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Beineinu The newsletter of Ahavath Achim Synagogue • February 2020 •


havath Achim cultivates a Jewish community of purposeful belonging. We inspire and support spiritual journeys by deepening relationships with one another. We believe it is at the crossroads of our spiritual paths that life’s purpose and God might be found. Ahavath Achim creates a vibrant, inclusive, spiritual community that empowers individuals to connect Jewishly beyond themselves.

f AhavathAchimSynagogue l @aasynagogueatl t @AASynagogueATL y Ahavath Achim Synagogue D www.aasynagogue.org V 404.355.5222 ] 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW Atlanta, GA 30327


AA embraces interfaith families who desire to be part of our Jewish community. Our spiritual community serves all who wish to connect with us. Learn more about our interfaith values at InteraithFamily.com.

WEEKLY SERVICE SCHEDULE Morning Minyan (Monday - Friday)

7:15 am

Morning Minyan (Sunday)

9:00 am

Evening Minyan (Sunday - Thursday)

6:00 pm

Shabbat Evening Service (Friday)

6:30 pm

Shabbat Morning Service (Saturday)

9:30 am

Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal The Sanford & Barbara Orkin Family Senior Rabbinic Chair Rabbi Neil Sandler Rabbi Arnold Goodman Senior Rabbinic Scholar

STAFF Barry Herman Executive Director Miriam Habif Director of Outreach & Engagement Jackie Nix Director of Youth & Family Engagement Chris Carr Director of Facilities Beth Arnold Helmey Ahava ELC Director Investigator Joe Jones IV Director of Security Jill Rosner Executive Assistant to the Rabbis Catherine Ficke Executive Assistant to the Executive Director Heidi Herman Ahava ELC Administrator Susan Goff Ahava ELC Bookkeeper Lauren Dube Marketing Coordinator & Graphic Designer Stan Vogel Finance Manager Fern Schorr Receptionist Wesley Coney Facilities Anika Johnson Facilities Ken Johnson Facilities Ian Madge Facilities Marcus Thomas Facilities

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD Mark Cohen President Gerry Benjamin Executive Vice President Michael Plasker Financial Vice President Gary Alembik Vice President Stacy Fialkow Vice President Betty Sunshine Vice President Allison Feldman and Rachael Joseph Sisterhood Co-Presidents Ethan Povlot USY and Kadima President

1 • February 2020

Beineinu… between you and me The Newsletter of Ahavath Achim Synagogue

Funded by a grant from The Center Family Foundation

The Listening Campaign - Sh’ma Yisrael By Mark Stern and Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal


f all of our five senses that the Torah commands us to involve in our Jewish life, listening is arguably the most important. “Sh’ma, Yisrael,” - “Listen Israel,” God commands, inviting us into a relationship of love, devotion and meaning. Listening, and more importantly, hearing, is a commandment that leads us to develop stronger connections as a people and as a community. This important directive has informed and inspired the work we are in the midst of right now through the Ahavath Achim Listening Campaign. The Listening Campaign was initiated as an opportunity to go into our shul community and learn what our members are looking for from their synagogue family. With 10 meetings completed in the warm and welcoming homes of our members, we have been awestruck and delighted at the honest and frank conversations that have ensued. We are sitting together, laughing and schmoozing, getting to know one another better in intimate settings, as we talk about what ‘purposeful belonging’ means to each of us. People with long histories within our congregation have been able to share stories with newcomers, who, in turn, have helped us see our community with fresh eyes. We are only halfway through this campaign and we are slated to have a few larger meetings in late March at the synagogue campus to provide space for as many voices as possible. Once finished, our leadership will have the opportunity to dive deep into the notes from these conversations and distill this important information, all with an eye towards creating a deeper, more meaningful congregational engagement process. We will come back with ideas based upon what we heard will connect us both socially and spiritually so that together, we can grow our spiritual and meaning-making community. Please make a point to attend one of the following community meetings: Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 pm, Monday, March 23 at 9 am, and Sunday, March 29 at 6:30 pm. We look forward to hearing your voice!

