June 6, 2024/ 29 Iyar 5784

Included in This Newsletter

Shabbat Service - 6/7

Erev Shavuot - 6/11

Pirkei Avot Completion and Yizkor - 6/12

Beach Shabbat - 6/21

Rabbi's Corner

Weekly D'var Torah

Counting the Omer

Social Action Opportunities

Spotlight Calendar

Members and guests are always welcome to attend our Shir Ami Services, Classes and Special Events (fees may apply)


Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturdays, June 8th, June 15th, June 22nd and June 29th

Shabbat Service (in person and virtual)

Friday, June 7th

7:00 PM

Erev Shavuot Service (NEW)

(in person)

Tuesday, June 11tth

7:00 PM

Pirkei Avot Completion & Yizkor (virtual)

Wednesday, June 12th

7:30 PM

Shir Ami Board Meeting (virtual)

Tuesday, June 17th

7:30 PM

Beach Shabbat - Tod's Point (in person)

Friday, June 21st

6:00 PM


Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturdays, July 6th, July 13th, July 20th and July 27th

Shabbat Service (in person and virtual)

Friday, July 19th

7:00 PM - Details to follow

2023-24 Calendar is now available on our website. Click here (updated 3/27/24)

2023-24 Calendar coming soon.

Contact Us:

Email Address




Donations and Payments


Mailing Address

1273 E. Putnam Ave

​PO Box 312

Riverside, CT 06878

Shabbat Service

Friday, June 7th

7:00 PM

Please join us for a musical Shabbat as we open the Book of Numbers and prepare for Shavuot.

Thank you to Linda and Stanley Gratt for the Oneg.

Register for June 7th Shabbat

Erev Shavuot

Tuesday, June 11th

7:00 pm

Please join us for our new Erev Shavuot service on June 11th during which we'll stand at Sinai again to receive Torah (and enjoy cheesecake).

We thank Joan and David Green for graciously hosting this event. More details about the significance of this service in our liturgy is provided by Rabbi David below.

Register for Erev Shavuot June 11th

Beach Shabbat Service

Friday, June 21st

Gathering and Picnic at 6:00 PM/Service at 6:45 PM

Tod's Point Beach

New spot - Seaside Garden

Please join us for our June 21st Friday Night Shabbat Service at Tod's Point.

Specific details will be sent to those who register, regarding the location of the service and parking, and including a copy of the beach permit for non-residents to enter. Bring your own beach chairs, food and drinks.

As in the past, if there is inclement weather, a decision to move the service to Zoom will be made no later than Friday, 6/21, at 4:00 pm. An email will be sent to all members, in addition to those guests who registered.

Register for June 21st Shabbat

Shavuot Services

Erev Shavuot

Shavuot: Celebrating Torah and Spiritual Seduction

Tuesday, June 11th

7:00 PM

Home of Joan and David Green

Shavuot is one of Judaism's "shalosh regalim" / three festivals, on par with Passover and Sukkot. In ancient days, Shavuot was an agricultural pilgrimage festival in which folks from far and wide brought the first fruits of the summer harvests to the Temple. In modern life, the "first fruits of the harvest" are Torah itself. We stand together – the whole global Jewish community – as if at Sinai and celebrate receiving Torah anew. (Biblically, we received the Ten Commandments on the day that would become Shavuot.)

During the evening of June 11, Shir Ami will dip a toe into Shavuot in a few ways. We'll stand at Torah to receive the Ten Commandments ritually. If space and weather permit, there'll be music and dancing with Torah. Because Torah is imagined to be the "ketubah" (wedding contract) of our collective union with the Sacred that we renew at Shavuot, we'll do some learning together. Keyed to this theme and our first Shavuot as rabbi and congregation, I'll offer teaching and discussion about "spiritual seduction" – how tradition holds that spirituality and Torah woo us.

To support our celebration, expect plenty of white wine and cheesecake, which are Shavuot staples. White wine is for sacred space and celebration. Cheesecake is a modern take on tradition's call to receive Torah's secrets sweetly, like honey under the tongue, that our land of promise should be a land flowing with milk and honey. Wine and sugar also may subtly shift mood and thinking patterns, which is part of the point. Much as Torah records our ancestors' senses getting scrambled at Sinai, we too will intend to lift above our usual feelings and thoughts to receive something new.

Shavuot – wine, cheesecake, music, dancing, and a little spiritual seduction. Hag Sameah! Thank you to Joan and David Green for graciously opening up their home to us. Click here to register.

Shavuot: Revelation and Remembrance

(Pirkei Avot Completion & Yizkor)

Wednesday, June 12th

7:30pm (via Zoom)

As with the other pilgrimage festivals (Passover and Sukkot), we will bring in our loved ones. Yizkor is even more fitting for Shavuot because we say that everyone was at Sinai – every soul that ever was or ever will be. We'll gather online for a mini Pirkei Avot capstone about revelation, a brief service and then a gentle Yizkor of memory and presence. 

Have photos of loved ones, white wine or juice, and a Yizkor candle.

All are welcome to join.

Register for June 12th Shavuot-Yizkor

Rabbi's Corner

Peak Light

We approach the peak light of Shavuot and Mount Sinai, and also the peak light of the solar zenith in the Northern Hemisphere sky.

This confluence of two peak lights has me thinking about what peak experiences are, why we need them and why we sometimes push them away, and how we can open ourselves anew to inviting them as this summer season of light approaches. Read more...

