Congregation Agudath Sholom | 301 Strawberry Hill Ave | Stamford, CT 06902 (203)-358-2200

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Congregation Agudath Sholom Shabbat Bulletin

Congregation Agudath Sholom
Shabbat Bulletin
VayechiDecember 22, 201814 Tevet 5779
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Candle Lighting4:10 PM
Mincha4:15 PM
Shacharit7:00 AM/8:00 AM/9:00 AM
Torah Before Tefillah7:40 AM
Coffee And Commentary8:45 AM
Teen Minyan9:30 AM
Latest Shema9:35 AM
Latest Shacharit10:21 AM
Shiur10:30 AM
Tot Shabbat/Mini Minyan/Jr. Cong10:30 AM
Daf Yomi3:15 PM
Code of Jewish Law3:15 PM
Mincha4:05 PM
Maariv5:06 PM
Shabbat Ends5:11 PM
Shabbat Shalom
One Day

The days of Yaakov's life are coming to a close. Sensing his final moments on earth, he asks Yosef to promise him that he will be buried in Israel with his ancestors. His deep commitment to this ideal is one of the primary sources for burial in Israel. He then calls on his grandchildren and children to offer them blessings. It is clear from the text of these blessings that his intention is not simply to make them feel good, but to empower them to realize their unique potential in the world and embrace and perpetuate the legacy of the Jewish people.

Among the blessings he shares with them is a secret that is transcendent, unifying and deeply relevant to all of us. It is embodied in the way Yaakov himself led his life. It is alluded to in the beginning of the Parsha and implicit in his blessing to his grandchildren. The Torah states that the days of Yaakov's life were coming to an end. Notably, the Torah does not state "years," but "days." It could have said that the years of his life were coming to a close. Why the emphasis on days?

The Ohr Hachaim, Rabbi Chaim Attar, explains that Yaakov understood one of life's most important lessons. We are born not only with a soul, but with unique sparks in that soul corresponding to each day of our lives. Our mandate is to redeem the potential in each day. When we go to sleep at night, the spark returns to God. It is no wonder that the Torah describes the most righteous as not having lived many years, but as having lived with length of days. Yaakov understood that we cannot control how many years we are on this earth, but we can control what we do with each day.

It is this message he shares with his grandchildren. The Torah states that Yaakov blessed Ephraim and Menashe on "that day" that the Jewish people would invoke their names when blessing children. The words "that day" can also be understood that his blessing to them was to live life focusing only on the day we are experiencing right now. Too often we live with regret and in the past or contemplate the future and miss the opportunities inherent in the present moment. Much of life can pass us by when we are not fully present with the people around us and in the activities we do. Yaakov tells his grandchildren and us to be focused on this day, redeem the spark and then we will be blessed to maximize the gift of every day.

Wishing you and your families a Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Daniel Cohen

Youth Group Note:  There will be no groups on December 29th

The Tax Year is Ending! Whether you want to pre-pay next year's dues or contribute to the Annual Dinner in March, if you would like to make a payment before the end of 2018, contact Matt Feinberg (

This Shabbat,  we join over 250 synagogues nationwide in Team Shabbos, a national movement, under the direction of Rabbi Elchana Zohn, dedicated to generating awareness, educating and guiding the community on end-of-life matters. For more information, visit or contact Rabbi Cohen or Rabbi Zweiter to discuss personal end of life matters.

New Course:  Reading Hebrew 2 - Beginning on Monday evening, January 7th at 7:30 PM, Bob Abrams will be leading a course Hebrew reading 2 with a focus on the Friday night liturgy. Fore more info, contact Bob at