February 2020 • 2

You Can Make a Difference by Supporting Religious Pluralism in Israel


heodor Herzl envisioned Israel as a focal point for all Jews. But today the Israeli government only recognizes one stream of Judaism. The Masorti (Conservative) movement is in an ongoing struggle for recognition. While progress has been made, there are still many challenges ahead. As American Jews, we don’t often get a chance to make a direct impact in Israel. However, the 2020 World Zionist Congress election gives us that opportunity. Every five years an election is held to determine the leadership of the World Zionist Congress, an important body connected to several influential Jewish organizations. It is imperative that MERCAZ - the official slate of the Conservative/Masorti Movement - has a strong showing in this upcoming election. We, at Ahavath Achim, feel strongly about our congregation’s responsibility to support MERCAZ. A vote for MERCAZ is our best opportunity to send a strong message to the Israeli government that we support an Israel which values religious pluralism, including all streams of Jewish practice. Voting continues until March 11. You can vote right now by heading to MERCAZ2020.org. We will also facilitate voting while you are at the synagogue during this time. Please note that each voter is asked to pay $7.50 to defray election costs. For more information, please contact our Vote Mercaz co-chairs: Margo Gold (margogold2@gmail.com); Randy Crohn (randycrohn@yahoo.com).

3 • February 2020

LIFE CYCLE B’nai Mitzvah

Mazal Tov to our young members on this milestone!

Logan Spencer Weiss

Feel-Good News

Celebrating gatherings, simchas, achievements in our community...

December 14, 2019 Logan is the son of Tova and Jason Weiss, grandson of Rina Wolfe and Jack Wolfe (z”l) and Rose and Bruce Weiss, greatgrandson of Adele Wolfe (z”l) and Eleanor Sims, and brother of Madison Weiss.

Andrew Lapes

February 8, 2020 Andrew is the son of Brian and Alyson Lapes, grandson of Stuart Shubin and Vivian and Melvyn Lapes, and brother of Reagan Lapes. For his Mitzvah Project, Andrew is partnering with the Zaban Paradies Center to help homeless couples; he and his friends will prepare 40 bagged lunches to deliver to current residents.

Laila Harber

February 22, 2020 Laila is the daughter of Lori and Rick Harber, granddaughter of Ronda and Phil Harber, Delcy Pardo Harber, and Debra Cherkas and Michael Cherkas (z”l), and sister of Sofia Harber.

On Tuesday, December 17, our congregants celebrated the 89th birthday of long-time member and “minyanaire,” Philip Sunshine. Philip has been coming to Morning Minyan for over 50 years!

A few of our Havurah Initiative members recently attended a Chanukah party hosted by Patsy and Bill Little. Todah Rabah to the Littles for providing a great party, wonderful food, and awesome decorations!

Baruch Dayan Emet May God comfort their loved ones along with the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Sidney Glassman Beloved friend

Norma Schiff

Beloved congregant

Mazal Tov to Flora Rosefsky for becoming one of the newest artists of the MACoM (Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah) Art Gallery. Her artwork concentrates primarily on her Rituals series and her series on birds, Songs of Praise.

February 2020 • 4

Events & announcements Naomi’s Book Club

Monday, February 3 | 10:15 am | Koplin Borochoff Library: Join Sisterhood one Monday per month for a lively book discussion. February’s book is Educated by Tara Westover, and the discussion will be led by Rina Wolfe.

HomeBeis@AA Youth Services

Saturday, February 8 | 10:30 - 11 am | Koplin Borochoff Library: As part of our new Shabbat programming, we are excited to introduce Youth Services! Parents and their children (K - 2) are invited to join us once a month for a taste of Shabbat morning services specifically designed for this age group.

HomeBeis@AA Groove Shabbat

Blood Drive

Sunday, February 9 | 9 am - 2 pm | Srochi Auditorium: Do the mitzvah of donating blood at AA’s quarterly Blood Drive! Everyday, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. You can schedule an appointment with us through the Red Cross Blood website by typing the code “JWV” in the “Find a blood Drive” search box located on the top right-hand corner of the home page. You will be directed to the AA registration page where you can schedule your appointment. The Quarterly Blood Drive is sponsored by Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, Congregation Or VeShalom, Jewish War Veterans Post 112, and Fulton Lodge No. 216 Free and Accepted Masons.

