Shabbat Behar

May 25, 2024 / 17 Iyar 5784


Kabbalat Shabbat Service: Friday, 6:30pm in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel

Sanctuary Service: Saturday, 9:45am in the Sanctuary, on Zoom, or via Livestream

TeleTefila Service: Saturday, 9:40am P'sukei D'zimra, 10am Shacharit on Zoom

Mishpacha Service (Ages 0-4, with Parents): Saturday, 11am in 2 North

TeleTefila Havdallah: Saturday, 8:58pm on Zoom


Saturday, 9am: Rabbi Jules Harlow Parshat HaShavua Class in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel or on ZoomClick here for the Source Sheet (updated Friday)

Wednesday, 7pm: Wednesday Night Talmud in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel or on Zoom


Like our Facebook page for community photos and upcoming events!

If this newsletter is cut off, either click here to see the rest or scroll to the bottom of the email and click "view entire message" (or similar prompt).


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Dvar Torah from Rabbi Yael Hammerman

What can a bird and a seed teach us about shemitah? Listen to, or read, Rabbi Hammerman's dvar torah for parashat Behar for the JTS Torah Commentary to find out. 

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Add Rabbi Kalmanofsky's Updated Prayer for the State of Israel to our Siddurim

Friday, May 31 from 9am - 12pm in the Sanctuary 

For a long time we've used separate blue printouts of Rabbi Kalmanofsky's updated Prayer for the State of Israel, and we need YOUR help to help us add it to our siddurim. Volunteers will put stickers with the updated prayer -- along with a refreshed version of our Prayer for the U.S. -- into the back of our siddurim. We appreciate your help, which will be tremendously valuable for our services going forward. Please email the office for details if you'd like to join.

AC Cemetery Plots

Ansche Chesed has cemetery plots available for purchase, by both members and nonmembers, at Riverside Cemetery in Saddlebrook, NJ. Email or call Martin in our office at (212) 865-0600 ext. 216 to make these arrangements. The price of one plot is currently $1,000, but will be raised to $1,400 on July 1.


Shirei Shabbat - with a Musical Surprise!

Followed by Potluck Dinner with Zemirot

Friday, May 31, Service at 6:30pm, Dinner at 7:30pm 


Lift your voice with us in holy harmony, b'nima kedosha. Come and hear what musical surprises Hazzan Hirschhorn and the Shirei Chesed Chorus have for you!


Stick around after services for a Potluck Dinner on the Roof (weather permitting), followed by spirited zemirot! Learn More and Register

Celebratory Aliyah for Graduates

Saturday, June 1 around 10:30am 

Calling all graduates -- from 8th grade, high school, college and beyond! Join us for a celebratory group aliyah to the Torah in the Sanctuary. Please email Rabbi Hammerman if you plan to attend; walk-ins welcome!


AC Annual Tribute Gala -- 1 Week Left to Buy Tickets!

Sunday, June 9 -- Ticket Sales Close May 30

Mark your calendar and buy your tickets today to join us in celebration on June 9th, and place your journal ads now to honor the wonderful contributions that Tamara & Martin Green, Vivian Mamelak, and Ellen Braitman & David Shapiro make to our community. 

Click here to view the Tribute Journal.


Annual Membership Meeting and Updated Bylaws

Sunday, June 2 at 6:30pm in Hirsch Hall


All members in good standing are encouraged to attend our Annual Membership Meeting. To request remote access, where you will be able to observe the meeting but not vote on any action items, please contact the office. If you cannot attend the meeting, please fill out the Proxy Form and submit it by email to before the meeting.

At the meeting, we’ll 1) elect the slate of trustees and officers as recommended by the Nominating Committee; 2) vote on Rabbi Hammerman and Hazzan Hirschhorn’s contracts; and 3) vote on updated bylaws (revised by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP with the board to comply with New York State law and align with best practices for religious institutions). Click here to view the full Agenda. 


We are excited to be traveling to Israel together in less than a month! Please join us for an impactful experience from June 16-20. We have a great group of participants, and there still are additional spaces for new participants.


