Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
22 April 2021 - 10 Iyar 5781
Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Did you know infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples in the U.S. today? As I’ve written about before, it’s time to share to help others realize the far-reaching effects and consequences of turning a blind eye to a medical diagnosis. If we want to change the conversation, we need to talk about the financial impact of infertility. Lack of financial access has prohibited my ability to seek treatment and/or other options. If you’d like to read my story of infertility, it was recently featured in the Gazette. 

This was also a week where I thought a lot about Justice. In this week’s Torah portion, we read: “לֹא־תַעֲשׂ֥וּ עָ֙וֶל֙  בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֔ט לֹא־תִשָּׂ֣א פְנֵי־דָ֔ל וְלֹ֥א תֶהְדַּ֖ר פְּנֵ֣י גָד֑וֹל בְּצֶ֖דֶק תִּשְׁפֹּ֥ט עֲמִיתֶֽךָ׃You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly.” Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg wrote “When the Chauvin verdict came out, I saw a few rabbinic colleagues post quoting Deut 16:20, Tzedek tzedek tirdof— justice, justice you shall pursue approvingly, noting that they felt that the verdict had achieved that measure. When you look at the context of the verse, you see the lines just before it talk not about basic accountability for one racist cop whose lynching video went viral, whose act of murder ignited the world and forced the most baseline measures of accountability to be taken. The verses talk about setting up just systems. Appointing magistrates and officials who govern all the people with due justice. Not judging unfairly— ever. Showing no partiality, no bias, whether implicit or explicit, ever. Taking no bribes—and, presumably, planting no toy guns on slain children, planting no drugs on people in traffic stops.” This is what it means not to render an unfair decision-- it is not about one trial, but about the system of justice.
May we all work together to create a more just world.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
Message from our President

This past Shabbat as I looked around the sanctuary I could comfortably say that almost every, if not every adult in attendance had been vaccinated. It made me think how lucky our community is to be able to make that statement. However, with that being said, I can’t stress enough that we should still be following the safety guidelines issued by NYS and our reopening task force. It’s not for us, but for those who have not been as fortunate as we have been to have access to vaccines. There was an interesting article in the New York Times “The Morning” the other day that said “It’s true that experts believe vaccinated people should still sometimes wear a mask, partly because it's a modest inconvenience that further reduces a tiny risk - and mostly because it contributes to a culture of mask wearing. It is the decent thing to do when most people still aren’t vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated, a mask is more of a symbol of solidarity than anything else “. Let’s send a message to our community telling them that regardless of their vaccine status they are welcome and will be protected.

Shabbat Shalom,

Jackie Rowen
With our Members
Birthdays: Samantha Engelmyer, Rise’ Routenberg, Paula Yablon, Eugene Borodulin, William Friedman,
Andrew Gavens, Martin Wakesberg, Eric Kerness

Anniversaries: No anniversaries this week
Yahrzeits: Frank Cohen, Betty Goldstein, Bertha Sanders, Sarah Strichman, Ida Mendelson,
Mildred (Malka) Herman, Celia Lefkowitz, Solomon Siegel, Jerome Cohen, Sidney Levine, Beno Sternlicht,
Pauline Gliner, Eve Wasser
Mazel tov to the Harrow Family on the B’nai Mitzvah of Lily Harrow, Ryan Harrow, and Joshua Harrow, children of Tamara and Richard Harrow!
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services :
Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Dan Mayer, Elianna Moses, Howie Mittleman
Daveners/Service Leaders: Steve Schmidt, Elianna Moses
Service Coordinator/Gabbai: Barby Harris
COVID-19 Compliance Guarantor/Shamash: Sharon Wohl
Other Participants: Anita Merims, Jackie Rowen, Edith Kliman, Henry Skoburn, Neal Shapiro, Roberta Steiner, Mark Handelman, Howie Mittleman, Logan Shapiro
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.

Get Ready for an
Exciting Evening! Book Discussion Starts Tonight
Interfaith Earth Day
this Sunday
New Meals to Go Listings Coming Soon

.As You Like It Catering is busy filling the Meals-to-Go freezers once again!
The entire list of offerings will appear in next week's announcements.
Perfect for your Mother's Day or Shavuot table or delicious anytime!
Stay tuned for contact information.

Shavuot Information
Save the Date
Shtetlers, a documentary that traces the secret story of small Jewish towns in the former Soviet Union where traditional Jewish life continued for decades after disappearing everywhere else, will be made available to Congregation Agudat Achim in early June. Katya Ustinova, Russian born film director who lives in New York City, will join us for a Zoom discussion of her film on Sunday, June 6, at 7 p.m.

Don’t miss this adult education opportunity, save the date, and watch for registration information.
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.

School Lag B'omer
Campground Celebration program
Thursday, 29 April, 4:30p
In Person!
Click here to see the solo email that went out yesterday
for more details.

Homemade Bagels with 
Rise's class.
Homemade Bagels with
Rise's class.
Ongoing Events
Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer
Next Class 27 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.

Tot Shabbat Next Date April 28 at 4:30p  
Mark your calendars for all of the upcoming Tot Shabbat Programs 28 April; 14, 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
  • 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 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 12 May

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.
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]  []