Tu B’Shvat Tree Planting

Saturday, February 8 | 11 11:30 am | Paradies Hall: As part of our new Shabbat programming, we are excited to continue Groove Shabbat! Parents and their children (0 - Pre-K) are invited to join us one Saturday a month for stories and interactive songs celebrating Shabbat and upcoming Jewish holidays. Snacks, play time, and Kiddush lunch to follow.

Sunday, February 9 | 12:30 - 4 pm | At the Corner of Woodland Ave and Lenox Rd, 30324 (South of Lavista Rd): Join the Atlanta Jewish community in planting trees for Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year of the trees! Trees Atlanta will provide the trees, tools, and expertise; we’ll spread tree roots into fertile ground, giving them a place to flourish! Refreshments (fruits, nuts, and hot coffee) and special children’s programming offered.

Tu B’Shvat Seder

Young Professionals Night at AJFF

Saturday, February 8 | 12:30 pm: In lieu of the regular Rebbe’s Tish, please join us for a Tu B’Shvat Seder led by Brooke Rosenthal. Come experience the deep spiritual roots of Tu B’Shvat, and enjoy the symbolism of eating fruits and nuts.

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Saturday, February 15 | Party at 6:30 pm, Film at 8 pm | Woodruff Arts Center - 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 | Registration Required: Attend a screening of Standing Up, Falling Down, featuring Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal in a hilarious comedy-drama showing the unlikely friendship between a failed, thirty-something stand-up comedian and a hard

drinking, larger-than-life, sixty-something dermatologist. This screening is presented by ACCESS Atlanta, American Jewish Committee’s young leadership division, and is reserved for festival goers 40 years old and under. The program will include a pre-film party with a cash bar. AA is a proud partner of this event.

mAAc’s 2nd Annual Brunch

Sunday, February 16 | 11 am - 1 pm | Srochi Auditorium | $18 per person: Join the Mature Active Adult Community (mAAc) for the Second Annual Brunch. Reconnect with friends, create new memories, and enjoy delicious food all while moving to the music of the Gray Matters Band! Registration required by Monday, February 10.

Sisterhood’s Latte and Learn

Thursday, February 20 | 10:30 - 11:30 am | Panera Bread 4531 Olde Perimeter Way, Atlanta, GA 30346: Join the rabbis and fellow sisters every third Thursday of the month for a morning of coffee (or tea), conversation, and learning at Sisterhood’s monthly study group.

Second Annual Shabbat Welcoming New Members

Friday, February 21 | 5:45 pm | RSVP/Registration Required: Join us at our Second Annual Shabbat service and dinner to officially welcome our new members to the AA family! Everyone is invited to join, and all new members (joined in 2019-20) will receive a complimentary dinner. If you are a new member (joined in 2019-20), please RSVP through the personal invite you received via USPS and email. If you have not received your personal evite, or if you have any questions, please contact Miriam Habif (mhabif@aasynagogue.org; 404.603.5749). All other members who would like to meet and greet our new members must register online. Registration and RSVP required by Monday, February 17.

Birthday and Anniversary Breakfast

Sunday, February 23 | 9 am: Join us for Minyan followed by a wonderful breakfast in honor of our January, February, and March birthday and anniversary celebrants! We hope you will come celebrate with your Ahavath Achim family. RSVP to Fern Schorr (404.355.5222 or fschorr@aasynagogue.org) to ensure that we have prepared enough food.

Purim Megillah Reading

Monday, March 9 | 7:30 pm: It’s a celebration... a Purim celebration! Come join us for our annual Purim Megillah Reading starring Steve Grossman as every character in the book and featuring the music of the 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Band, Matthew Kaminski, and a special guest! Stay for the hamenstashen, nosh and drinks.

Atlanta Chamber Players

Sunday, March 15 | 2 pm | Ellman Chapel: AA’s Cultural Arts Concert Series presents the Atlanta Chamber Players! Performing: Jacques Ibert’s Cinq Pieces en trio, Francois Devienne’s Quartet in G Minor, Op. 73, No. 3, for Bassoon, Violin, and Cello, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata, Op. 47, No. 9 (“Kreutzer”), for Violin and Piano. Reception following the concert. Free and open to the public.

