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May 8 - May 14, 2023 / Iyar 5783

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Tonight and Tuesday is Lag B'Omer.

Lag Ba’Omer is a holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the (counting of the) Omer, a Hebrew word for measuring the barley harvest. Counting the Omer spans a 49-day period of semi-mourning, beginning on the second day of Passover and ending on Shavuot. This ancient custom, linking the Exodus from Egypt with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, reminds the Jewish people that redemption from slavery wasn’t complete until they received the Torah. Today there are various mindfulness and spiritual practices for awareness and growth connecting to the counting and preparing us to better value and utilize the freedom we earned on Passover.

Marriage, haircuts, concerts, and other celebratory acts, which are forbidden during the first part of the Omer, are permitted on Lag B’Omer. Weddings are celebrated, friends and families spend time outdoors, and people often gather for large bonfires in Israel, which represent the light of the Torah.

The most often cited explanation for the practice comes from the Talmud, which tells us that during this season, there was a plague that killed thousands of the great Rabbi Akiva’s students because they did not treat one another respectfully.

CKYA Professional Event

Monday, May 8 (please note date change)

6:30 p.m.

Open to all members of the congregation

At the synagogue

We are excited to welcome Howard Lindzon to Congregation Kehillah for a fireside chat and Q&A with the congregation. Howard is the Managing Partner at Social Leverage, and is an early investor in Robinhood, Wag, AngelList, and many others. Howard is also the founder of StockTwits, a social network for sharing ideas between investors. This chat will be moderated by Mat Sherman, CKYA staff member. Audience Q&A is highly encouraged. The whole congregation is invited to attend. Please RSVP directly to Mat Sherman,

After the event, we will drive down the street to The Creek Patio Grill and all grab dinner together. There will not be food at the event so either eat dinner before or come ready to eat around 7:45 p.m. at The Creek Patio Grill.


Shabbat candles


Friday, May 12th

Services at 6:30 p.m.

Please join us for in-person and multi-access Kabbalat Shabbat.

May birthdays and anniversaries will be celebrated during the service. And, a special blessing for those traveling to Israel with Rabbi.

Join Rabbi Sharfman and Cantorial Soloists Scott Leader and Eric Goldman, who will be on the bimah.

We encourage you – and welcome you – to attend services in person. Zoom will be available to those out of town or who can’t attend in person.

We look forward to welcoming Shabbat with you!

Do you have a child graduating this year? Rabbi would also like to do a special blessing for them. Please let us know!


TOK! College Prep Class 

We concluded our final College Prep Class and our teens learned a ton! Our teens are now equipped with knowledge about how to select a major, selecting your top colleges, and tips and tricks for the application process. Over the summer, our teens will be connecting with mentors in their career fields of interest and have the opportunity to ask them questions about their college and career journey.

We are still looking for 1 more mentor who studied biology in college and participated in research. If you or anyone you know fits this description, please reach out to Time commitment is a 1-hour long conversation with our teen either in-person or over zoom.



Friday, May 19

1:00 p.m.

Private home; location provided with your RSVP

We'll be discussing The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family by Joshua Cohen. This book won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

You don't have to be a regular to enjoy Book Group; you can join in for any book you like, any time. Book Group is open to all Kehillah adults. To get on the Book Group email list or to RSVP, please email Rick.


YEP! wrapped up its last class of the school year yesterday and what a terrific year it was, full of high energy learning and being in community with other Jewish children.

We hope our students and families have a great summer and look forward to seeing you in August. Keep an eye on your inbox for registration information.



CKYA - Jewish Young Adults

CKYA - Jewish Young Adults 

CKYA is an effort to give "post college pre family" young adults a synagogue to belong to and a community to join of like-minded peers. To visit their website, please click here, For more information regarding CKYA, email Madeline Dolgin,


Happy Birthday!

Yom Huledet Sameach!

