Potluck Tu Bishvat Seder

January 30, 6:00 p.m.
Bring something featuring fruit or one of the seven species of fruits and grains of the land of Israel from Deuteronomy 8:8, wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
If the food needs to stay warm, please bring a warming tray. We’ll celebrate a brief Seder ceremony and enjoy the New Year for trees by focusing on the mystical properties of Biblical foods.

Save the date

Save the Date: Join Congregation Ahavas Israel at Broadway Grand Rapids to see “The Bodyguard” on Sunday March 11, 2018. Tickets are $58.
This award-winning musical is the story of a former Secret Service Agent hired to protect a musical Superstar from a mysterious stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love! A breathtakingly romantic thriller, it features a host of numbers like Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, and one of the best selling songs of all time
– I Will Always Love You.
We’ll meet at the Synagogue at 4:30 pm for a pot-luck dinner.  The show starts at 6:30 pm.

Conversational Hebrew courses

Are you interested in serious conversational Hebrew?

Beginning Monday, January 8, 7:00 - 8:30, learn Conversational Hebrew with Michal Ravid. The ten week course, will cost $150 per student ($15 per session). Text books are not included. You can purchase the beginning text ($15.95 plus shipping) at this link:
There is a minimum enrollment of 6 students. Please enroll early by sending your name/email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We suggest you do not buy the book until we confirm that we have sufficient enrollment to offer the course.

Introduction to Judaism

Taught by Rabbi David Krishef

Beginning Monday, November 6, 7:00- 8:15 p.m. 

Cost:  $70/members and B’nai Noah affiliates, $95/non-members (includes the cost of the SourceBook)

A basic introduction to Jewish history, beliefs, rituals, holidays, and life cycle celebrations. Taught in partnership with the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program of American Jewish University. The syllabus can be download here or call the office to have it emailed/mailed to you.

AJU MillerIntro

Friday night services are here!!

Have you been asking for a Friday evening service? We listened!

We are beginning with a monthly Kabbalat Shabbat service on the first Shabbat of the month at 6:00 p.m., starting November 3. If you have been wishing for such a service, please come to support it. If you have never welcomed Shabbat with Kabbalat Shabbat, a service deeply rooted in the mystical tradition, please join us to learn about it. From November to September, the time will remain although the event or style of the program will change.

Tot shabbat /Young Junior Congregation

We are pleased that Marni Vyn will once again be leading Tot Shabbat/Junior Congregation services this year. The schedule will be:

  • Hanukkah - December 16, 11:00 a.m.
  • Purim - February 24, 11:00 a.m. (Rehearse for Purim on Thursday, March 1. Come in costume!)
  • Shavuot - May 19, 11:00 a.m.

Please RSVP with Marni to let her know that you are coming (so she knows how to prepare). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 774-8644.

Beit Midrash Dinners

The Beit Midrash* dinners will return on Monday, January 22nd.

Part social, part learning, Rabbi Krishef invites you to drop by the synagogue beginning at 5:30 p.m. for dinner and Torah. After dinner, grab some books from the library - Torah, commentaries, Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud, Zohar or anything that strikes your fancy - and dive in. You might come with a study partner, you might find a partner who wants to learn with you once you arrive. Rabbi Krishef will be here to help you find something to study, help you if you get stuck, or maybe even be your Hevruta (study partner) for a bit.

There is no charge (donations to defray the cost will be gratefully accepted), but please let Rabbi Krishef know if you are coming so he can prepare enough food.

*A Beit Midrash is a “House of Study.” Along with Beit Tefillah, House of Prayer, and Beit Kenesset, House of Meeting, it is one of the three primary functions of a synagogue - study, prayer, and social activities.

Study Groups

Rabbi Krishef’s study groups:

• Thursday Tanakh study, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m., Schuler Books and Music, 28th St. (either in the back of the store or in the café). We are studying the book of I Samuel. Exciting narrative! Intrigue! Politics! Backstabbing! Join us.

• Jewish mysticism/Zohar study group, Mondays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Ahavas Israel library. We are reading through Daniel Matt’s translation and commentary of the Zohar. Currently, we are finishing Parashat Hayyei Sarah.

Family Fun Night

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Who: The entire Jewish community is welcome to join us - the more the merrier!
What: We have rented out the Mary Free Bed YMCA for a night of sports, and FUN (tennis, basketball, volleyball, climbing wall, pools, and more) 
Where: Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
When: Sunday, December 3 from 6:30-9:30pm
Why: To engage our Jewish community
Cost: $5/person (max: $20/family)
RSVP: Stephanie Jesin. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR cell: 616-633-5309 
This program has been made possible by a generous grant from the Ravitz Foundation and the co-sponsorship of the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids.

Betzalel Art Group

BETZALEL ART GROUP, Thursdays, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m., room #1

Join the fun at the Betzalel Art Group and be inspired by others as you work on your own projects. Bring your fiber art project or oil painting or any other art or craft you enjoy doing. Everyone is welcome. This is an open and flexible group, so come as your schedule allows.

For more information, please contact Pat Weller, 453-2954 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Delving Into Our History

With the help of Peg Finkelstein from the Temple Emanuel Archives, significant progress has been made on Ahavas Israel's Gen and Jack Finkelstein Archives, generously funded by Mort and Peg Finkelstein and Raleigh Finkelstein in memory of their parents. Contributions to the Gen and Jack Archive Fund provide continued support. The committee is working at the synagogue Wednesday mornings from 10AM until noon.  If you are interested in being a part of this important project, please contact Toby Weiner Dolinka at 949-6528.
If you have materials (especially photographs) that would be valuable for the archives, please contact Toby.

Jewish Young Adult Sushi-making program

Thank you to Moishe and Stephanie Jesin and Allyson Strauss for planning and executing a fantastic Jewish Young adult sushi-making program! Are you interested in young adult programming? Contact Rabbi Krishef to be added to the mailing list.
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