Jewish Learning Groups Tuesdays@AA - Every Tuesday | 10 am - 12 pm | Fishman Conference Room Rabbi Rosenthal’s Talmud Class - Every Wednesday | 5 - 6 pm | Koplin Borochoff Library Hebrew 202 (Intermediate) - Every Wednesday | 7 - 8:30 pm | Fishman Conference Room Rabbi Sandler’s Talmud Class - Every Thursday | 8:30 am | Cavalier Room Torah Study - Every Saturday | 10:30 - 11:30 am | Cavalier Room Hebrew 101 (Basic) - Every Sunday | 10 - 11:30 am | Cavalier Room

February 2020 • 6

Piedmont Study Group - Every second Wednesday of the month | 2:30 - 3:30 pm | The Piedmont at Buckhead

the Ahava ELC Director: Beth Arnold Helmey (beth@ahavalearning.org; 404.900.9411).

Lunch and Learn - Every third Wednesday of the month | 12 - 1 pm | Office of Birnbrey Minsk Minsk and Perling

Ahavath Achim’s Backpack Buddies (BPB) provides foodinsecure students at E. Rivers Elementary School and Bolton Academy with backpacks full of satisfying and healthy food for every weekend throughout the school year. Over 25% of children attending E. Rivers Elementary School and Bolton Academy participate in the free or reduced-price meal program. Many children leave school on Friday not knowing when they will eat again. Backpack Buddies provides food for these children on weekends to make sure that they stay nourished for the subsequent week. Questions? Contact the co-chairs: Sherri Wildstein (sherriwildstein@gmail.com); Carla Wertheimer (werth5@comcast.net).

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Event details are subject to change after publication. For more information about an event (updates, point of contact, registration, etc.), visit our online events calendar at aasynagogue.org/events. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Ahava Morning Greeters Needed

Ahava Early Learning Center is looking for a few friendly volunteers to greet families as they arrive in the early mornings. Volunteers will provide a warm welcome as children and their families arrive at school in the morning, take phone messages, and occasionally greet guests or substitute teachers as they arrive at the building. If you or someone you know is an early bird who loves children and is looking for a way to contribute to this growing community, please call the school at 404.900.9411 or talk to Heidi at the front desk or the director, Beth, for more information.


AA and Ahava Early Learning Center are proud to participate in the ALEF Fund Scholarship, a program that allows families to make the dream of a Jewish school experience for their child a reality! Parents with children enrolled at Ahava are eligible and encouraged to apply for an ALEF Fund scholarship, which can provide up to approximately $9,000 of support per child per year! The ALEF Fund, Inc. is a registered Georgia 501(c)3 Student Scholarship Nonprofit Organization that supports Jewish education in Georgia by helping taxpayers receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for providing scholarships to students at the Jewish preschools or schools of their choice. This past year, thanks to the many who contributed a portion of their Georgia State Income Taxes to the ALEF Fund, Ahava received more than $100,000 in scholarship funds designated for students in our Pre-K class. Todah Rabah! Please visit aleffund.org for more information about how you can allocate a portion of your taxes to help support Ahava or how your child can receive a financial scholarship for Pre-K. It’s simple to qualify! Questions? Contact

7 • February 2020

Backpack Buddies - Fight Childhood Hunger

Chesed Initiative

Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear (Mark Twain). The Chesed (Loving-Kindness) Initiative, created in October 2018, has over 35 volunteers who have made positive differences in our fellow congregants’ lives. This Initiative works with our clergy, staff, and leaders to connect AA congregants with members who want to do good deeds. In the past year, we have developed a volunteer training manual, conducted 5 training sessions, cooked and baked for over 30 ill or hospitalized congregants, attended over 11 Shiva minyanim, and sent over 115 personalized notes. The following tribute funds allow the initiative to do its work: the Daily Minyan Fund, the Susie Habif Chesed Fund, and the Bikur Cholim (Visiting the Sick) Fund. Please consider donating to these funds to honor and remember friends and loved ones. If you are a warm, friendly, dedicated volunteer looking to strengthen our community and make a difference in a fellow congregant’s life then this initiative is for you. Caring touches make all the difference in the world to those receiving them. If you know of a congregant who is facing personal difficulties related to health, loss, or grief, please contact Fern Schorr (fschorr@aasynagogue.org; 404.355.5222) to let us know. Questions? Contact the co-chair: Nancy Levine (nlevine2660@gmail.com).

