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Upcoming Events

High Holiday Schedule 2014

Fall Holiday Schedule, 5775 (2014)

Saturday, September 20 - Selihot

Selihot program - 9:15 p.m., followed by the Selihot service at about 11:30 p.m.

Our Selihot program features a viewing and discussion of the movie “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.”

The adult siblings of the Fitzgerald family prepare for their estranged father to return home for
Christmas for the first time since he walked out on his family 20 years ago [from].
Doesn’t sound like much of a High Holiday movie? Replace ‘Christmas’ with ‘Rosh Hashanah,’ and
you have a very powerful film about family dynamics and the question of whether teshuvah is possible.

Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 24, Erev Rosh Hashanah
Candlelighting -7:20 p.m.
Ma’ariv-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 25, Rosh Hashanah, 1st day
Shaharit-9:00 a.m.rosh hashana
Junior Congregation-11:30 a.m.

After the service, please join us for Kiddush in the social hall, followed by a short Tashlikh
ceremony (weather permitting) at 2896 Michigan NE (Parking available next door at the First
Protestant Reformed Church, 2800 Michigan NE).

*Candlelighting - after 8:17 p.m.
Minha - 7:30 p.m.
Ma’ariv - 8:15 p.m.

Friday, September 26, Rosh Hashanah, 2nd day

Shaharit- 9:00 a.m.

After the service, please join us for Kiddush.

Sunday, September 28, 10:15 a.m. - Sukkah Building
Please come help us build our Synagogue Sukkah.

Kever Avot Cemetery Memorial Services, Sunday, September 28, 1:00 p.m., Ahavas Israel Cemetery
It is customary to visit the graves of parents and other relatives around Rosh Hashanah and recite
memorial prayer. There will be a service at the Ahavas Israel cemetery at 1:00 p.m. As usual, Rabbi
Krishef and Cantor Stuart will be available to say personal memorial prayers at the graves of your
loved ones following the service.NOTE: There will be no service at Greenwood. Please join the
service at the Ahavas Israel cemetery At about 1:45, Rabbi and Cantor will be at Greenwood to recite personal memorial prayers.

Yom Kippur

yom kippur

Friday, October 3, Erev Yom Kippur

Kol Nidre - 6:45 p.m.
Candlelighting- 7:04 p.m.

*Note: Use a 24 hour candle lit before the first night of a Festival to light on the 2nd night and Shabbat eve.

Yom Kippur, cont.

Saturday, October 4, Yom Kippur

Shaharit-9:00 a.m.
Junior Congregation-11:30 a.m.
Study session-4:45 p.m.
Minha/Ne’ilah-5:45 p.m.
Ma’ariv/Havdalah-8:02 p.m.

Please join us for a Congregation break-fast following the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
See the Voice or the eVoice for an RSVP form and more details.


Wednesday, October 8, Sukkot

Candlelighting - 6:55 p.m.

Thursday, October 9, Sukkot

Shaharit-9:30 a.m.sukkot 2014
*Candlelighting after-7:52 p.m.

Friday, October 10, Sukkot

Shaharit-9:30 a.m.
*candlelighting- 6:53 p.m.

Sunday, October 12, Hol Hamoed Sukkot

“Sukkah Hop” 3:00-5:00 p.m.

See the Voice or the eVoice for more information.

Wednesday, October 15, Hol Hamoed Sukkot

Minyan-7:00 a.m.

Shemini Atzeret

Wednesday night, October 15, erev Shemini Atzeret

Candlelighting-6:43 p.m.

Thursday, October 16, Shemini Atzeret

Shaharit, including Yizkor-9:30 a.m.
*Candlelighting after-7:41 p.m.
Ma’ariv with Hakafot-7:30 p.m.

Please join the congregation on Simhat Torah evening for a Simhat Torah celebration.

Friday, October 17, Simhat Torah

Shaharit with Hakafot-9:30 a.m.
* candlelighting-6:40 p.m.*

*Note: Use a 24 hour candle lit before the first night of a Festival to light on the 2nd night and Shabbat eve.

Pre-Shabbat Happy Hour/Kabbalat Shabbat

The religious Life committee is hosting Pre-Shabbat Family Happy Hours (hors d’euvres and snacks wine, beer, and soft drinks) on the third Shabbat of each month

-- June 20, July 18 and August 15 at 7:00 p.m., followed by Kabbalat Shabbat at 7:45 p.m.
To sponsor a happy hour ($54), contact the synagogue office.

