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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.

Operation Isaiah- Yom Kippur

“This is my chosen fast…Share your bread with the hungry, take the homeless into your home. Clothe the naked when you see him, do not turn away from people in need.” (Isaiah 58:6-7)

The Operation Isaiah collection begins on Yom Kippur evening, October 3, and continues through Sukkot until Monday, October 20.

Please consider making a monetary contribution equal to or greater than the cost of food that you or your family would have consumed on the fast day of Yom Kippur.G’mar Hatima Tova, may you be sealed for another year in the book of life.

Order your Lulav and Etrog

lulav etrog sets 2014Blessing and shaking the lulav and etrog are the Jewish way to thank God for the blessings of the earth and its bountiful harvest. It is a mitzvah for each person to own a lulav and etrog, and shake it each day of Sukkot (except for Shabbat) in all six directions around us to remind us that God’s presence encompasses our entire lives. This mitzvah is an integral part of the celebration of Sukkot, which begins this year on Wednesday night, October 8. Buy one for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren!

Basic set - $30.00

Standard set - $36.00

Muvhar (choice) set - $45.00

Order through the Synagogue office. Payment must accompany order, and be received by noon on Tuesday, September 23 no exceptions.

Break the Fast


for a



Saturday, OCTOBER 4th


Sponsored by the Religious Life Committee,

your RSVP is appreciated to assure accuracy in the amount of food.

Family Name __________________________________# attending _______

Donation enclosed to help defray costs $________

______ Yes, can help prepare food on Thursday evening, October 2nd at 6 pm

______ Yes, can help set up Thursday evening, October 2nd at 6 pm

______ Yes, can help with cleanup afterwards Saturday night

______ Not this time, but would like to help with another holiday _____________

RSVP by Monday, September 29th

Congregation Ahavas Israel

2727 Michigan NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Attention: Religious Life

Questions? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sanctuary Shabbat speaker, November 1

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

Rich Karelse began working in funeral service in 1986. In January of 1999 I received a Certified Pre- Planning Consultant Certification through the National Funeral Directors Association. In 2007, he became a Certified Celebrant through In Sight Books in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A celebrant is trained to meet the needs of families in writing and delivering personal eulogies. He is also a 12 year member of the West Michigan Board for Hospice of Michigan.?

Rich has lived in Grand Rapids all his life, married to Linda since 1975. They have three daughters, who also live in the Grand Rapids area, and 4 grandsons.

Jewish Theater season 15

theater grPlease click here to see the flyer for the -Jewish Theater of Grand Rapids 2014

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).


Rabbi Krishef's Sabbatical

Rabbi Krishef will be on Sabbatical during the months of November, December, and January.
Are you interested in sharing/willing to share a d’var Torah during the weeks that he is away? Please contact him to be put on the schedule.

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 has adopted 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. We'll be learning new tunes and helping the grown-ups by leading end-of-service prayers in the sanctuary. Come join us!

Junior Congregation is primarily aimed at students who are reading, but younger students, with parental assistance, are welcome. There has been some interest expressed in a monthly “Tot Shabbat” service for younger children. Interested? Contact Marisa Krishef at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 459-4627.

Because of the start of the holidays, note the day and time changes in September and October:

JCong will meet on October 4 (11:30 a.m., Yom Kippur) and Saturday, October 18

thumbs up shabbat

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

  • 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 Presented 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 .

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