With apologies, we missed listing Edyee Schultz:

May 26 - Edyee Schultz


Jewish News, a 75-year-old newspaper and magazine publisher, has finalized its 6th annual Readers’ Choice Nominations for 2023. Kehillah has been nominated as one of the BEST: 

Education category – scroll down to the bottom and choose Hebrew School and then we are the last one in the drop down menu

Kids/Teens/Family category – scroll down to the bottom and choose Young Adult programing – CKYA is the 3rd one listed on the drop down menu

Religious Life category Alternative shabbat – we are the 5th one listed in the drop down menu

Religious Life category - Family friendly shabbat service  we are the 10th one listed on the drop down menu

Please vote for us!!!

Please head to  and start voting for Congregation Kehillah in each category.

Please remember to hit Save and Go to next until you get to the end of the survey where you will need to provide your name, email and phone number, then please hit Send Vote.


Our Families with Young Children (FYC) program is gearing up with Sippy Cup Shabbats, new activities, puzzles, and play sets for little ones to use during services so that families will be able to join in, and catered and delivered Shabbat dinners to welcome new babies and care for tired parents. If you have young children or grandchildren, or have friends with young children, we would love them to be part of our Kehillah and want to make it warm and welcoming. Please contact Rabbinical Student/FYC Program Director Erica Erman (at for more information! 


We are looking for some people who are able to do cook meals for a congregant and their spouse at this time. There are several dietary restrictions and those will be provided to you once you respond that you are able to help out. Please email Renee, for more information. Thank you in advance.

Refaeinu . . .

Marsha Joffe 

Richard Hrlevich

Abbott Miller

Kathleen (Katie) Cullen-Todora

Karen Thursby

Craig Golub

Debbie Koren

Ellen Lerman

Reisa Miller

Zackary Dawson

Ethan Miller

Yaffa Pollac

Chana bas Rasche

Judith Clancy

Cathy Michels

Davie Glaser


Please watch this space for upcoming opportunities. Contact Paulette if you would like to get involved in or support Social Action.

Please call 602-363-3009 or email


Rabbi's Discretionary Fund

Colleen Espinoza - thanking Rabbi for the exceptional "Welcome to Judaism" classes

Education Fund

Caryn, Sam and Josh Melton - wishing Marsha Joffe a Happy and Healthy 85th Birthday!

Eydee Schultz


Tzedakah: We all have choices as to who or what we wish to support; why choose your synagogue? Because we are YOUR synagogue. You chose to be a part of this inspirational community that offers a wonderful teacher and spiritual leader in Rabbi Sharfman; superb opportunities for young families to educate their children; programming for all ages; and much, much more, offering impact and value, depth and meaning to your life.

Unlike most synagogues, Congregation Kehillah does not do a High Holy Days Appeal. Dues alone do not cover a synagogue’s operational expenses; we rely on donations of all sizes throughout the year. Did you know . . . that it is customary to donate at the time of Yizkor or when Kaddish is recited in memory of a loved one? It is also customary to make a donation when given an Aliyah (honor) during a service. Jewish Philanthropy: The Concept of Tzedakah is a much-admired practice throughout the world. "In Jewish tradition, tzedakah requires the donor share his or her compassion and empathy along with the money. Judaism teaches the belief that donors benefit from tzedakah as much [as] or more than the recipients." You can find out more about the roots and practices of Jewish philanthropy at Learning to Give. We hope you choose to continue to support your Kehillah by making donations to our various funds, which are listed below and on our website.


Your donations are greatly appreciated. 

Caring Fund

Education Fund

General Fund

Gottlieb Music Fund

Oneg & Hospitality Fund

Rabbi's Discretionary Fund

Social Action Fund

Torah Fund

Also available:

Book Plates

Memorial Board



Plant a tree in Israel for any occasion. Contact Renee to place your order. The cost is $18 per tree and a portion of all sales benefit Kehillah.


You can set up a fundraiser through Facebook and the money will be donated to Kehillah.


Will receive gifts of stock on behalf of Congregation Kehillah.




Jewish Life Television, an English-language, Jewish-themed television network, is now available to Cox Communications subscribers on Cox Channel 184 in Greater Phoenix.

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The Phoenix Holocaust Association  

Click here for information about PHA and news of upcoming programs.


JFCS Center for Senior Enrichment 

Click here to find the upcoming calendar of events.