Sanctuary Shabbat Presentations Sept. 6

Jeremiah Cataldo

September 6 - Dr. Jeremiah Cataldo, GVSU, “Where’er the ger (stranger) may roam: inside and outside of law and identity in Ezra-Nehemiah”

Jeremiah W. Cataldo is Assistant Professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University.
His primary research area for which he received his doctorate is the religion and culture of ancient Israel. His work, which includes two books (A Theocratic Yehud?: Issues of Government in a Persian Province and Breaking Monotheism: Yehud and the Material Formation of Monotheistic Identity) and over a dozen journal articles, applies social-scientific methodologies to the religious and cultural developments, including the rise of monotheism, of the province of Judah during the Persian Period. His courses in the Honors College deal with themes in religion and society generally, both in historical and modern contexts. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan, and his son, Elisha, both of whom are constant sources of joy. In his spare time he runs and has completed distances from 5K to 100 miles. But he will soon be eclipsed by his son, who at four has already run a mile without stopping.

Scholar-In-Residence: Sept. 12-14, 2014

Yael Aranoff photo

Everything you wanted to know about Israel, but were afraid to ask!

September 12-14, 2014

Prof. Yael Aronoff

Chair of Israel Studies, Michigan State University

Yael Aronoff [Ph.D. Political Science, Columbia University, M.I.A Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, B.A. Princeton University] is the Michael and Elaine Serling Chair in Israel Studies and Associate Director of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University. The Serling chair is sited in James Madison College, where Dr. Aronoff is associate professor of International Relations. She is a recipient of the MSU 2011 Teacher Scholar Award. Her research and teaching interests include Israeli cultures, politics and society, Israeli foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and negotiated efforts to resolve it, and Israel’s asymmetric wars with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. Dr. Aronoff’s book manuscript, entitled, The Political Psychology of Prime Ministers: When Israeli Hard Liners Opt for Peace will be published by Cambridge University Press in spring 2014 and compares and contrasts six Israeli Prime Ministers and their decision-making toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Aronoff has also published in Israel Studies, Israel Studies Forum (currently named the Israel Studies Review), and the Political Science Quarterly.One of her recent publications is “Predicting Peace: The Contingent Nature of Leadership and Domestic Politics in Israel,” in book manuscript, Democracy and Conflict Resolution: the Dilemmas of Israel’s Peacemaking eds. Hendrik Spruyt, Miriam F. Elman, and Oded Haklai, January 2014, Syracuse University Press.

Dr. Aronoff is the book review editor for the journal Israel Studies Review and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Israel Studies. Dr. Aronoff has led the MSU Jewish Studies study abroad program at Hebrew University’s Rothberg School during three summers.

Dr. Aronoff has taught in the Government Department at Hamilton College, and has served as Assistant for Regional Humanitarian Programs in the Pentagon's Office of Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs and in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow.She also served as Senior Associate at Columbia University’s Institute of War and Peace Studies.


Why should American Jews care about Israel?

What does it mean for a state to be Jewish in 2014?

How can we reconcile humanitarian values with media reports on the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank/Gaza?

No cost to attend!

More information to follow!

JCong will meet on Saturday, September 6 and Thursday, September 25 (11:30 a.m., Rosh Hashanah); October 4 (11:30 a.m.,Yom Kippur) and Saturday, October 18.

Professor Yael Aronoff

Please click on this link to view the flyer:Scholar in Residence 2014

Adult Jewish Learning

Adult Jewish Learning tree of knowledge


Monthly Adult Jewish Learning on Sunday mornings, co-sponsored by Ahavas Israel, Temple Emanuel, and the United Jewish School. All sessions begin with bagels and coffee at 10:00 a.m.

  • April 27 - Jewish Food Ethics
  • May 18 - Shavuot: A 1/2 hour presentation on the holiday, followed by a lesson in making blintzes
Family Promise

Our next dates to volunteer for Family Promise are Tuesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 4.
Volunteers are needed to prepare food for both nights, play games with children and stay overnight (one man and one woman needed each night).
There will be a maximum of 20 people to prepare food for.

