Hayom October 2020 - Tishrei-Cheshvan 5781 Issue # 9
Come Shake the Lulav
in our Sanctuary
For an appointment
please call the Synagogue

A Message from the President:
Fellow congregants,

We made it. Our virtual Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are behind us, and I think by all indications and the feedback that I have received, it was a success. Rabbi Henkin and our hazzan, Rabbi Rubenstein, led services beautifully and nearly seamlessly, given the technological challenges of being in two different locations. We tried to make these services as meaningful as possible for you, and we want to thank all of you who attended. We were able to integrate aliyas for our members, and for the most part, things went smoothly. The biggest exception would be when I lost the plot in my address to the congregation and my remarks went off the rails. If you were there for it, I apologize, and if you weren’t there for it, consider yourself fortunate.

Some of you have asked about a resumption of in-person services inside the synagogue, or outdoor services. The rain throughout Yom Kippur highlights the main challenge of outdoor services. That said, the success of our community-led Tashlikh services and shofar blowing suggests that, weather permitting, our members can gather safety in smaller groups. The Board of Directors will be discussing additional outdoor gatherings, and we hope to announce something shortly.

As for services inside the synagogue, the challenges are frankly greater than the weather; however, it’s also on the Board’s agenda for discussion, and I hope it goes without saying that it is something we all want. One thing we can all do to expedite that process is to continue following the advice of the CDC, as better compliance with their recommend guidelines will help reduce the number of cases and make all of our public spaces safer.

After the High Holidays, we have another busy period of festivals and celebrations on the Jewish calendar, with Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah following in rapid succession, concluding in the mid-October. And then there is a lull until Chanunkah, in late December. 

So what do we do in the meantime, during a period when the synagogue is in low gear, when a pandemic has reduced our options for interaction? I would advise you to get more involved. Yes, get involved. Our synagogue has no lack of opportunities for online learning, no lack of online services, no lack of people to call and check on and brighten their day. No lack of people who wish to get together on Friday night to light Shabbat candles and no restrictions on inviting people to share Shabbat with you. If you’re building a sukkah, invite some people to it. Need help building a sukkah? Ask us for help and we will provide help. When our congregants need, the synagogue always leaps to help. Right now the synagogue needs you, and I would like you to ask yourselves if you are helping—and by helping, that could simply mean giving us suggestions for how we can better serve the congregation. An involved congregation is a congregation that people wish to be part of, that people will join, and more members helps our synagogue financially to continue providing both service, and services, to our members. There is literally nothing in our synagogue that cannot be improved simply by having our members become more involved and by having new members join and contribute.

If you have suggestions, please reach out to me. If you would like to help, but don’t know how, contact me, contact Motti, contact the Rabbi. Between the three of us, and our Board of Directors, we can figure out something. As always, best wishes and stay healthy.

Matthew Allan
912.401.4663
From the desk of the Rabbi
During the last month of my year in Israel I spent studying as part of rabbinical school, I came down with pneumonia. As anyone who has ever had it can attest, it was a pretty miserable experience. I was exhausted, weak, and would get out of breath walking from the couch to the bed in our nice but not huge Israeli apartment. Even eating became tiring. As I recovered, I marveled at how a microscopic bacteria could cause so much trouble for an otherwise healthy person.

I’ve been reflecting on that experience eight years ago as we have been experiencing COVID-19. On a much larger scale, another microscopic organism has created extensive damage worldwide on every level imaginable. The true side effects of this virus will probably be unknown for years or even decades, as we struggle to rebuild our economies and we learn if those who recovered from infection have any health problems that develop as a result later in life.
Each morning, we recite the prayer Asher Yatzar, which thanks God for creating our bodies so wisely and acknowledging the delicate nature of our bodies so that even the smallest change in them can cause us to problems. Few if any prayers we recite have felt as powerful for me over these last few months.

At the same time, we begin the month of October with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. For those who are less familiar with the holiday, Sukkot is a time of great celebration, known in rabbinic writings as z’man simhateinu, “the time of our rejoicing,” or simply as ha-hag, “the holiday,” the greatest festival of the year. It is a time when, as the Torah commands, we dwell in sukkot, temporary structures, to commemorate how our ancestors lived protected by God’s Presence during their time in the wilderness.

This theme of temporariness feels particularly poignant this year. The laws for building a sukkah specify that it has to be temporary, with a roof made from branches, and built outside, susceptible to the elements. Rains, strong winds and storms have been known to blow down people’s sukkot—which is precisely the point. We are called upon to recognize that so much of our lives and the things that we think are important are just as exposed as our sukkot.
The same is true for us as if we ourselves are sukkot. We, too, are temporary beings; these days more than normal are we aware of our own mortality. We, too, are vulnerable to the elements—bacteria, viruses, and other illnesses but also the rains of grief, winds of change, and storms of upheaval. We, too, are susceptible and can be blown down.