Look for upcoming dates for our programs below

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Kabbalat Shabbat

Shabbat morning

B'nai Mitzvah

Friday, May 12 - 6:30 p.m. KS

Saturday, May 27 - Shavuot/Yizkor

on Zoom only

Saturday, June 10

Shabbat morning service -

10:00 a.m.

followed by a Kiddish luncheon

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Torah Talks are led by Rabbi Sharfman (except where noted) and are held monthly on Saturday mornings via Zoom. For more information, contact Ellen Lerman.



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Youth Education Program 

YEP! sessions are held on Sunday mornings during the school year. Read about YEP! here. Questions? Please contact Renee

Here is the link to the YEP! registration form.



(subject to change)

Friday, May 12

Kabbalat Shabbat

Friday, May 19

Book Group

Saturday, May 27


on Zoom only

Saturday, June 3

Sippy Cup Shabbat

Saturday, June 10

Shabbat morning service - 10:00 a.m.

followed by a Kiddish luncheon

Information for Seniors

The Senior Concierge Project (through Jewish Family and Children's Service) can provide information and help with socialization, education, transportation, home care, living facilities, legal assistance and more for those over age 60. Contact Kathy Rood at 602-762-7319.

Need a Hand?

Need a ride to services or to an event? Have an odd job that might need an extra hand or two? Give Men of Kehillah a shout! MOK members are ready to help out. This mitzvah is offered to all dues-paying members of Congregation Kehillah.

Email Rich Fox at  


Don't miss any of our emails...

Please make sure that periodically you check your spam and junk folders for emails from Some of the emails we send out have several links for you to click on for resources. Depending on your individual computer settings you might not receive these emails in your inbox.

Remember "Mom" and the other women!  


Reminder: There are hungry neighbors and families experiencing food insecurity throughout the Valley, throughout the year -- even if we can't always see it. And there are women who can't afford basic feminine products. Our food collection bin for Mom's Pantry is always in our lobby, and our Kehillah Cares bag for women4women tempe is in our ladies' room. 


Please bring food and toiletry donations whenever you attend an event or services.


We love hearing from you!

If we don't respond to

your email within 24 hours, it means we did

not receive your

message. Please call

us at 602-369-7667.


We take a technology break for Shabbat and Yom Tov. If you have an emergency during these times, please leave a message on the Congregation Kehillah phone, 602-369-7667, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Otherwise, we ask that you please call or email us after the Sabbath or holiday ends.

Congregation Kehillah Leadership 

Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman

Jane Neely, 


Scott Leader, Erica Erman

 Cantorial Soloists

Renee Joffe,               


Board of Directors

Gil Blumenthal, 

 Immediate Past President

Rick Cohen,

 Member at Large

Rich Fox, 

 Vice President for Program

and Communications

 MOK President

Dave Goldfarb, 

 Vice President for Building

& Facility

Mark Solow


Leslie Goldman, 

 Member at Large

Steve Kanefsky,

  Member at Large

Arlene Maletta, 

 Member at Large

Ilene Malka, 

 Education Chair

Paul Stein, 

  Member at Large

Additional Support

Beth Hirshenson, Margi Tabaknek, Belle Merwitzer

 Caring Committee

Amy Bessen,


Paulette Fraenkel, 

 Social Action

Dr. Stephanie Kirklin, 

 YEP! Director of

 Curriculum & Online 

 Learning Center

Ellen Lerman, 

 Torah Talk and Special   


Vicki Mardell, 


Reisa Miller,


Scott Rudin,


Bob Bessen & Rich Goldman,

Legacy Chairs

Beth Hishenson & Barb Knight,

WNO Co-Chairs

Dear Friends,

It has come to our attention that once again scam emails are being sent out to various synagogues, from someone claiming to be a member of their board of directors, requesting gift cards.

Please know that Congregation Kehillah’s board members, staff, and committee members will not email any requests for gift card purchases or wiring money.

If you have a question as to the validity of an email, please forward it to us at so that we can confirm. 




Renee B Joffe

Congregation Kehillah

602-369 7667 -

5858 E. Dynamite Blvd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Mailing Address: 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 1630 #439, Phoenix, AZ 85050

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