Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
4 March 2021 - 20 Adar 5781
Parashat Ki Tisa
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg asks this week:
What is God’s true nature? Loving? Just? Jealous? Punitive? Forgiving? There is contradictory evidence in our lives and experiences. Moses experiences the extremes of unparalleled closeness to God out of common concern and communication to Israel. Then he walks on the knife’s edge of divine anger threatening to wipe out Israel for betraying the covenant by worshipping a Golden Calf. This drives Moses to ask God directly “ me Your way that I may know You…” (Exodus 33:13). Moses wants to understand what God’s nature is really like. The initial divine response is that humans can not grasp a true picture of God but only a partial, as it were, side view. But then God offers a self-definition. This became the most influential guideline in the tradition to the true nature of the Divine.
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD! the LORD! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.”
What do you think is God's true nature?

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
A Message from our President

I hope that everyone was able to attend one of our megillah readings last week. We had a super fun zoom family program in the afternoon with costumes, drawings and stories all about who our heroes are. And jokes! Can't forget to mention the knock-knock jokes! Our young megillah readers impressed us all again this year. Many thanks to Jack Mintzer and our school staff for putting together such a wonderful program. This was followed in the evening by a community watch party of the JTS Purim eve Off-Broadway Megillah reading. There were songs (the most hysterical rewrites of our favorite Broadway tunes) and dancing! Our own Rabbi Spitzer brought down the house with his hick-up riddled megillah reading. Thanks to Rabbi and the Ritual Committee for organizing such a fun evening. And lastly, I hope everyone was able to watch the recording of Agudat Achim's wildly inappropriate Purim Shpiel, Mordechai Jones and Temple of Zoom. Thank you to Steve Schmidt and Joe Shaing for writing and organizing that. I'd say all in all, the best virtual Purim eve we've ever had!

Jackie Rowen
Birthdays: Beatrice Anikstein, Steven Greenfield, Michael Gelfand, Eric Kaufman, Mark Handelman, Gerald Hausler, Gilah Moses, Rabbi Rafi Spitzer, Paul Zonderman, Howard Wohl

Anniversaries: None this week
Yahrzeits: Robert Balogh, Sarah Rockower, Goldie Schleistein, Sylvia Tocker, Laura Garber, Barbara Levine, Gustav Mittleman, Salek Rosendorn, Gussie Keen, Morris Rotman, Rhea Keesal, Sidney Friedson, Joseph Moses, Arline LaVallee Winter, Blanche Berk, Goldie Bilgore, Judith Brown, Eli Kaufmen, Sidney Kraut
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services.
Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Rabbi Spitzer, Jeff Spitzer, Steve Schmidt 
Daveners/Service Leaders: Joe Shiang, Elianna Moses
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Murray Jaros
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!
Schedule for the Week
Holy Times Class
starts tonight!
Breaking News!
Come Zoom with Rise' and Barbara for Passover Recipe Ideas
Sunday, March 14 at 2:00 pm
Featuring the preparation of some favorite Passover recipes
Demonstration only this time
Stay tuned for details including featured recipes
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!

New Kabbalat Shabbat Time
This week: 4:32p
Our Friday afternoon Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat service will be exactly 60 minutes before candle lighting, on Zoom.

5 Mar -- 4:32
12 Mar -- 4:40
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.

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.
PJ Library Havdalah next
on 13 March
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. 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.

Shabbat morning programming 9-9:45a
Rabbi Spitzer will lead the following programs on this schedule:

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!
Remaining classes 9 March, 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                                         
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 7 Mar; 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

CAA Men’s Club Torah Study
Meets twice monthly on Sundays at 7:40p; next meeting 21 February 2021
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
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.
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]  []