And that might be the lesson Sukkot can teach us this year. While our temporary natures and vulnerability can be scary, our lives are also a z’man simhateinu, a time of rejoicing. We are not meant to live in fear or anxiety, we are meant to celebrate and enjoy the time we have, embracing our mortality and making the most of the time we have. We can acknowledge how susceptible we—and our sukkot—are and enjoy them while we can.

Moadim L’simhah, may this season be a time of joy for all of us as we continue to hope for a time we can gather together and celebrate with each other.


Rabbi Steven Henkin

Sukkot Services
All Yom Tov Services (1st two days of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah)
will be held via Zoom and simulcast on Facebook. 
Please join us at the following link and Zoom meeting information:

Please note the following link will be active for 2nd Day of Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Please use our usual Shabbat link above for Friday night and Shabbat morning services 


Meeting ID: 823 3520 3603
Passcode: Sukkot

Friday, October 2--Erev Sukkot
6:00 pm Kabbalat Shabbat/Ma'ariv
6:49 pm Candle lighting

Shabbat, October 3--1st Day of Sukkot
9:45 am Shaharit
7:42 pm Candle lighting

Sunday, October 4--2nd Day of Sukkot
9:45 am Shaharit
7:41 pm Havdalah

Hol HaMoed services will be held at our usual daily minyan times:
7:30 am Shaharit (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday)
8:00 am Shaharit (Wednesday)
6:00 pm Minhah/Ma'ariv (each weekday)

Friday, October 9--Hoshanah Rabbah/Erev Shemini Atzeret
7:30 am Shaharit
6:00 pm Kabbalat Shabbat/Ma'ariv
6:41 pm Candle lighting

Shabbat, October 10--Shemini Atzeret
9:45 am Shaharit
7:34 pm Candle lighting
7:35 pm Simchat Torah Ma'ariv

Sunday, October 11--Simchat Torah
9:45 am Shaharit
7:32 pm Havdalah 

The Office Hours are 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
For normal business operations.

All services and programs continue to be suspended until further notice.
(including Sisterhood and Men's Club events)
Synagogue Relationship

We are maintaining Daily Services, via Facebook
To participate, please make sure you follow us on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/AgudathAchimSavannah/ 

Join us for Friday night and Shabbat morning services via Zoom using the following information...

Meeting ID: 870 3207 9194
Password: 181818

All of our regular classes will be held via Zoom, an online meeting platform.
 If you'd like to join a class, please contact Rabbi Henkin for the class link.

Your Online Siddur
As we move towards online minyanim via Facebook Live, the Rabbinical Assembly has made PDF copies of the services available for those who may not have a siddur at home. If you would like to be able to pray with the text during our online services, please feel free to download the appropriate service and follow along during our virtual minyan.

Our site has been updated with PDFs of the Shabbat services for those who would like to follow along during our Zoom services.

If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Henkin at rabbihenkin@gmail.com 
Torah Study for Everyone-Talmud Torah K'Neged Kulam-
1. Rabbinic Literature Study Group (Thursday afternoons, 2:00-3:15 pm): Take a look into the rabbinic mind and how the rabbis interpret the Torah in this weekly class.

2.  Skeptics Study Group (second Thursday of every month, 11 a.m., hosted by Michael Konter): This group is for all of those who want to ask difficult questions about Judaism and/or seeking Jewish answers to the questions they have. Our next Skeptics class will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 8th online via Zoom.

3.  Rabbis of the Mishnah Class will take a deep look into the Rabbis of the Mishnah; who they were and what they were thinking. Our next class will be held on Wednesday, October 13th and 28th at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom.
Please contact Motti for class link or email mottilocker@gmail.com

More classes coming soon, so stay tuned!

Have something you want to learn about but don't see a class about it?
 Contact Rabbi Henkin at rabbihenkin@gmail.com or call the AA office.

All of our regular classes will be held via Zoom, an online meeting platform. If you'd like to join a class, please contact Rabbi Henkin for the class link.
Sisterhood Mitzvah-Gram
How do I Send a Mitzvah-Gram During COVID-19 Pandemic? 

Please note effective with the July Mitzvah-Grams, the cost is $.75 per name.
Here are 3 simple steps to do this:
1 Print out the Mitzvah-Gram page from the OCTOBER ISSUE of the HaYom newsletter with the list of members celebrating a birthday or anniversary in NOVEMBER (also attached here).
2 Circle the names of all those people to whom you would like to send a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary greeting.
3 Mail your list, along with your check made out to Agudath Achim Sisterhood (only $.75 for each circled name), to Ellis Abrams, 24 Raindrop Lane, Bluffton, S.C. 29909,
 
In order for your greetings to be delivered in a timely manner, you need to turn in your November Mitzvah-gram list before OCTOBER 19TH.
If we are missing your November birthday and/or anniversary, please let us know.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact me at era67bha@hargray.com, or at (843) 705-3723 or (843) 290-3995.
Thanks to everyone for participating in this fundraising project.
           
