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Upcoming Events

Mekhirat Hametz - Selling Hametz

seder-plate If possible, all hametz -- leavened products, foods not acceptable during Pesah, or materials containing such unacceptable food -- should be destroyed or given away before the holiday begins. Should this be impossible, the hametz may be stored in such a way that we are sure not to use it during the holiday and its actual ownership is transferred to a non-Jew until the holiday ends. 

Please return the mekhirat hametz form for the sale of leavened products (which can be found in the Voice or downloaded from to Congregation Ahavas Israel by 12:00 noon on Monday, April 14. 

It is customary to make a donation to a Ma’ot Hittim fund at the time of mekhirat hametz to help others fulfill the mitzvah of Pesah.

Pesah Schedule 2014

Sunday, April 13                       

after dark (about 9:00 p.m.) - Bedikat Hametz (Search for hametz)                             

Monday, April 14

    7:30 a.m.      Minyan and Siyyum Bekhorim

                        (Conclusion of Fast of the Firstborn)

    11:18 a.m.    No eating hametz after this time

    12:22 p.m.   Bi’ur hametz (Destruction of hametz) by this time

    8:08 p.m.     Candlelighting and first Seder

Tuesday, April 15 - 1st day Pesah

    9:30 a.m.      Yom Tov services

    after 9:09 p.m. Candlelighting* and Second Seder

Wednesday, April 16 - 2nd day Pesah

    9:30 a.m.      Yom Tov services

    9:10 p.m.     Havdalah**

Thursday, April 17

    7:00 a.m.      Minyan

Saturday, April 19

    9:30 a.m.      Shabbat services

Sunday, April 20

    8:15 p.m.     Candlelighting

Monday, April 21 - 7th day Pesah

    9:30 a.m.      Yom Tov Services

after 9:17 p.m. Yom Tov Candlelighting*

Tuesday, April 22 - 8th day Pesah

    9:30 a.m.      Yom Tov Services (including Yizkor)

    9:18 p.m.     Havdalah, end of Pesah**

    9:30 p.m.     hametz will be repurchased by this time.


*From a flame lit before the beginning of Yom Tov.

**Havdalah is made over a cup of wine only (omit the blessings over the candle and spices).


The Jewish Film Festival 2014

Click here on the Jewish Film Festival 2014 to see the flyer!!!

The Festival of Shavuot

Please join us for our 20th annual potluck dinner and Tikkun Leil Shavuot study sessions, “Things your Hebrew School Teacher never taught you!” - Tuesday, June 3, 6:30 p.m., sessions led by Binyamin Mehler and Rabbi Krishef.

If you would like to come to dinner, please contact Marisa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 459-4627) and let her know what you would like to bring. If you want to come for the study sessions only, no RSVP necessary (although feel free to contact Marisa if you want to bring some desert).


6:30 - 7:30 p.m. - dinner

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Study session

9:00 - 9:45 p.m. candlelighting, ma’ariv, and dessert

9:45 - ? Study sessions

Shavuot Yom Tov services - Wednesday and Thurday, June 4 & 5, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday - Torah Reading - “The 10 Commandments”

Thursday - Service includes the Yizkor Memorial service

On May 18, Shavuot

A 1/2 hour presentation on the holiday, followed by a lesson in making blintzes.

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

We will next provide meals and support to our partner congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church (2700 Fulton St. E) on Tuesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 15. If you would like to bring part of a meal, organize activities, stay overnight at the church, or if you have questions about the program, please contact Mort Hoffman, 616-949-6088 or 616-361-2738.

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
  • August 2 - Shmuel Bowman, Executive Director, Lifeshield

    Coming next fall: Jeremiah Cataldo, GVSU Classics Department; Rich Karelse, Life Story Funeral Homes, “The story of the folds on an American flag at a military funeral”

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.