Congregation Agudat Achim
Weekly Announcements
10 June 2021 - 30 Sivan 5781
Parashat  Korach
Rabbi Rafi Spitzer -- President Jackie Rowen
Words from our Rabbi
My teacher and friend, Dr. Rachel Rosenthal, asked the question: “When is it appropriate to challenge a leader?”
She explains that this week’s parashah, Korah, is “perhaps the most dramatic attempt to answer this question in the Torah… At first glance, the answer would seem to be that Moses should never be challenged. As God’s chosen leader, the Israelites should submit to his authority in all cases. After all, things end badly for those who do not follow this course, as the story of Korah shows…” And then she brings another example of a challenge to Moshe’s power, “However, 11 chapters after the story of Korah, the Torah tells another story of people who come forward to challenge Moses’s authority. Here too, there is a complaint about a particular distribution of power in society. However, where the story of Korah ends in the violent death of hundreds, this narrative ends in Moses granting the correctness of the challenge, with the backing of God. Which story is this? This is the story of the daughters of Tzelofehad...The daughters of Tzelofehad come to Moses with a complaint, just like Korah. They assert that their father’s death has ensured that his family will not inherit a share of the land of Canaan, because their father had only daughters. Far from rebuking these women, Moses takes their question straight to God. God affirms that the sisters should inherit their fathers’ portion, and thus, a new law is made (Num. 27:1–11).”
It is a truly amazing comparison, and can lend great insight into when and how to challenge leadership.
When do you think it is ok to challenge a leader?
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Spitzer
Second Life Cycle Class with Rabbi Spitzer Meets Tonight
We're going back outside on Friday night!
Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Parking Lot, at 5:30pm on Friday, June 11th. The service will last approximately 30-40 minutes and will include the Mincha/afternoon service and a teaching by Rabbi.
As part of returning to normal, we will make the following changes:
Attendees will not be required to wear masks or be socially distant. All attendees are, however, expected to respect and honor other congregants' decision to continue to wear masks for whatever reason they choose, including their own and others' health and safety. Attendees who wish to maintain social distance will be able to do so.
After the service there will be light refreshments and drinks. Refreshments will be individually packaged and drinks will be poured in advance.
If you are able to help prepare the refreshments and/or clean up afterwards, please email Steve Schmidt at - your assistance will be greatly appreciated!
Hope to see you there!
Next Tot Shabbat 11 June
Rabbi Spitzer and family Invite the CAA Community to a Social Gathering
Schenectady's Response to Pandemics "Then and Now"
Keshet Program
LGBTQ Basics
New Rosh Hodesh Program
Join Us for Pride Shabbat
More Adult Education Offerings
Click the buttons below to read information on each
upcoming event!
With our Members
Birthdays: Jeffrey Ellenbogen, Joshua Sternlicht, Adam Weiss, Valerie Brooks, Shirley Cohen, Alice Toll, Nancy Cornell, Yefim Khirge

Anniversaries: Herb & Hildy Reich, David & Joan Brown, Don & Susan Sommer, Carl & Kathy Englebardt, Steven & Susan Jarrett, Adam & Stephanie Weiss, Bill & Ellin Friedman, Bruce & Cherie Bramley
Yahrzeits: Frederick Klein, Morris Krefetz, Seymour Scharf, Madeline Mendelson, Joyce Rhubin, Max Ritterband, Jack Greenberg, Dr. Max Dreyfuss, William Garber, Norman Goodheim, Minnie Krefetz, Abraham Rubinstein, Rita Medvedovskaya, Bill Wallach
Mazel tov to David and Amy Posner on the birth of their grandson to Shai and Miriam! 
Thank You
Thank you to the individuals who participated in this past week's Shabbat services: Yashar koach!
Torah and Haftara Readers: Joe Shiang, Susan Sharfstein, Rabbi Spitzer, Art Friedson
Daveners/Service Leaders: Steve Schmidt, Susan Sharfstein, Rachael Besser
Service Coordinator/Gabbai:  Barby Harris
COVID-19 Compliance Guarantor/Shamash:  Barby Harris
Other Participants: Roberta Steiner, Bob Weissberg, Edith Kliman, Kaitlin Spektor, Barby Harris, Susan Sharfstein, Steve Schmidt, Art Friedson

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

Registration for 2021-2022 school year
is now open for Prek - 7

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

Reyut and Hessed requests for rides
It is now permitted for our volunteers, if they feel comfortable, and are vaccinated and masked, to drive people.  Please feel free once again to either call me, Linda Birnby, at 518-608-6083 or Josh Cooper-Ginsburg at 518-393-9211 to request a ride, and one of us will call the volunteers for you to get you a driver. Remember, the earlier that you call one of us to request a ride, the easier it will be for us to find you a driver.
We are delighted to be able to offer you this service once again!

Parashat Hashavua Class with Rabbi Spitzer Next Class 15 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
Thursdays 3, 10, and 17 June 7:30p
Rabbi Spitzer Teaches a 3-part class on Jewish Life Cycle events                                    
Following up on the "Back to the Basics: Living a Jewish Life" class from this past November, which covered Shabbat, Kashrut, and Tzedakah, and the "Back to the Basics: Holy Times" class from this past March, which was survey of the Jewish calendar and holiday cycle (both series can be viewed on the CAA website), Rabbi Spitzer will continue with an overview of lifecycle events. The first session (3 June) will be called: Jewish Death and Mourning 101, and will cover all the questions you may have about the process of dying, preparing a body for burial, and all the mourning practices. The second session (10 June) will be on "Entering the Covenant" and will be about rituals for welcoming babies, Bnai Mitzvah, and Conversion. And the final session (17 June) will cover Jewish views of sex, love, and marriage, including a portion devoted to LGBTQ approaches in honor of Pride Month. 

Tot Shabbat Next Date 11 June at 4:30p  
Mark your calendars for all of the upcoming Tot Shabbat Programs 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!
New series starts: Tuesdays at 6pm on 15, 22, 29 June; 15, 20, 27 July, and 3 Aug
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 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 July 14

CAA Men’s Club Torah Study
Meets Monthly on Sundays at 7:30p Next Meeting 6/13: Chukat; 7/25: Ekev; 8/15: Ki Tetze
Summer Minyan Schedule
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
 With summer just around the corner, I want to make sure you know about Hadar’s upcoming Summer Learning Retreat, happening online from June 13-17.

We just released this year’s full schedule and faculty list, and there is a lot of exciting Torah on offer. This is a great opportunity for anyone in your community -- family members, friends, first-time learners -- to get a taste of Hadar and deepen their connection to Torah. No prior experience is required.

Registration is on a sliding scale between $36-$360.
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]  []