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Religious Life

Religious Life and Other Activities

Enhancing, teaching, and encouraging the religious life of our members is the core mission of Ahavas Israel. Our Religious Life Committee creates a wide variety of religious programming that involves the Congregation in active participation and facilitates religious practices of the Synagogue. Shabbat morning, with a “Schmooze 'n Schmear” breakfast, services with a monthly speaker series, and a Torah study group after Kiddush has something for everyone - social, educational, religious, and food! Other Religious Life social activities help us celebrate Shabbat dinners and holidays parties together with our congregational friends. Our activities committee plans movie nights, trips out of town, and other social get-togethers for adults, families, and youth.

Adult Education Programs

Adult Jewish Learning

torahAhavas Israel encourages everyone to engage in study of the texts and traditions of our people. We offer a variety of study opportunities, including several weekly Torah study groups, and classes on Jewish subjects taught by our Rabbi and other community members. We participate in a community Scholar-In-Residence weekend along with Temple Emanuel and the Jewish Federation, featuring an expert in a field of Jewish thought for a weekend of study and discussion. Through the generosity of the Israel and Belle Shapiro Scholarship Fund, we are able to help adults participate in retreats and other programs of Jewish education.

The mission of the Judaic Studies Institute is threefold:

  1. to educate the members of Congregation Ahavas Israel in various subjects of Judaica;
  2. to reach out and provide educational opportunities to other members of the Grand Rapids Jewish community; and
  3. to provide educational opportunities for Grand Rapids’ non-Jewish community.
Divre Harav-Rabbi's Words

Rabbi KrishefRabbi David J.B. Krishef grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Hebrew and Jewish Studies.  Following a two year stint as a program director at the University of Minnesota Hillel Foundation (serving students at Carleton and Macalester colleges), he entered the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he received ordination in 1994.

Read more about Rabbi David J.B. Krishef

Rabbi Q and A

Each link below leads to a page with multiple questions and answers on the listed topic. 

If you do not find the question/answer you are seeking, please send Rabbi Krishef an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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