US launch of Dr. David Reifler's book

You are invited to attend the US launch of Dr. David Reifler's book: Days of Ticho: Empire, Mandate, Medicine, and Art in the Holy Land on Sunday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. at TempleEmanuel.  A light brunch and book signing are included.

Dr Avraham Albert Ticho was a Viennese-trained ophthalmologist who immigrated to Ottoman-ruled Jerusalem in 1912. There he married his cousin, the artist Anna Ticho, and together they made their mark on the history of the Land of Israel.

In Days of Ticho, the Tichos’ story is told in all its fascinating detail. Their personal history is presented against the backdrop of a variety of historical perspectives -- histories of medicine, art, civilian institutions, governments, and war; the struggles and growth of the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine; and the conflicts that arose between Jews and their Arab neighbors.

Among the stories in this book are Dr Tichos’ supervision of the first nurses in Palestine and the early years of HadassahHospital, as well as the near-fatal stabbing of Dr Ticho by an Arab would-be assassin in November 1929, during the murderous riots that took place throughout Palestine.  Those riots were an important turning point in Jewish-Arab relations, the harbinger of problems that remain the focus of world attention until today.

The Ticho House in Jerusalem was dedicated in May 1984 as a downtown annex of the IsraelMuseum, and it welcomes thousands of visitors every year. This book further contributes to the Tichos’ legacy while advancing an understanding of their times and ours.

David M. Reifler, M.D., is an award-winning ophthalmologist who specializes in oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and the HenryFordHospital in Detroit, he trained in oculoplastic and orbital reconstructive surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and ThroatHospital.

Dr. Reifler is currently on-call professor at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He is the editor and author of ASOPRS: The First Twenty-Five Years (1994), describing the subspecialty and the organization of which he served as president in 2004, and has written dozens of medical articles and book chapters. He lives with his wife, Karen, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is the proud father of three children and Saba to three grandchildren.

Home Hospitality

One of the central lines in the Haggadah is kol dikhfin, yeitei v’yeikhol, “all who are hungry, let them come and eat.”  Every year we have requests for hospitality.  PLEASE make room for one or more guests at your Seder, and help us ensure that each member, potential member, or guest in our community has a warm home in which to spend the Sedarim.

Cadillac of Raffles

The Cadillac of Raffles is coming up!!!!! May 11th is the drawling!!!

Would you like a chance to win the prize money and help support our synagogue??? and people you know would like a chance to win and help too???

You can call up the Ahavas Israel office, Bill Lewis, David Reifler, Stuart Rappaport, Sandy Freed, Lanny Thodey, Guy De Jager to purchase tickets.

WZO Election Information

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) is a coalition of a number of Zionist organizations. Approximately every five years it meets as the World Zionist Congress, established by Theodor Herzl, which met for the first time in 1897. At this meeting, delegates vote on policy proposals for the organization, including financial policy, and discuss issues of vital importance to the global Jewish community such as Jewish identity, peace and security, anti-semitism, civil society in Israel, and the future of the State of Israel. Annually the WZO and Jewish Agency for Israel allocate approximately $300 million in support of aliyah, Jewish education and other programs in Israel and abroad.

The WZO election is one way that we can influence how those funds are disbursed. Funds are distributed in proportion with the number of votes received by each organization. Therefore, the more votes an organization receives, the greater the amount of communal funding it can secure for its programs and institutions. Hence for the Conservative Movement, it becomes imperative to secure a large vote in order to direct more money to our movement in Israel.

As a result, if we in the Diaspora want to make a difference in Israel, each and every one of us should vote in the elections of the World Zionist Congress. The cost to register is only $10, or $5 if you are age 30 or under. The benefit to our movement and to religious pluralism in Israel is many times that.

The Zionist organization of the Conservative movement is Mercaz (slate #2). The platform is:
1. Pluralism - MERCAZ is celebrates Jewish values without limiting itself to one particular stream of Judaism.
2. Encouraging Aliyah, Hebrew and Zionist Education - Mercaz joins in the effort to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and it encourages Aliyah from all countries. It opposes all attempts to restrict the Law of Return. It also calls for the strengthening of Jewish/Zionist education in the United States and throughout the world.
3. A negotiated two-state settlement between Israel and the Palestinians: MERCAZ supports a two-state solution – one Jewish and one Palestinian Arab – that is the declared policy of the current Israeli prime minister and of every other Israeli administration for the past ten years.
4. Pro-Active Concern for Israel’s Environment. As caretaker of the land of Israel we have a responsibility to protect the environment of Israel for future generations.
5. Support for the Conservative/Masorti Movement: This is really where the rubber hits the road. The number of members affiliated with Mercaz will determine how much money is given to our Masorti Congregations in Israel, and how much recognition they receive. Your vote then is a vote of support for our brothers and sisters in Israel - and it has economic implications.

The registration form can be found at Please contact the office if you would like a paper registration form mailed to you. More information about Mercaz can be found at Voting ends on April 30, 2015. The 37th World Zionist Congress will take place in Jerusalem in October, 2015.

Introduction to Judaism

The next Introduction to Judaism course will begin Monday, February 9

Taught by Rabbi David Krishef

Time:  Monday evenings, 7:00 - 8:15 p.m.

Cost:  $50/members and B’nai Noah affiliates, $75/non-members

A basic introduction to Jewish history, beliefs, rituals, holidays, and life cycle celebrations.  You may download the Syllabus here.

Junior Congregation


Junior Congregation - 3rd Shabbat of each month

JCong will meet at 11:00 on May 16th

Junior Congregation is led by Marisa Krishef or Marni Vyn, meeting on the third Shabbat of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel or classroom 6. Come join us! For more information contact Marisa Krishef at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 459-4627.

thumbs up shabbat

Future Sanctuary Shabbat speakers/programs

  •  April 4, David Rahinsky, Grand Rapids Chief of Police

  • May 2 - Tali Deaner, Rosa Parks essay contest, “Real Life Superhero”

  • June 6 - open

  • July 11 (instead of July 4) - Kenneth Waltzer, Contemporary Anti-Semitism

    Dr. Waltzer is a professor emeritus of history in James Madison College at Michigan State University. He will speak briefly during the service lead an extended discussion following a light congregational lunch. No charge.

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.


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 email 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.
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