May 9, 2024/ 1 Iyar 5784

Included in This Newsletter

Shabbat Service - 5/10

Annual Meeting/Rabbi's Installation - 5/19

Civil Rights Trip Recap and Photos

Counting the Omer

Social Action Opportunities

Diversity Breakfast

Spotlight Calendar

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


Soul Stretch – Counting Omer for Character Where it Counts (virtual)

Tuesdays, May 14th, May 21st and May 28th

8:00 PM

Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, May 10th

7:00 PM

Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturdays, May 11th, May 18th and May 25th

10:00 AM

Shir Ami Board Meeting (virtual)

Tuesday, May 13th

7:30 PM

Pirkei Avot Class (virtual)

Wednesdays, May 8th and May 29th

7:30 PM

Annual Meeting - Preng Residence

Sunday, May 19th

12:00 PM

Rabbi's Installation - Preng Residence

Sunday, May 19th

2:30 PM


Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

Saturdays, June 1st, June 8th, June 15th and June 22nd

Soul Stretch – Counting Omer for Character Where it Counts (virtual)

Tuesday, June 4th

8:00 PM

Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, June 7th

7:00 PM - details to follow

Shavuot Service (in person)

Tuesday, June 11tth

7:00 PM - details to follow

Pirkei Avot Class (virtual)

Wednesday, June 12th - Shavuot

7:30 PM

Shir Ami Board Meeting (virtual)

Tuesday, June 17th

7:30 PM

Beach Shabbat - Tod's Point

Friday, June 21st

6:00 PM - details to follow

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

Contact Us:

Email Address


Donations and Payments

Mailing Address

1273 E. Putnam Ave

​PO Box 312

Riverside, CT 06878

Shabbat Service

Friday, May 10th

(changed from 5/17)

7:00 PM

Join us for a spirited and musical Shabbat, with a special leyner (chanter) from Torah as we reach Kedoshim (Holiness) — the very heart of Torah.

We'll have the honor of experiencing Barbara Salop chant from the Torah.

Thank you to Ronnie and Larry Polansky for sponsoring the Oneg.

Register for May 10th Shabbat

Shir Ami Annual Meeting

and Rabbi David's Installation

(Members Only)

Sunday, May 19th

12:00 PM-Annual Meeting

2:30 PM - Installation

Preng Residence


Please RSVP no later than Friday, 5/10/2024 for two Shir Ami important events on Sunday, May 19, 2024 -- the Annual Meeting at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm followed by Rabbi David's Installation (finally!) at 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

Coffee and… will be served at the Annual Meeting and delicious and diverse catered selections, including charcuterie and sweets will be served at Rabbi's installation, with a toast, of course! Both events are generously hosted by members Julie and Richard Preng.

These are two milestone events for Shir Ami. We know they will take up most of May 19, but there aren't many times when we can spend time together for such bonding and pivotal events. We appreciate your attending and hope to see you there.

REMEMBER: Friday, 5/10/2024 is the deadline to RSVP!

For Members to register for the Annual Meeting, please click here.

For Members to RSVP for the Installation, please click here.


Jackie Marschall, Co-President

Marie Orsini Rosen, Co-President

Abby Ross, Secretary

Dahni Nisinzweig, Treasurer

Shir Ami's Civil Rights Trip - 5/4-5/7/2024

The Shir Ami Civil Rights trip on 5/4-5/7/2024 that was organized by Rabbi David and ably supported by member Joan Green has been incredibly full, moving and impactful starting with the foot stomping, roof-raising Sunday morning service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, with Reverend/Senator Rafael Warnock. Over 20 travelers visited exhibits, museums, gardens and had conversations with people who have brought this part of history to life. Our tour guide Scott Fried was amazing and filled with enlightening facts and stories. This experience can significantly change your perspective! You’re not the same person when you return. Here are a handful of pictures to share some of our experiences. Rabbi David Evan Markus has posted many great pictures on his Facebook page. More pictures and stories will be shared in the weeks to come.