New benefit for CAS members:  Beginning January 10th and weekly thereafter, on Thursdays from 11:00 am -1:00pm, a clinical social worker/counselor from Schoke Jewish Family Service will be available to discuss issues affecting congregants at the synagogue. Topics such as parenting or marital concerns, bereavement, grief, and the demands (emotional and practical) of caregiving can be discussed with the therapist. You may also make inquiries about family support services (food pantry, emergency assistance, camp scholarship, home companion services). All conversations will be strictly confidential. To make an appointment to meet with the social worker, please contact Amanda Geffner, LCSW, at 203-921-4161 or email at
Shabbat Topics & Participants
Friday Night Dvar TorahRabbi Daniel Cohen
Torah Before TefillahRabbi Oran Zweiter
Coffee and Commentary Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Code of Jewish LawAri Lieberman
10:30 shiurRabbi Oran Zweiter: Minhag Ta'ut - How to Treat Mistaken Customs
Library shiurJay Jubas: Shiur
SermonRabbi Daniel Cohen
Torah ReadersJay Jubas, Mark Wagshul
Daf YomiDavid Bessaleli
Seudat ShlishitRabbi Oran Zweiter: Understanding the Mitzvah of Burial(in honor of National Association of Chevra Kadisha Shabbat)
Thanks To Our Sponsors
Shabbat Shalom Hospital PackagesHoward & Stephanie Fogel in memory of Sam Fogel
Library Kiddush:Arthur Smith in memory of his parents, Miriam Edel (bas Yehoshua) and Archie (Yitzchak ben Tzvi Halevi) Smith
Chapel KiddushRabbi Yossi and Chanie Kamman in celebration of the birth of their daughter Moussia
Sanctuary KiddushAnonymous donor in honor of the congregation and all visitors
Weekday Schedule
ShacharitSunday 7:15 AM/8:30 AM, Monday 6:30 AM/7:30 AM, Tuesday 7:15 AM/8:30 AM, Wednesday-Friday 6:30 AM/7:30 AM
MinchaSunday-Thursday 4:15 PM, Friday 4:20 PM
Lunch MinchaMonday - Thursday, 12:30 pm at 613 Restaurant, 108 Prospect St., except 12/25 & 1/1
Candles Friday4:15 PM
TuesdayChristmas Day
  • to Amy Fishkow on the recent passing of her aunt, Brenda Fishkow
  • to the families of two IDF soldiers who were murdered last week, Corporal Yosef Cohen, 19 from Beit Shemesh, and Sergeant Yovel Moryosef, 20 from Ashkelon, Please click here to watch this moving video, an interview with Rav Eliyahu Meirav, Stepfather of slain IDF soldier Yosef Cohen.
For up to date shiva and contact info:
To make a memorial contribution online, and have us send an acknowledgement to the family, please click here
Mazal Tov
  • to David Bessaleli on the recent Bar Mitzvah of his grandson, Yitzchak Jasper, son of Gila and Goel Jasper
  • to Eric and Rebecca Sigman and Doris and Elliot Weiss on Nate receiving his first aliyah this Shabbat
  • to Danielle & Matthew Kondub on the birth of a baby girl
Celebrate with the family! Make a donation in their honor and we will send an acknowledgement to the family. Just click here


December 27th from 10:00AM-2:00PM!

We need volunteers! Please call Julie at (203) 321-6460 or Anne at (203) 321-5072