Trip highlights include:


  • Bearing Witness: We’ll visit southern communities devastated by the Hamas attacks, and engage with residents now rebuilding their homes. We will visit the site of the Nova Festival at Re’im Forest and hear from survivors and/or first responders.
  • Helping: We’ll volunteer in help centers, aiding those displaced by the fighting. We’ll visit IDF soldiers on duty now and meet with wounded people who found the strength to rehabilitate their bodies and rebuild their lives.
  • Supporting: We’ll visit with hostage families at Kikar Hatufim, “Hostage Square.”
  • Learning: We’ll meet Arab citizen activists and their Jewish partners, building a shared society for all Israelis. We’ll study with religious and secular teachers, poets and Tel Aviv graffiti artists, who confront this trauma with Torah and art. We’ll meet journalists who can help us understand the unfolding political and security landscape.
  • And … it’s Israel: We will visit the amazing new National Library in Jerusalem for a guided tour of its stunning collection, and other places where we will experience the long connection of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel.


If you’d like to join us, please promptly complete the online registration form to reserve your spot, book hotel accommodations, and indicate your method of payment. If you’d like to join, we recommend you make your flight reservations through Rachelle Preiserowicz at Ariel Tours ( You can also use another agent and let us know your arrival and departure dates.


Email with any questions.


If you are looking for ways to help or resources addressing the ongoing conflict, check the Israel page on our website.

Israel on 5th: Celebrate Israel Parade

Sunday, June 2

Join the Celebrate Israel Parade, marching for Israel's 76th Anniversary and in support of the hostages and their families as we call for their immediate release. You can join march with either:

Wrestling with Oct. 7 and its Aftermath Audio Recordings and Prayers

Over 1,000 people attended Minyan M'at 's recently concluded Wrestling with Oct. 7th and its Aftermath series of panel discussions. In case you missed any of them, or want to review the speakers thoughts, we are sharing audio recordings of the last three sessions. Please submit a quick online form to be emailed a link to the recordings.

The final session focused on Jewish Prayer in a Time of War. It was powerful and the panelists shared their own prayers, including a newly composed poem in Hebrew and English by Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses and a new prayer for the hostages by Rabbi Benny Lau. They are available online.


Erev Shavuot:

Tuesday, June 11

Shavuot Family Pajama Party

5:30-7pm at AC

West Side Minyan Tikkun Leil Shavuot

7pm on Zoom

Shavuot Tikkun Under the Stars

8-9:30pm on the Roof

Shavuot Day 1:

Wednesday, June 12

Sanctuary Services

9:45am In-Person, Livestream, or on Zoom

Includes "First Fruits" Aliyah

Minyan M'at Services

10am in 5 North

TeleTefila Services

9:40am P'sukei D'zimra, 10am Shacharit on Zoom

Includes Yizkor

Community-Wide Shavuot Potluck Lunch Celebrating Vivian Awner

After Services on the Roof

Shavuot Day 2:

Thursday, June 13

Sanctuary Services

9:45am In-Person, Livestream, or on Zoom

Includes Yizkor

Minyan M'at Services

10am in 5 North

Shavuot Family Pajama Party

Tuesday, June 11 from 5:30-7pm at AC

Join us for a family-friendly Shavuot celebration with stories, songs, dairy dinner and ice cream, as we celebrate receiving the Torah. Pajamas welcome!

Learn More and Register Online

Shavuot Tikkun Under the Stars

Tuesday, June 11 from 8-9:30pm on the Roof (Rain location: 5 North)

Please join us to greet Shavuot with study, celebration, cheesecake, ritual Kiddush and light nosh on the Ansche Chesed roof, as the holiday of "Giving and Receiving Torah" begins. 

Since the fall holiday of Shmini Atzeret, this year has seen so much suffering and loss. As we conclude the spring holidays, let's ease some of our pain by studying the theme of shalom, peace. In the words of Rashi (on Leviticus 26.6, quoting the ancient midrash Sifra): "Peace is worth everything else put together." We need it now more than ever. 

After the learning we will davven the festival maariv service and end in time to enable those who wish to attend the JCC Tikkun as well.

Community-Wide Shavuot Potluck Lunch Celebrating Vivian Awner

Wednesday, June 12 (First Day of Shavuot) ~12:30pm on the Roof (Hirsch Hall if rain)

After services, the Ansche Chesed community will join together for a potluck lunch to celebrate our wonderful friend Vivian Awner. Please wear turquoise (her favorite color) in her honor. Salmon will be provided and we ask each attendee to please bring a dairy or pareve salad, side dish, or dessert to share. Food may be purchased under rabbinic supervision, cooked in a kosher kitchen, or prepared uncooked in any kitchen. All are welcome and because we are planning a personalized gift for each member who attends, please RSVP online by June 5!

