Davening Times




February 6, 2024

Keeping Up with Kesher Israel

27 Shevat 5784

Friday is Rosh Chodesh Adar I. Chodesh Tov!

Candle Lighting This Shabbat: 5:20 PM

See this week's Calendar

Join us! We are always looking to strengthen daily minyan.

Sign up for the Minyan Support Whatsapp Group here.

This Week at Kesher

NEW! Class Schedule Change and Rabbi Away, February 12-19

The Rabbi's morning classes will not meet Monday - Wednesday, February 5-7, of this week. Rabbi Shafner will be away at a conference of Rabbis in Israel from February 12-19. His classes will not meet during this time. Abbe Lowell will give the People's Pulpit on the Shabbat of February 17.

NEW! Tales from the Beit Din Helping Agunot

Thursday, February 8, at 7:15 PM

Kesher Israel

Join us on Thursday, February 8th at 7:15pm at Kesher Israel for a talk by Rabbi David Bigman on helping agunot.

Rav David Bigman serves as the av beit din of the International Beit Din. He has been the Rosh HaYeshiva at Yeshivat Ma’ale Gilboa since 1995. He studied at the Skokie Yeshiva, Kerem B’Yavneh, Merkaz Harav and Netzech Yisrael. He received semikha from Mechon Ariel in Haifa. He received his B.A. in economics with honors from Wayne State University. From 1983 – 1988, Rabbi Bigman was Rabbi of Kibbutz Maale Gilboa, and from 1987-92, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati Ein Tzurim. Before his work with the IBD, he served on various batei din and has long been active in the issue of Mesuravei Gett. Rabbi Bigman served in the Israeli army.

Coming Soon

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Save the Date: Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat with Judy Klitsner

Shabbat, March 8-9, at Kesher

We are excited to welcome Dr. Judy Klitsner for a Shabbat of learning on March 8-9. We will have three opportunities to learn from Dr. Klitsner:

  • Shabbat Morning Drasha: Your Brother’s Blood is Crying: Biblical Origins of our Fractured Society
  • Shabbat Lunch (signup coming soon): Noah and Jonah: Similar Stories With Opposing Perspectives on Human Resilience
  • Seudah Shlishit: Five Stages of Post October 7 Grief: Personal and Biblical Reflections

Judy Klitsner is a senior lecturer in Bible at Pardes, where she has empowered a generation of students to seek meaning and relevance in the text through a skills-based method of learning. Many of her students now employ her methods in educating adults and children throughout the Jewish world. In her classes, Judy weaves together traditional exegesis, modern scholarship and her own original interpretations that are informed by close readings of the text. A disciple of the great Bible teacher Nehama Leibowitz, Judy is a popular international speaker whose teaching style is accessible, interactive and text-based, and she is particularly fond of uncovering the intertextual links– the “vibrant conversation” that takes place between the Bible’s parallel stories. Judy has taught Bible to Christian and Muslim religious leaders and she has served as a regular visiting lecturer at the London School of Jewish Studies. Judy is the author of the acclaimed book Subversive Sequels in the Bible: How Biblical Stories Mine and Undermine Each Other, which received a National Jewish book award.

Community Announcements

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REMINDER! Emergency Mikvah Repair

The National Capital Mikvah experienced a boiler malfunction that flooded the floor and required a costly replacement. Contractors installed a new, efficient boiler, but the emergency repair cost $17,000, a significant burden for the entirely volunteer-run organization. The mikvah serves an important role in Jewish life in D.C., and donations are encouraged to ensure its continued operation and preparedness for future emergencies. We urge the community to make tax-deductible donation to the National Capital Mikvah -- every contribution helps!

Click to donate via Paypal, via Venmo, or visit NCM's website.

Adult Education

All classes made possible through the Dr. H. Harold Gelfand Memorial Institute of Adult Education

Sunday Bagels and Parsha

Sundays, following Shacharit

Come for breakfast...stay for some learning about the upcoming weekly Torah portion.

More information here.

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NEW TOPIC! Books of the Maccabees

Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM via ZOOM

Join us here.

NO CLASS - February 5-7

Daily Halakhah with Rabbi Shafner

Monday-Friday, following Shacharit, at Kesher and via WhatsApp

Rabbi Shafner’s Daily Halakhah takes place live in Shul after Shacharit each day, or you can tune in to it on the WhatsApp group by clicking here.

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Nosh & Learn for Young Professionals

Tuesdays, 8:00 PM, Kesher Social Hall

Calling all Young Professionals! Join us Tuesday night in the Social Hall for our new class on the weekly parsha: Nosh & Learn! Please contact Maddie Dahl or Kennedy Lee with any questions.

