December 28, 2023 / 16 Tevet 5784

Included in This Newsletter

Shabbat Service - 1/5

Tu b’Shevat Wine & Cheese - 1/19

Weekly D'var Torah

Photos from Longest Night Event

NEW Class Starting Soon

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and a blessed 2024 for all. Let us hope for a year of the peace, tolerance and mutual respect on which our faith and community are based.

Spotlight Calendar

Members and guests are always welcome to attend our Shir Ami Services, Classes and Special Events (fees may apply)


Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturday, December 30th

10:00 AM


Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, January 5th

7:30 PM

Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturday, January 6th

Saturday, January 13th

Saturday, January 20th

Saturday, January 27th

10:00 AM

Mitzvah and Mysticism (virtual)

First and Third Wednesdays Each Month

7:30 PM

Shir Ami Board Meeting (virtual)

Monday January 8th

7:30 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat -

Tu b’Shevat Wine & Cheese (in person)

Friday, January 19th

7:00 PM

Details to follow

2023-24 Calendar is now available on our website. Click here (updated 11/30/23)

Contact Us:

Email Address


Donations and Payments

Mailing Address

1273 E. Putnam Ave

​PO Box 312

Riverside, CT 06878

Shabbat Service

Friday, January 5th


First Presbyterian Church

Coming together for Shabbat Services is an important way for our community to connect. Please join us for the first Shabbat Service of 2024.

We thank Julie and Richard Preng for hosting the Oneg.

Register for January 5th Shabbat Service

Shabbat Service

Tu b’Shevat Wine & Cheese

Friday, January 19th


First Presbyterian Church

(in person)

Join Rabbi David and Shir Ami for a most special musical Shabbat reinvented, with a medieval Tu b'Shevat seder done in modern style. 

Because of a quirk in this year's Jewish calendar, we'll herald Judaism's spiritual spring especially "early" this year, with an opulent four-course seder of fine wines and cheeses to journey through the year's phases of abundance. 

You won't want to miss this celebration of community and the audacity of hope. Invite friends! Advance registration required. More details to follow...

Register for Tu b'Shevat Shabbat Seder

Upcoming Classes


Please save the dates for Rabbi David's new class, Pirkei Avot: Ethics and the Jewish Wisdom Tradition" at 7:30pm - 9:00pm on the following Wednesdays:

February 7

February 21

March 6

March 27

April 10

May 8

May 29

The class is free for members and $120 for non-members. Classes will be recorded in case you miss one and posted on our website.

Register for Ethics & Jewish Wisdom Tradition

Soul Spa is open to all. The sessions are recorded and can be accessed by clicking the link below.

Soul Spa is free for members and non-members alike. Optional donations are always welcome and appreciated and can be made by clicking here.

You may drop in as frequently or as infrequently, as you like. Please click here for the weekly Zoom link and for recordings of previous discussions.

Mitzvah & Mysticism: The Hidden Spirituality of Common Rituals with Rabbi David. Classes will be recorded in case you miss one. Please register if you're interested in being on the email list for this class. The class is free for members and $120 for non-members.

Register for Mitzvah and Mysticism 

Weekly D'var Torah

D'var Torah by Rabbi David

Parashat Vayehi 5784 (2023)

Like You're Dying

We live our lives as if we are immortal. We imagine death to be such a downer – so depressive, so scary – that we spend our lives trying to outrun it, or pretending it away. Or in death's shadow we become fatalistic, disconnected. Yet our awareness that all earthly life must die is an unceasing wellspring of wisdom, power and meaning. This week's final Torah portion of the Book of Genesis, our Book of Beginnings, aims directly here. Read more...

There are two additional places where you can read current and past Divrei Torah and other posts by Rabbi David. Check them out!

  1. The Blog on our website gives you a chance to read and re-read the Rabbi's posts.
  2. Our Facebook page, has been under utilized for many years, but now, the Rabbi has revitalized it by posting his blog posts there too. If you are a Facebook user, please be sure to "like", "follow" and/or share the Congregation Shir Ami Facebook page.

Community News

Interfaith Council "The Longest Night" Event

On December 21st, Rabbi David offered clarion-call words of blessing at the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut's "Longest Night" memorial tribute, honoring the homeless, the voiceless and the unseen who died on our local streets in the year 2023.

The Interfaith Council unites faith leaders and faith communities in common cause on matters of spirit-infused care and advocacy. Read more....

Nov/Dec Issue of

Greenwich Jewish News

Please click here to read the digital version. Please see Shir Ami articles on pages 8, 17, 19, 20 and 21.

Nov/Dec Issue of

New Jewish Voice

Please click here to read the latest digital version.

Will You Participate?

Deep South Trip: Rabbi David is working on details for a trip to the Deep South in the spring. More details will follow. Please email us to let us know if you are interested.

Email us to indicate your interest in the Deep South Trip. Please put "Trip Interest" in the subject line.

Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah: This will be an awesome opportunity for those with interest.

Email us to indicate if you're interested in being part of an Adult B-Mitzvah cohort. Please put "Adult B-Mitzvah" in the subject line.

Blessings and Simchas

Blessings for a Happy Birthday to all of our members with late November/December birthdays:

Susan Kreiger - 12/17

Karen Meisel - 12/18

Larry Nadel - 12/29

Stanley Gratt - 12/31

In our weekly Blessing and Simchas, we invite members to offer congratulations on a special event in someone’s life, blessings for healing, or to remember a loved one.

If you make a special donation and would like to share it in the newsletter’s “Blessings and Simchas, let us know by emailing with the subject line, "Blessings and Simchas" no later than 9:00 AM on Monday. Be sure to include the wording for how you want the donation and the donor to be recognized including your name, the occasion and the recipient's names.

You are not required to make a donation but if you chose to, you may do so on our website's donation page or by mailing a check to Congregation Shir Ami, 1273 East Putnam Avenue, P.O. Box 312, Riverside, CT 06870-9998. 

2023-2024 Membership Drive Continues

For those of you who are not yet Members but are considering joining Shir Ami, we warmly welcome you!

The Benefits of Membership:

Being a Member of Shir Ami, allows you special access to

  • practice our faith together and learn from the Torah and each other
  • help shape our community
  • support Shir Ami's mission
  • find inspiration in our diverse offerings of services, classes and events where there is something for everybody
  • participate in rituals, group trips and events reserved for members
  • have access to our wonderful clergy for pastoral care
  • recognize our loved ones who have passed during our Yizkor service each year

We hope you will join our community at Congregation Shir Ami. The Membership Policy has details on dues, benefits, events, life-cycle and pastoral care and general involvement in congregational life. And if you already are a member, it's a good time to revisit the policy and refresh your memory on why you joined. 

If you are interested and would like to know more, please look for membership information which can be found on our website's membership page. The easy to fill out form may be completed online and submitted with a button, or can be printed out and sent to our mailing address: Congregation Shir Ami | 1273 E Putnam Ave, PO Box 312, Riverside, CT 06878

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to speak with an officer or our clergy,

All are welcome to join our community!

Other Community Websites
Sign up to receive our Shir Ami Newsletter

If you're only receiving the newsletter monthly and would like to receive it weekly, please click the link above to edit your email preference.
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest