November 16, 2023 / 3 Kislev 5784

Included in This Newsletter

Shabbat Services 11/17 & 12/1

Chanukah Live! 12/9

Song for Peace - Shir LaShalom

Weekly D'var Torah

Interfaith Thanksgiving Volunteering

Social Action Chanukah Project

Upcoming Classes & Opportunities

New Greenwich Jewish News

Upcoming Services and Calendar

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, November 18th

Saturday, November 25th

10:00 AM

Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, November 17th

7:30 PM


Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, December 1st (details TBD)

7:30 PM

Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturday, December 2nd

Saturday, December 9th

Saturday, December 16th

Saturday, December 23rd

Saturday, December 30th

10:00 AM

Havdalah/Chanukah Live! (in person)

Saturday, December 9th

6:30 PM

Details to follow

Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, December 15th

7:30 PM

Details to follow

2023-24 Calendar is now available on our website. Click here (it was approved on August 25, 2023)

Contact Us:

Email Address


Donations and Payments

Mailing Address

1273 E. Putnam Ave

​PO Box 312

Riverside, CT 06878

Shabbat Service

Friday, November 17th


First Presbyterian Church

The Jewish month of Kislev will lead to Chanukah, but first we open with an uplifting Shabbat of music and stillness to reconnect. The week's pareshah (Toldot) introduces us to an adult Yitzhak and his sons (Yaakov and Eisav): amidst conflict, we have the privilege to seek true peace.

We thank Fran and David Pribish for hosting the Oneg in memory of David's mother, Ruth Pribish, z'l.

Register for November 17th Shabbat

Shabbat Service

Friday, December 1st


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 in December

We thank our members, Madelyn Yale and Ed Schechter for hosting the Oneg.

Register for December 1st Shabbat

Chanukah Live!

Chanukah Live!

Havdalah and Potluck Dinner

Saturday, December 9th

6:30 PM

 First Presbyterian Church

in Greenwich

Come enjoy candle lighting, music, singing, dancing, learning, and lots of delicious food!

Bring Your Own Menorah & Candles for your table.

(When you register, select which food you will bring for the potluck dinner, and please bring wine and/or soft drinks for your family.)

Our Social Action Chanukah Project This Year is to support the JFS Greenwich Refugee Resettlement Program (see details in Social Action section below).

Register for December 9th Chanukah Live! 

Social Action TIKVAH Team

Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to the home bound on Thanksgiving morning. Lunch is being provided by St. John’s Episcopal Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church. Individually bagged Thanksgiving Meals will be provided at no charge.

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering call Cathy at 516-382-0339 to arrange to pick up meals at 9:30 am and deliver them to home bound participants.

Our Social Action Chanukah Project this year supporting the JFS Greenwich Refugee Resettlement Program

Click here to access our Sign Up Genius with the Refugee Wish List items. This project supplies household goods needed for refugee families arriving with virtually nothing. The list includes items that can be purchased for kitchen, cleaning, linens, toiletries,etc. Sign up for one or more items and either bring them to Chanukah Live, our next Shabbat Service, or contact Ronny Kaplan ( or 203.249.0602) to arrange for drop off/pick up.

Please consider donating to help support the families in Israel who are in need of physical and emotional support as well as relocation needs.

To donate to the UJA-JCC of Greenwich Click here

To donate to UJF of Greater Stamford. Click here

Praying for Peace

Shir Ami was represented by Judith Croen, Lila Croen, Susan Nisinzweig, Marie Orsini Rosen and Phil Rosen at the Interfaith Council of Southwestern CT sponsored "An Interfaith Vigil for Peace and Healing" at the Archangels Greek Orthodox Church in Stamford on Wednesday night, 11/14/2023.

The event was initiated by IFC Executive Director and St. Francis Episcopal Church Pastor Reverend Mark Lingle and Archangels Greek Orthodox Church Priest Rev. Dr. Father Harry Pappas. Joining them with thoughtful and inclusive words and song were Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons, Temple Beth-El Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth-El Cantor Katie Kaplan, President of the Stamford Islamic Center and a Pace University School of Law professor Talay Hafiz, St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church Pastor Rev. Father Mesrob Hovsepyan, longtime past Bethel A.M.E. Church Pastor Rev. Winton Hill, and Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford Vicar Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Ihor Midzak. The vigil started and ended with moments of silence

To listen to the Joan Baez a cappella version of Shir LaShalom, please click here.

Weekly D'var Torah

D'var Torah by Rabbi David

Toledot 5784 (2023)

When "Because" Doesn't Answer "Why"

If you or someone you love ever suffered, you probably asked why. “Why?” and particularly "why me?" echo in history and the psyche, whether spoken aloud or asked silently within. The human heart wants to know why, even when the mind knows that there’s no knowing why.

These deeply human questions reveal much about us, and gift us a springboard for meaning and resilience – if we pay close attention. 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.

Upcoming Classes

Soul Spa got off to a great start with many participants. The sessions are recorded and can be accessed by clicking the link below.

Soul Spa is free for members and non-members alike. 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 

Let Us Know Your Interest

Trip Ideas: Rabbi David shared during the High Holy Days, two ideas for trips he would love to take with our congregants. Based on responses, the trip will be to the Deep South. 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 October/November birthdays:

Eytan Nisinzweig - 11/1

Alina Rodescu-Pitchon - 11/1

Edwin Schechter - 11/1

Peggy Sturman - 11/2

Ronnie Polansky - 11/10

Ronny Kaplan - 11/27

Jackie Marschall - 11/29

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. 

Community News

November 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.

November Issue of New

Jewish Voice

Please click here to read the latest digital version.

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

This is the time of year when many choose to join a congregation. If that is you, we hope you will join 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!

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