Sisterhood - The Centennial Year

Empowering Women from Generation to Generation... Ahavath Achim’s Sisterhood is a dynamic organization of women of all ages with diverse experiences, talents, and interests within our synagogue, community, and the Jewish world.

Your Sisterhood membership will nurture: • Year-Round Programming: Latte and Learn, Naomi’s Book Club, Rosh Chodesh Discussion Group, Mah Jongg, cultural outings to plays, museums, and more • Congregational Enrichment: Rosh Hashanah apples and honey, Worship in Pink Shabbat for breast cancer awareness, Sisterhood Shabbat, and synagogue beautification • AA Youth: Religious school support, gifts for consecration, B’nai Mitzvah, 7th grade graduation, and confirmation; scholarships for Jewish camps, programs, and Israel study; and holiday packages for college students • Community Outreach: Rebecca’s Tent – Shearith Israel, Zaban Paradies Center, William Breman Jewish Home, JF&CS (Jewish Family and Career Services), an active role in the AAACTS (Awareness and Action to Abolish Child Trafficking for Sex) Commitee From generation to generation and from strength to strength, join Sisterhood today! Every woman counts for Sisterhood to grow and thrive. Basic membership dues are $45, but we encourage you to join at a “Chai-er” level. Your generous dues and donations are vital for Sisterhood to continue to offer programs and projects that strengthen and sustain our Jewish values. Z’havah Sisterhood is the young women’s initiative of the AA Sisterhood that offers programs and activities for those who are looking to share common interests. We celebrate and explore our Jewish identities through a series of programs that focus on fun, education, and social action. Questions about Sisterhood? Contact the Membership Co-Chairs: Rebecca Sokol (770.789.1467; sokolrebecca@gmail.com); Rina Wolfe (404.561.0749; rinawolfe10@gmail.com).

Shopping on Amazon?

You can do that and support Sisterhood at the same time! Sisterhood invites you to do your online shopping with us on Amazon by clicking on the link on the synagogue’s website Sisterhood page. Up to 15% of your purchase will be donated to Sisterhood! It doesn’t cost any extra, so why not?

Smiling Faces Needed

Everyone who walks through our doors on Shabbat and holidays is greeted with a warm welcome. This is made possible by our devoted members who are part of our greeter team. Being a greeter is an easy and fun way to connect with other congregants, meet new people, and become an integral part of the synagogue. If you can smile and say “Shabbat Shalom,” then you are a fully trained greeter. Greeters stay in the foyer outside Ellman Chapel for approximately one hour on Shabbat and holidays. To join the greeter team, contact the co-chairs: Mildred and Marty Kwatinetz (zaydekw@comcast. net or 404.812.1734).

Torah Fund

Help to preserve, promote and perpetuate Conservative/ Masorti Judaism by giving to Sisterhood’s Torah Fund Campaign supporting scholarship funds at the Jewish Theological Seminary (New York, NY), Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Los Angeles, CA), Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem), Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano (Buenos Aires), and Zacharias Frankel College (Potsdam, Germany). AA Sisterhood has been recognized as a leader in supporting Jewish education, in our congregation, and for the entire movement. To purchase a card or make a donation, contact the co-chairs: Amy Landrum (amystrevelandrum@gmail.com); Fran Galishoff (fgalishoff@bellsouth.net).

Questions about Z’havah? Contact the Z’havah Co-Chairs: Marni Goldman (404.697.2996; marnisgoldman@gmail.com); Aurélie Weinstein (404.219.7320; aurelie.and.randy@gmail.com).

February 2020 • 8

Tribute Donations

Tribute donations offer the ability to memorialize or honor friends and family through donations to a variety of designated funds. Tribute donations can be made in honor of B’nai Mitzvah, the birth of a baby, a graduation, a wedding, or other special occasion. Donations in memory of loved ones are a thoughtful and meaningful way to remember those who have passed away. Your donation will be acknowledged with a card to the recipient of this tribute. You can make a donation by sending in a check or by completing the online donation form (aasynagogue.org/support). Please note that Tribute Donations require a minimum contribution of $18.

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Profile for Ahavath Achim Synagogue

Beineinu - February 2020  

Beineinu - February 2020