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Sign Up For These Events
CAS Young Families
  • MOMMY AND ME GROUP Monday, December 24 from 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The Mom Group is a great and easy way to form meaningful connections with other moms in your neighborhood. Join us for a weekly playdate with your little one and an opportunity to share your experiences, ask questions you need help with, gather resources, or just connect with other women.
  • YOUNG FAMILIES COMMITTEE NEEDS YOU The next organizational meeting will be held Monday, January 15th at 8 PM. If you would like to join, please contact Jessica Furmansky at The Young Families and Youth Committee serves CAS children and their families from birth through the early years of elementary school as they are introduced to our vibrant Jewish community. We strive to create a welcoming environment for embracing both children and parents through family and young couples programming. Our activities are social and educational and include such as Shabbat Onegs, Potluck events, Toddler Time, Shalom Bayit chavura and nights out for couples. We also work, develop and support vibrant youth programming for children from two years old through high school. The committee works in conjunction with the Rabbi, Youth Directors, and Teen Leader.
Rabbi Office Hours
Update on Rabbi Cohen's & Rabbi Zweiter's Open Office HoursOpen Office Hours are an opportunity to drop by to see our Rabbis without an appointment. They will be available in their office for guidance or a chat. Rabbis will not schedule meetings during these hours, which will be held around the same time each week. Call the office to confirm Rabbi Cohen or Rabbi Zweiter are not attending to an urgent matter outside the synagogue. Open Office Hour Times for this Week
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
  • Monday, December 24, 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM at CAS
  • Friday, December 28, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM at Starbucks, 2139 Summer St, Stamford, CT 06904
Rabbi Oran Zweiter
  • Wednesday, December 26, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM at CAS
  • Thursday, December 27, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at CAS
CAS Classes
Week of December 23
SundayRabbi Oran Zweiter: Bible from the Beginning - 9:15 AM
MondayBob Abrams: The Tanach Club - Psalms of Hallel - 10:15 AM
Bob Abrams: Crash Course in Reading Hebrew - 7:30 PM
WednesdayRabbi Oran Zweiter: Weekly Haftorah - 9:30 AM
ThursdayRabbi Oran Zweiter: Rabbi Soloveitchik's work, Confrontation - 9:15 AM
FridayRabbi Daniel Cohen: The Pre-Shabbos Torah Taste - 8:15 AM
Review our full list of classes
Halacha Corner
Rabbi Cohen's Halachic Corner Kosher Supervisions
Very often, myself or Rabbi Zweiter receive a message from someone in the supermarket asking about the reliability of a kosher symbol on food. We are happy to respond. In the office, we have a list of reliable kosher symbols. Recently, we learned of a resource which can be helpful as well. "The Kosher App," which is available for Apple devices, uses your phone's camera to look up the kosher symbol. It tells you which agency it belongs to, where it's located and if it's cRc (Chicago Rabbinical Council) approved. click here to learn more.
Sponsor A Kiddush
Dec 29Sanctuary: openChapel: openLibrary: sponsoredTeen:
Jan 5Sanctuary: sponsoredChapel: sponsoredLibrary: sponsoredTeen:
Jan 12Sanctuary: sponsoredChapel: openLibrary: sponsoredTeen: open
Jan 19Sanctuary: sponsoredChapel: sponsoredLibrary: sponsoredTeen: sponsored
Jan 26Sanctuary: openChapel: openLibrary: sponsoredTeen:
Sponsor a kiddush! click here to see the menus
Email Matt and he will contact you or see Hecky or Irwin to arrange a Kiddush.
CAS Announcements
  • YOUNG FAMILIES SHALOM BAYIT SERIES with Rabbi Daniel Cohen Saturday night, January 19th @ 8 PM. Space is limited so RSVP at your earliest convenience to Rachel Maryles at Rabbi Cohen explores timely themes in Romance, Marriage and Parenting.
  • THE CAS MEN'S CLUB is looking for a variety of types of help and you in turn will get mitzvah credits! (1) Donations of Turkey(s) and vegetables in order to prepare a nice lunch and dinner for the homeless.(2) Volunteers will prepare the donated kosher food items on the morning of 12/25, (3) Transportation from CAS to the Pacific House of the prepared items at approx 11:30am, (4) We will also looking for a limited number of families willing to serve and brighten the room at the Pacific House Shelter. If anyone is interested please contact or the CAS office 203 358 2200.
  • AIPAC SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT & CONGREGATION AGUDATH SHOLOM INVITE YOU TO A COMMUNITY SHABBATON: Beyond the Jewish Community: African Americans in the pro-Israel movement. February 2. Services at 9:00am • Talk at 11:00am • Q & A following Kiddush. Conversation following Seudah Slishit at 5:00pm. With Darius Jones, AIPAC National African American Constituency Director. Darius Jones is responsible for expanding AIPAC's work in the African American community by identifying and engaging existing and emerging African American leaders on the U.S.-Israel relationship. He develops strong relationships with top African American political, business and community leaders who have become important members of the pro-Israel community. Prior to joining AIPAC, Darius founded Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG), a leadership development academy for top minority students at Clark-Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College in Atlanta. At VLG, Darius dedicated himself to the holistic preparation of a new generation of leaders who will carry the torch forward in the Black community. This event is free and open to the community. It is off the record and closed to the press. For more information, please contact Lila Greenberg at or (203) 448-7385.