Contact Mort Hoffman with questions or to volunteer: 616-949-6088 (H); 616-361-2738 (cell).

Junior Congregation

Junior Congregation is about a creating a community in which you look forward to hanging out and having fun with your friends while learning and doing prayer, studying and arguing about Torah, and reinforcing Hebrew skills.

The UJS is looking at a new Hebrew program, but the simple truth is that the more often one engages with Hebrew, the more fluency one will develop. Therefore, Junior Congregation this year will include elements of a Hebrew and Torah educational program, as well as retaining elements of a Junior congregation Shabbat service. It will incorporate a Torah discussion, some Hebrew prayer reading practice combined with learning about the prayers, and the service itself.

Junior Congregation will be led by Marisa Krishef, Marni Vyn, and Esther Katz, usually meeting on the first and third Shabbat of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel or classroom 6. Kids under 6 should come with a parent. We'll be learning new tunes and helping the grown-ups by leading end-of-service prayers in the sanctuary. Come join us!

Because of the start of the holidays, note the day and time changes in September and October:
JCong will meet on Saturday, September 6 and Thursday, September 25 (11:30 a.m., Rosh Hashanah); October 4 (11:30 a.m., Yom Kippur) and Saturday, October 18.

Future Sanctuary Shabbat speakers/programs

Rabbi Krishef is having trouble finding speakers for the Sanctuary Shabbat speaker series. If you would like to see the series continue, please contact him with suggestions for speakers or perhaps volunteer to be a speaker.

  • April 5 - open. (Dr. Madelon Krissoff’s presentation, “Wellness - What is it, and How Do You Get It?” is postponed to a later date)
  • May 3 - Marisa Krishef and the Shir Shalom Choir
  • June 7 - Joanna Bojsen
  • July 5 - Paula Bojsen“Forgiveness - the Key to Healing and Spiritual Growth”
  • August 2 - Shmuel Bowman, Executive Director, Lifeshield

    Operation Lifeshield is an emergency campaign to save innocent lives by providing Israel's threatened communities with the protected air raid shelters they so desperately need.

    Every donation of every amount goes to placing strong, steel-reinforced, pre-cast concrete fortified shelters in public areas, such as schools, kindergartens, parks and senior citizen centers. The shelters are above-ground, fully-accessible structures, and meet the strictest standards of the IDF Home Front Command. Lifeshield shelters are transported by truck, and can be re-located to meet changing security needs.

  • September 6 - Dr. Jeremiah Cataldo, GVSU, “Where’er the ger (stranger) may roam: inside and outside of law and identity in Ezra-Nehemiah”

  • October 4 - No Sanctuary Shabbat because of Yom Kippur.

  • November 1 - Rich Karelse, Life Heritage Funeral Homes, “The meaning of the Flag Folds as Presentated at a Veteran’s Funeral.”

  • December 6 - Michael Miller, Acton Institute.

Please contact Rabbi Krishef, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Study Groups


Isaiah Study group, Zohar Study group, Mishnah Study group, and Biblical Hebrew (Genesis) reading group

For more information, see the Adult Education page.

JTS iTunes U

altThe Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the launch of the JTS iTunes U

site. The site, accessible via Apple’s iTunes, makes public lectures, Torah commentaries, and select JTS courses available for free streaming and downloading.

 The JTS iTunes U site features a wide variety of content.

 The weekly Torah commentary podcasts are easy to find and subscribe to, as are recordings of public JTS lectures and events, such as the popular series of Library Book Talks that feature JTS faculty and other distinguished authors discussing their latest books.

 Collections of lectures detailing issues in contemporary Jewish philosophy, theology, and ethics highlight how JTS scholarship engages with the challenges of the 21st century.

 In the near future, full courses—complete with course materials—will be made available, providing access to JTS’s world-class faculty and high-level Jewish learning.

The JTS iTunes U site can be visited via iTunes at:

Betzalel Art Group

BETZALEL ART GROUP, Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5:30 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 Barb Christiaans, 531-1151 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Delving Into Our History
With the help of Peg Finkelstein and Barbara Robinson from the Temple Emanuel Archives, significant progress has been made on the Ahavas Israel Archives.  The project was generously funded by Mort and Peg Finkelstein and Raleigh Finkelstein in memory of their parents. Contributions to the Gen and Jack Archive Fund provides 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.