There is not charge to attend, but registration is required. The invitation is here. A big mazel tov goes to

Volunteers of the Year: Sylvia z"l and Herb Winer and Anita Merims

Tzameret Award for Youth Leadership: Eli Feret and Dara Weingarten

Woman of Valor (awarded by Women's Network): Mishka Luft

Shofar Award (awarded by Men's Club): Howard Wohl
SJCC Jewish Film with Rabbi Spitzer
Get Ready for an
Exciting Evening!
More Adult Education Offerings
Click the buttons below to read information on each upcoming event!
Yom Hashoah Information
Thursday, April 8
12:00-1:00 PM Eastern
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.

School Lag B'omer
Campground Celebration program
Thursday, 29 April, 4:30p
In Person! More Information next Week!

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

Excellent Mitzvah Opportunity for you and your children!

The JCC is having an informal reunion with former
JCC schlichim on the 11 April at 12p for a half hour.

This is an excellent way for your children to learn about Israel

You must register to get the link.

Ongoing Events
Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer
Next Class 13 April
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..

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

Adult Hebrew Classes with Zipporah Harris
Please become part of this group of learners!
Next series of classes; April 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

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 11 April
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.
New Mi Sheberach List
 Prayers for Healing
We are starting a new list for April/May/June.
Use the button below to add someone to the list.

Men's Club and Women's network information
In the Community

Young Families Storytime with Leslea Newman

Sunday, April 18 | 4:00 PM

Join NextDor and PJ Library for a young families virtual Storytime featuring Leslea Newman. This will be an opportunity for young families to meet and listen to an award-winning story and engage in a discussion with a published PJ Library author.

The story will be Welcoming Elijah. Families are encouraged to have their PJ library copy with them to follow along.

Use the button below to Register.
Beyond the Huppah: Creating the Jewish Marriage you Want

The program begins April 21st. All are welcome, including LGBTQ+ and interfaith couples. 
What: A six-session virtual program that will provide tools to solidify a strong partnership and explore different ways of creating a Jewish home. Facilitated by Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney Cohen and Matt Boney Cohen of BASE Boston. 
Topics will include: Communication and Couplehood, Decision-Making, Money, Sexuality, Jewish Ritual, and Building a Jewish Family. 
When: Wednesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 PM ET in the comfort of your living room! Since our program moved to zoom, we’ve had couples from all over North America join this program. Wherever you find yourself in the world, you are warmly welcome. 
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]  []