In anticipation of the lunch, we are pleased to announce The Vivian Awner Wider Tent Fund, which was established with a generous gift from her estate, to honor her life and legacy. The fund will help Ansche Chesed welcome individuals of all ages and stages into our community, with a special focus on singles and older adults. If you wish to make a contribution to the Fund, please do so here.

For more information, please email


Apply to Become a CSS Security Volunteer with AC

Self-Paced Online Training Followed by In-Person Training on Sunday, June 30 at AC

Join AC's Security Committee and Community Security Services as we seek to provide the whole community with a baseline of awareness and training, so that we can enhance our safety while continuing to be a welcoming "Community of Kindness." This training is two-part: first an online course that should not take more than 3.5 hours, then in-person training at AC that should take 2.5 to 3 hours. What you learn will be valuable both at AC and wherever else you go. Learn More and Register to Receive the Training Link

Torah and Technology: Circuits, Cells and the Sacred Path, with Rabbi Daniel Nevins

Sunday, June 23 at 10am, following Morning Minyan


Join us after morning minyan for breakfast and study as our member, Rabbi Nevins, presents material from his new book of Halakhic studies on ethical quandaries in technocentric times. This sensitive and learned book applies our classic tradition to cutting-edge themes like artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and medical ethics.


Anti-Semitism in NYC Schools: Conversation for Parents

Sunday, June 9 at 10am in the 5th Floor Office Conference Room


Have you or your children been struggling with anti-semitism in NYC public or secular private schools since October 7th? Join other AC parents for conversation and community, to share your stories, support one another and problem-solve together. Please email AC parent, Sharon Meiri Fox, to attend.


Weekday Morning Minyan

Mondays - Fridays at 7:30am

Sundays and Civil Holidays at 8:30am

in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel or on Zoom

Join our WhatsApp group, which we'll post to when we need people.

Misheberakh List

We invite you to add the names of your dear ones. Please re-submit them each English calendar month if you'd like us to keep davvening for them.


Rabbi Jules Harlow Parshat HaShavuah Class

Saturdays, 9am in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel or on Zoom


Come before class at 8:45am for hot coffee and schmoozing! This class is dedicated to Rabbi Jules Harlow, a great teacher of Torah and Jewish liturgy. Click for this week's Source Sheet (updated Friday afternoons)

Shirei Chesed Community Chorus

Tuesdays, 7:30-9pm in 5 North

Shirei Chesed builds community through a rich repertoire of Jewish music, bringing harmony into a world that needs it more than ever. For more information or to schedule an audition, email Hazzan Hirschhorn.

Wednesday Night Talmud

Wednesdays, 7pm in the Mayer Cavalier Chapel or on Zoom

Join us to study tractate Sanhedrin, chapter 4. This class is best in person -- so please come! Also available via Zoom (ID: 837 8598 8052 | Passcode: chesed)

Parsha Talk


Join Rabbi Kalmanofsky and his buddies Rabbis Barry Chesler and Eliot Malomet for their weekly Parsha Talk. Watch the latest episode


Expert Scanning of Holocaust-Era Photos and Documents

June 10 - 11 at Selfhelp Community Services (520 Eighth Ave., 5th Floor)


Bring items and documents from before and during the war for Mémorial de la Shoah to scan for their Holocaust archives: photographs, letters, drawings, journals, diaries, school reports, identity cards, passports, ration cards, visas, official and personal correspondence regarding efforts to emigrate, etc. For questions or to arrange an appointment, contact Volunteer Representative Nancy Lefenfeld ( or 301-908-2757).


Poland Then and Now: Through Jewish Eyes

September 8 - 18, with Taube Jewish Heritage Tours


Participants will engage with activists and leaders, savor Polish-Jewish cuisine, and delve into contemporary social and political challenges. With AC member and Professor of Jewish Studies and History Nancy Sinkoff, whose expertise in European Jewish history will enrich the exploration. Learn More and Register

Members may email us Shuk postings, sending a brief blurb including a member's contact info. Must be received by Tuesday at 3pm. Posts run for two weeks.

Despite our best efforts and extensive proofreading, we apologize for any errors or omissions.