Basic Judaism

Thursdays, 8:00 PM, via ZOOM

An In-Depth Overview of Jewish Law and Practice with Rabbi Shafner. Not just for beginners!

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Daily Daf Yomi Shiur

For more information, please contact Alan. All instances via ZOOM

  • Monday - Thursday, 9:00 PM
  • Friday, 8:00 AM
  • Saturday shortly after Shabbat, varies based on Havdalah
  • Sunday, 9:00 AM

To access archived writings and classes from Rabbi Shafner visit: www.RabbiShafner.org

Message from Rabbi Shafner

See Rabbi Shanfer's message regarding his travels in Israel here.

Collecting Names for Tehillim

We are collecting the names of soldiers and other Kesher community members. Please submit names here and see the list of names to have in mind when davening.

Shields of Steel Fundraiser

Hi everyone -- my name is Dylan Redfield. I usually live on Q Street and daven at Kesher, but on October 7th after my IDF reserve unit was called I got on the first plane and have been here in Israel fighting since.

A lot of our gear is worn out and obsolete and as we fight every day we also are trying to get equipped with up to par gear. Right now we are raising money to replace our helmets that are literally from the Vietnam War. This link provides a tax free donation through the organization Shields of Steel that has been doing incredible work equipping units all over the country with helmets and body armor.

Every donation to Team 8103 (our unit number) helps us reach our goal. Please help us defend this land that we all love:


Israel Crisis Fund

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington stands in solidarity with Israel and is coordinating with our partners in the region to provide real-time humanitarian assistance, as we have for decades and during every conflict.

We are grateful to our partners on the ground, including The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Israel Trauma Coalition, JDC, World ORT, and more for their lifesaving and life-changing work during this crisis, as well as to the hundreds of Greater Washington community members who have already donated to our Israel Crisis Fund.

Looking for more ways to support Israel? Check out this list.

About Kesher Israel

Join our Mailing List
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Give to Kesher

If you are new to the community, we'd like to welcome you and make Kesher your new home. Tell us about yourself! Fill out this brief form, let us know who you are and how we can help you settle in. Email the Welcome Committee for more information or with any questions!

SAP and Tuesday Digest

Have something to share in the SAP or the Tuesday Weekly Digest? Email announcements@kesher.org by 5 PM Wednesday (SAP) or by 5 PM Sunday (Digest).



Rabbi Shafner is always available to meet with congregants or answer any questions they have and he loves doing it. Feel free to email, message, call or text him (202-867-7287) any time to meet. For immediate matters or immediate halachic questions, please text or call him, and if he does not answer leave a message and he will call you back.



If you have an extra place at your table for Shabbat, please put yourself down for a week on this spreadsheet so we can accommodate those who need a Shabbat meal. Thank you!


Kelim Mikvah

Please respect the privacy of women using the mikvah by not using the kelim (utensil) mikvah after sundown.

Sponsor Kiddush!

We provide kiddush every week for the congregation, with or without sponsors. Help support us by contributing to our kiddush fund. No donation is too small! Email info@kesher.org for more information about kiddush sponsorship.

Looking for Leiners

As a reminder to all the gentlemen in the community who attend the 9:00 AM minyan on Shabbos morning, the leining sign up is found at kesher.org/leining and we are looking for more Leiners! Signing up for even 1 Aliyah is helpful!

Support our Security

Support Kesher Israel's security programs by contributing to our Security Fund or applying to volunteer with Kesher's Community Security Service (CSS) team! Please contact security@kesher.org with any questions


Submit a Name to our Cholim List

To submit a name to be included on Kesher's Misheberach List, please fill out the self-service form at kesher.org/Cholim.

Have an idea for an event?

Do you have a great idea for an event? Is there an event you would like to see happen at Kesher but don't know where to begin? Fill out our event suggestion form here and see your idea possibly come to life!  

Contact Us

Rabbi Hyim Shafner

(202) 867-7287


Judah Rose




Laura Kamer-Israel

Director of Operations

(202) 333-2337



Melissa Sanchez

Corresponding Secretary


Keeping Up with Kesher Israel/SAP


Shabbat Meal Hospitality hospitality@kesher.org


Children's Programming


Miryl Hilibrand

Social Committee & Welcoming Committee

social@kesher.org & welcome@kesher.org

Dina Kritz

Educational Programming





Amitai Diament

Ritual Director


Miriam Cleeman


Welfare Fund

Confidential help for community members in need. Please contact Rabbi Shafner.


Kesher Parents

Subscribe to this list to connect with other Kesher families

Lifecycle Events





Security Concerns