  • JOIN OUR HOSPITALITY TEAM When someone new moves to town, we inform our hospitality team, who are thrilled to welcome them for a Shabbat meal. If you would like to be part of our hospitality team who are committed to hosting five new families a year, please contact Rabbi Cohen ( or our membership chair, Jon Makovsky. If you would like to be involved in welcoming people in alternative ways to shabbat hosting, we also have people who meet new members for coffee in the week, deliver welcome packs, or phone them to check how they're settling in. If this is something you might like to get involved in, we'd also love to hear from you!
  • HEALING VISITS MITZVAH UPDATE The healing visits team is a CAS group who visit people in the hospital, facilities or at home. It is a meaningful way to lift people's spirits and make a difference. You can offer as much time as you have for each person. Every week we send out a healing visit update. To join the team, contact Rabbi Cohen at
  • CAS FREE MEZUZAH CAMPAIGN IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT Bringing Blessings to Jewish Homes. Do you know a neighbor or a friend who lacks a mezuzah? CAS offers a free mezuzah and home visit to post this sacred scroll at the entrance to all Jewish homes in the area. For more info, contact Rabbi Cohen:
  • JOIN THE CHEVRA KADISHA We need new volunteers for the Chevra - those willing to perform a tahara. Info: Please contact Rochel Attar at
  • IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING We need you to help secure our Synagogue. As you come to the building, please be aware of your surroundings. If you see something out of the ordinary, please let someone know about it. This will keep everyone safe.
  • WELCOME TO OUR SYNAGOGUE PROGRAM Every Shabbat we station ushers at the doors in the sanctuary to welcome people, assist them and enhance the service. We are expanding the usher roles to include a greeter in the lobby from 9-10:30 am. Please join the usher team. We need you and your smile. Info: Mitchell Bell.
  • COMMUNITY CHESED HELPERS An important role of the Chesed committee is outreach to the Shul's elderly and homebound, who are often isolated and lack a lifeline to our synagogue. Volunteer to reach out and identify needs, visit, or give a ride. Even small gestures mean a great deal Interested? Vivian Weiss at 203-323-0909 or If you are aware of elderly or homebound members in need of outreach, please notify Rabbi Cohen.
  • WE WANT YOU FOR BINGO! Players AND volunteers needed. Join in on the fun we have every MONDAY at 6:00 PM
Siyum Celebration
Join the Siyum Celebration Initiative
Torah is the Pause that Refreshes!
A Project of Congregation Agudath Sholom
Complete Tractate Brachot (Blessings) in Mishna or Talmud this year and celebrate on Shavuot, June 9-10, 2019
Each Shabbat in shul, we will highlight two mishnayot and two folios of the Talmud. Study at home, in shul, on your own, or with a friend.
To learn more about the Talmud, download for free Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud
The Calendar of Goals (below) will be updated monthly.
For questions and more info, contact Rabbi Daniel Cohen at or Rabbi Oran Zweiter at
December Calendar
Shabbat Vayehi Dec. 22
Mishna Chapter 4:1-2 Talmud Daf 24, 25
Shabbat Shemot Dec. 29
Mishna Chapter 4: 3-4 Talmud Daf 26, 27
Community Announcements
  • SOOSH will be open on Monday December 24th from 11 am to 6 PM and on Tuesday December 25th from 11 am to 1 PM. Get your orders in early! See you @Soosh!
  • NEW JEWISH SENIOR SERVICES HOSPICE VOLUNTEER TRAINING DATES Chaifetz Family Hospice will be holding a 2-Day Hospice Training for people interested in giving their time and compassion to JSS clients in Fairfield County. Training will be held at Jewish Senior Services, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT on Sunday, January 27th and Sunday, February 3rd from 9 am - 5 pm. Training materials and meals will be provided free of charge. If you would like to sign up or to learn more about hospice training, please contact Ellen Ashkins at (203) 365-6417 or by email at
  • 15TH ANNUAL CHARLES SIDLOW MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES at Fleetwood Synagogue. Motza'ei Shabbat, January 5th 2019 @ 7:30 PM. Theme: Judaism, America and Our Era of Civic Breakdown - In a time of mounting civic discord and rising polarization, we are increasingly faced with fundamental questions. What is the nature of the challenges the Jewish people face in this era? What does it mean to be Jewish in America? And conversely, what significance do Judaism and Jewish ideas possess for America? Speakers: Rabbi Shay Schachter: "The Faces of Antisemitism and our Complicated Relationship with G-d" ( and Rabbi Ari Lamm: "The Jews, the Greeks and the Battle for Western Civilization" (
  • CONFRONTING ANTI-SEMITISM & BULLYING IN 2019 January 13 at 11 am. Congregation Beth El-Norwalk, 109 East Avenue, Norwalk. ADL Directors Steve Ginsburg (Connecticut region) and Evan Bernstein (New York Metro region) will give a regional and national outlook on the rise of Anti-Semitism and bullying as we head toward a new decade. Questions from the audience are welcome and may be submitted in advance. Free and open to the community. Refreshments to follow.