Ellis Abrams, Chair
Gale Hirsh, Acting Sisterhood President
October 2020

Anniversaries

10 Mark and Rachel Schwartz

15 Ross and Garrett Kaminsky

17 Louis and Sarah Rabinowitz

21 Lowell and Hilary Kronowitz

23 Moisey and Svetlana Gubenko

November 2020 Anniversaries
9 Adam & Amy Kaminsky
16 Daniel & Kasey Berman
22 Arthur & Linda Brill
October 2020 Birthdays
1 Chrissie Karp
1 Suzanne Konter
1 Stephen Sacks
3 Steven Arkin
7 Murray Galin
8 Sidney Karp
9 Martin Melaver
10 Susie Gilenson
11 Stephen Friedman
13 Carol Offenbach
19 Larry Lehner
19 Gay Udinsky
20 Rachel Schwartz
21 Howard Cohen
23 Alex Bykat
25 Ira Berman
25 Marla Geffen
30 David Hirsh
31 Motti Locker
November 2020 Birthdays
2 Laura Lynn Miller
2 Daniel Skidmore-Hess
3 Annette Friedman
5 Charna Cweibel
5 Paul Kulbersh
5 Cathy Skidmore-Hess
8 Julius Davidson
9 Marc Gilenson
9 Roberta Kamine-Haysman
10 Julian Miller
11 Stuart Klugler
11 Richard Meier
12 Karen Cranman
18 Jeffrey Lasky
18 Bert Tenenbaum
18 Rabbi Steven Henkin
18 Roberta Wolff
19 Stephen Morris
20 Hilary Kronowitz
22 Lynn Simon
25 Gerald Caplan
25 Gale Hirsh
25 Morgan McGhie
27 Michelle Allan
28 Rachel Israel
29 Lynne Berkowitz
30 Amy Kaminsky
October Calendar
Donor Dues Program
In the Community
Memorial Garden Dedication on Sunday October 18
One of our own members, Social Worker Frances “Fran” Lowery-Wilson of blessed memory, will be honored at a walk-by dedication ceremony October 18 from 2:00 to 3pm at Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Services, 514 East Henry Street.  Fran, an active member of Agudath Achim and a minyoneer passed away in October of 2019 at the age of 81. All friends and guests are invited to this outdoor, socially distanced event and Rabbi Stephen Henkin has been asked to prepare a few opening remarks.

A memorial garden 4 for Fran conceived by AA member Carol Greenberg of Morningstar Cultural Arts Group and fiber artist Camille Snowden Hulbert, combines Fran’s passion for helping youth in our community and her love of gardening. Fran was a board member of MStarArts.org and as a Master Gardener, one of the founders of the non-profit’s Midtown Miracle Community Garden. She felt strongly she should lead by example and supplied her own cedar wood to build her garden box, named by her friend Dr. Joel Greenberg, The Noah's Arc of the Condiments. She loved that name because, not only was she a deeply religious woman, as a Jew-by-choice, but it was the culmination of so much of her life's journey that included a love of all life and the beauty of creation. She looked for connections between this project and her daily life and in doing so gave them both meaning. 

Park Place Outreach provides residential shelter and services to runaway, homeless and at-risk youth ages 11-21. Fran was a beloved team member and mentor to countless youth who she counseled and loved. She is sorely missed by everyone she touched and loved Park Place so much that despite her advancing age, did not want to retire, and despite her increasing ill health, did not want to leave. 
Essential to Fran's interest in the community garden project was a multi-faceted love of art. She appreciated all types of art and was a board member and President of Telfair's Friends of African American Art. Her gardens added a new color palette to her life that she could share. 

She used her garden as a teaching laboratory for those in her care. At Park Place, she developed a garden plot to make it easier for the children to experience gardening. The natural extension was teaching how the herbs and produce could be used in the creation of healthy meals with her friend Dr. Linda Sacks, also an active member of Agudath Achim. That in turn led to the establishment of distinguished guest dinners that included mayors, alderman, teachers and others the children held in high esteem. These dinners allowed Fran to extend lessons of gracious eating and hospitality and to give the children important life lessons.
Not only is the dedication of this 4 for Fran Garden designed with purposeful activities for the youth at Park Place in mind: fragrance, fun crafts, fiber arts and food, but the designation of a fund to maintain the space will perpetuate her legacy going forward. Sculptural artist Matt Toole has created an outdoor sculpture that will represent Fran’s dedication to rising youth out of homelessness.

All guests are required to wear a mask and maintain social distance. Guests will be able to walk up the sidewalk from East Broad Street to Price Street to observe the garden and artwork. Anyone can make a tax deductible donation to Park Place earmarked “For Fran” to support the upkeep of the garden and the youth programming it supports. Donations can be charged online www.parkplaceyes.org/donate/ earmarked for Fran or mailed to Park Place Outreach at 514 East Henry Street, Savannah, GA 31401.