Weekly D'var Torah

D'var Torah by Rabbi David

Parashat Bamidbar 5784 (2024)

How to Receive Torah

The approach of Shavuot, our festival of receiving Torah anew, cues us to ask what it means to receive Torah at all, much less anew. How does one receive Torah anyway. And whether or not Torah was given at Sinai thousands of years ago, how to we receive anew what we already got... or are we to receive something else. These are no idle or mere academic questions. They go to the heart of who we are, and how we walk in the world. Put another way, they go to the heart – full stop. Read more...

Counting The Omer

Omer Week 7 – Presence: Awareness and Sovereignty

The Omer journey that began at Passover (liberation) leads through this seventh and final week to Shavuot (revelation).

Along the way, we delved into inner capacities and character traits, aligned with the mystical (kabbalistic) sequence borne of the medieval era. Week by week, we've made our way through

love (hesed), strength (gevurah), balance (tiferet), resilience (netzah), splendor (hod) and foundation (yesod).

It all funnels into this week: presence (malkhut), bringing our full selves into the world so that we can receive Torah anew with our full selves. Read more...

Shir Ami Classes

NOTE: The final class for Pirkei Avot is on June 12th at 7:30pm and will be a Shavuot Yizkor rembrance. Please see above for details

Soul Spa is open to all.

Our Torah study each week on Shabbat morning has become a mainstay of our programming. As we examine the parashat each week under Rabbi David's guidance and questioning, our sacred writings become more familiar, the stories clearer, and the teachings more meaningful.

Soul Spa is free for members and non-members alike. You may drop in as frequently or as infrequently, as you like. Please click here to find the weekly Zoom link and for recordings of previous discussions.

Social Action

Interfaith Blood Drive

(Sponsored by Shir Ami, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist and First Baptist Churches)

Saturday, June 15

8:00 AM-1:30 PM

First Presbyterian Church

Calling all blood types! Patients count on American Red Cross

blood donations year-round. But soon, schedules will get

hectic with time off and fun summer activities which can sometimes lead to a drop in donor appointments. Your donation can help avoid critical blood shortages. Schedule your appointment at rcblood.org/donate and use code: FPCG. You’re just our type ❤️

Freedberg Kosher Pantry

New Date - 6/26

We Need Volunteers!

The JFS Freedberg Pantry in downtown Stamford serves all people in need, and they are sorely in need of volunteers. Shir Ami can help by volunteering.

Thank you to those who have already volunteered over the last couple of months by distributing food at their pantry on Greyrock Place.

Next volunteer opportunity is:

Wednesday, June 26, we hope to have a group that will sit around a table and fill spice bottles, fill out greeting cards, or package toiletry kits, etc. 

Please contact Ronny to let her know if you would like to volunteer.

Ronny Kaplan



Sometimes the stresses and challenges of life can be more than you can handle alone. JFS of Greenwich is offering a new women’s support group offering the opportunity to meet with other women exploring life challenges in a safe circle of support Gain perspective, heal through shared experience and feel empowered. Meets weekly on Mondays at 6:30 pm evenings at JFS of Greenwich. For more information, contact Cynthia King at cking@jfsgreenwich.org or call 203-622-1881.

Community News

April/May Issue of

Greenwich Jewish News

Please click here to read the digital version. Please see Shir Ami articles on pages 6, 7 and 8.

May Issue of

New Jewish Voice

Please click here to read the latest digital version.

Blessings and Simchas

Blessings for a Happy Birthday to all of our members with end of June birthdays:

Richard Preng - 6/3

Jay Polansky - 6/14

Rick Mason - 6/15

Gary Meisel - 6/22

In our weekly Blessing and Simchas, we invite members to offer congratulations on a special event in someone’s life, blessings for healing, or to remember a loved one.

If you make a special donation and would like to share it in the newsletter’s “Blessings and Simchas, let us know by emailing shirami.info@gmail.com with the subject line, "Blessings and Simchas" no later than 9:00 AM on Monday. Be sure to include the wording for how you want the donation and the donor to be recognized including your name, the occasion and the recipient's names.

You are not required to make a donation but if you chose to, you may do so on our website's donation page or by mailing a check to Congregation Shir Ami, 1273 East Putnam Avenue, P.O. Box 312, Riverside, CT 06870-9998. 

Shir Ami Membership

For those of you who are not yet Members but are considering joining Shir Ami, we warmly welcome you!

The Benefits of Membership:

Being a Member of Shir Ami, allows you special access to

  • practice our faith together and learn from the Torah and each other
  • help shape our community
  • support Shir Ami's mission
  • find inspiration in our diverse offerings of services, classes and events where there is something for everybody
  • participate in rituals, group trips and events reserved for members
  • have access to our wonderful clergy for pastoral care
  • recognize our loved ones who have passed during our Yizkor service each year

We hope you will join our community at Congregation Shir Ami. The Membership Policy has details on dues, benefits, events, life-cycle and pastoral care and general involvement in congregational life. And if you already are a member, it's a good time to revisit the policy and refresh your memory on why you joined. 

If you are interested and would like to know more, please look for membership information which can be found on our website's membership page. The easy to fill out form may be completed online and submitted with a button, or can be printed out and sent to our mailing address: Congregation Shir Ami | 1273 E Putnam Ave, PO Box 312, Riverside, CT 06878

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to speak with an officer or our clergy, shirami.info@gmail.com

All are welcome to join our community!

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