  • IF YOU LOVE CHILDREN AND BOOKS, THAN UJF'S HERBERT AND SARAH M GIBOR READING PARTNERS PROGRAM IS THE PLACE FOR YOU! Come join our dedicated group of volunteers for the 2018-2019 school year. No degree or expertise is required. Training, workshops and ongoing support are provided to all volunteers. Volunteers in turn commit to a total of one hour per week, reading in the Stamford Public School system or an afterschool program, with two children in Grades K-3 who need some extra help. For more information please contact Lenore Fogel at United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. 203-321-1373 x115 or
  • DO A MITZVAH! CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE JFS KOSHER FOOD PANTRY by purchasing Mitzvah Baskets and/or Mitzvah Centerpieces instead of flowers for your next simcha at CAS. Distributions from the JFS Kosher Food Pantry have increased by more than 1000 since the recession. With this tremendous upsurge in use, JFS is constantly challenged to keep the food pantry full. Your generosity enables JFS to help those in our community in their greatest moments of need.
  • JFS BRAIN FITNESS GROUP PROGRAM-SESSION #1 : Mondays, 10:30 AM -12:00 pm, January 7-Problem Solving; January 14-Memory Retention; January 28-Attention at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield Avenue Want to stimulate your brain power? Sessions will focus on specific areas of concentration. Advance registration suggested. Light refreshments will be served. JCC Members: $8 per session. Open to the community at $10 per session. All three sessions: $20 for JCC members/ $25 for community. To register, contact Connie Cirillo Freeman at 203-487-0983 or email For additional information, contact Dr. Toby Lazarus, Schoke JFS Brain Fitness Program Coordinator at 203-921-4161 or
  • LIVING WITH LOSS: SCHOKE JFS BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP - Mondays, 1:45 - 3:30 pm at Temple Israel, 14 Coleytown Road, Westport and Fridays, 12:30 pm at Stamford office of Schoke JFS. Find the healing which comes of being with others who know first-hand what you are going through. Learn how Jewish ritual, prayer and tradition can support the grieving process. For more information or to register, please contact Amanda Geffner, Schoke JFS Psychotherapist, at 203-921-4161 or email
  • EMPLOYMENT AND LIFE TRANSITIONS SUPPORT GROUP , Wednesdays, 1st and 3rd of every month, 3:00 pm at Stamford office of Schoke JFS. Looking for emotional support while searching for employment? Need practical help during the job search? Join the support group, facilitated by Lois Meyer, LMSW, Schoke JFS Case Manager, to help you through this transition. No cost. For registration, please contact Lois Meyer at 203-921-4161 or email
  • DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP -Wednesdays, 6:45 pm at the Stamford offices of Schoke JFS. The group will explore, look, listen, learn and love about the topic of separation, divorce and parenting. For more information, please contact Lois Meyer, LMSW at 203-921-4161 or email at
  • LET'S TALK Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Tuesdays, 11 :00 AM, Free at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield AvenueContact Helene Wurtzel at 203-921-4161 or Thursdays, bimonthly, 10:30 am, Free at Jewish Senior Services, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport Contact Rebekah Kanefsky for exact dates at 203-921-4161 or Thursdays, 1:00 pm at Westport Senior Center Contact Helene Wurtzel at 203-921-4161 or
  • ANNUAL STAMFORD CHEVRA KADISHA DINNER Tuesday February 12, 5:30pm. Temple Beth El. Honoring the memory of Penny Block a"h. Guest Speaker: Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Senior Rabbi, Boca Raton Synagogue. Topic: "Learning to be Selfless in the Age of the Selfie" $54/person. Sponsorship at $180 entitles an individual to two seats at the dinner
We Wish A Speedy Recovery To
  • Ari ben Naama
  • Avraham Nachum ben Baila
  • Ben Tzion Shimon ben Golda Mirel
  • Dovid Simcha Moshe ben Nechama
  • Fraidel bat Esther
  • Ilan ben Simcha
  • Kasil Shulem ben Riva
  • Meir ben Chana Rachel
  • Mia bat Yaffa
  • Nira bat Rachel
  • Olya bat Zina
  • Raisal bat Deborah
  • Refael Ephraim ben Sima
  • Rivkah Chana bat Yehudit Yocheved
  • Sima Leah bat Yehudis
  • Sima gesha bat Dora
  • Tamara bat Yenka
  • Yitzchak Osher ben Chana Shayva Chaya
  • Zev Mordechai ben Chaya Gittel
  • מאשא מלה bat הינדא רוא
CAS Israel Advocacy Update
Take a Minute to Support Israel  Supporting Israel isn't hard -- there are many things that you can do that take literally one minute. The Israel Committee now has a website built on this idea. Go to for simple things that you can do, from calling your Congressional representatives to social media posts, that take only a minute or two. Check back frequently for updates and ideas for things you can do!

LIPS product of the week  Check out our new Love Israel Products Blog (LIPS) for the latest ways to support Israel! Thank you to Lola Halperin and Aaron Goldenberg for organizing.
Kosher Advisories
  • KOSHER ALERTS The OU reminds you to always check the label before purchasing any item that needs kosher certification! And for the latest corrective actions, stay up with the latest OU KOSHER CONSUMER ALERTS & ADVISORIES...just click here
  • KOSHER ADVISORY Breaking news from the OU - newly certified items! to check out the list click here
Congregation Agudath Sholom, 301 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902
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