An article that Rabbi David wrote was published last week in a national journal. It shares interesting perspectives on the connection and impact of being in Selma, focusing on the African-American civil rights movement, on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) You can read the article here.

Community News



Congregation Shir Ami was represented at the May 7, 2024, Stamford and Southwest CT Inaugural Diversity Breakfast at the Ferguson Library. The event was organized by the Office of the Mayor of Stamford and the American Jewish Committee of Westchester and Fairfield CT, was hosted by Charter Communications and took place at the Ferguson Library in Stamford. Some 200 guests attended, including elected officials from all over Fairfield County, community DEI leaders and clergy and lay leaders from many faiths. Spiritual Leader Rabbi David Markus and Co-President Marie Orsini Rosen were both invited; Rabbi David could not attend because of scheduling conflicts with the civil rights trip and Marie attended wearing her "dual hats" of Shir Ami Co-President and Interfaith Council Vice President. Sitting with Shir Ami were Round Hill Community Church Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Ed Hortsmann, Interfaith Council Executive Director and St. Francis Episcopalian Church Senior Pastor Mark Lingle, DomusKids Director of DEI and the Equity Institute Michael Hyman, Greenwich First Selectperson Janet Stone McGuigan, and AJC Past President Stephne Behrend. See photos of the event, including the "full house", our table and The Hon. Caroline Simmons, Stamford Mayor, with Michael Hyman and Marie Orsini Rosen.

April Issue of

Greenwich Jewish News

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

April Issue of

New Jewish Voice

Please click here to read the latest digital version.

Shir Ami Classes

Soul Stretch – Counting Omer for Character Where it Counts

Tuesdays at 8:00 - 8:30pm via Zoom

April 30 - June 4

Passover launches two journeys at once. In spiritual history, it's the start of our ancestral journey from enslaved hopelessness without a future toward becoming a free people heading to the Land of Promise.

In Judaism's annual holiday cycle, Passover also launches a seven-week journey of the heart from "liberation" to the "revelation" we call Shavuot, when we celebrate standing together at Sinai anew. This springtime season offers a community pathway to refine our characters together.

If this sounds like another planet's Judaism, you're in for a treat! Read more...

Click here for Zoom link

Please note that unlike all other online offerings, Soul Stretch will not be recorded to ensure a safe space for authentic participant sharing.

Balance: Beauty and Spirituality

(Omer Week 3)

The first two weeks of our Omer journey from Passover (liberation) to Shavuot (revelation) were themed to calibrating our character capacities around love (hesed) and strength (gevurah). These weeks were about balancing our willingness to love and be loved, our soft-hearted courage to face the future, and our boundaries lest we be either rigid or doormats easily abused.

This third week we focus on balance (tiferet), which is about much more than aligning or a "Golden Mean." Read more...

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.

Join Rabbi David for a first foray into the Jewish wisdom and ethical tradition, centered on Pirkei Avot. Together we'll explore ancient Jewish principles for just and good living – and bring those principles to life among us and in a world straining for justice and goodness. No experience necessary: all materials will be presented with English translation.  

Classes from 7:30pm - 9:00pm on the following Wednesdays:

May 29, June 12

The class is free for members and $120 for non-members. Classes will be recorded and posted on our website.

Register for Ethics & Jewish Wisdom Tradition

Social Action

Freedberg Kosher Pantry -- 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, May 21st for 2-3 volunteers work at the Kosher Pantry.

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 Monday evenings in person at JFS of Greenwich. For more information, contact Cynthia King at or call 203-622-1881.

Blessings and Simchas

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

Irv Goldstein - 5/1

Nancy Heller - 5/4

Melanie Rose - 5/17

Marjorie Black - 5/18

Marie Orsini Rosen - 5/22

David Sanders - 5/22

Barry Stein - 5/22

Fran Pribish - 5/30

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 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. 

2023-2024 Membership Drive Continues

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,

All are welcome to join our community!

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