March 21, 2024/ 11 Adar II 5784

Included in This Newsletter

Upcoming April Services

Purim Celebration - 3/23

Passover Second Night Seder - 4/23

Weekly D'var Torah

Shir Ami Classes

Shir Ami Springtime Gift

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, March 23rd and March 30th

10:00 AM

Purim Costume Party/Celebration

(in person)

Saturday, March 23rd

7:00 PM

Pirkei Avot Class (virtual)

Wednesday, March 27th

7:30 P


Shabbat Service (in person)

Friday, April 5th

7:00 PM

Soul Spa: The Torah Cycle (virtual)

(a yearlong weekly series)

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

10:00 AM

Shir Ami Board Meeting (virtual)

Tuesday, April 9th

7:30 PM

Pirkei Avot Class (virtual)

Wednesday, April 10th

7:30 PM

Havdalah Service (in person)

Saturday, April 13th

7:00 PM - See note below

Passover Seder - 2nd Night (in person)

Tuesday, April 23rd

6:00 PM

Passover Yizkor (virtual)

Sunday, April 28th

7:30 PM - Details to follow

2023-24 Calendar is now available on our website. Click here (updated 2/27/24)

Contact Us:

Email Address


Donations and Payments

Mailing Address

1273 E. Putnam Ave

​PO Box 312

Riverside, CT 06878

Please help our Oneg Hosts by registering for Shabbat Services no later than the Wednesday before services, so they know how much food and drink to bring.

NOTE: For events in April and beyond, Constant Contact has changed their formatting so event registrations will look a little different.

Shabbat Service

Friday, April 5th


First Presbyterian Church

(in person)

Shabbat is a great opportunity for our community to come together. This Shabbat we will hear the first tunes of Passover and celebrate the coming spring.

Thank you to Fran and David Pribish for sponsoring the oneg in honor of David's special birthday.

Register for April 5th Shabbat

Havdalah Service

Saturday, April 13th


First Presbyterian Church

(in person)

Please join us for an uplifting Havdalah service. Although Rabbi Emerita Axe won't be joining us that evening, we will acknowledge and honor the yahrzeit of her husband, Harold, z"l.

Thank you to Jenny and Rick Lake for sponsoring the oneg.

Register for April 13th Havdalah Service 

Purim Celebration

Thank you so much to Lydia Rouzeau and Andrew Cohen

for graciously hosting this event in their beautiful home!

Register for March 23rd Purim Celebration

Passover Second Night Seder

Tuesday, April 23rd

6:00 PM

First Presbyterian Church

Join us for our Second Seder at 6:00PM; check-in begins at 5:30PM. This year -- for the first time since 2009 when we began sharing sacred space -- First Presbyterian Church members will join our Seder. We will read the Haggadah, share in a delicious pot luck dinner, enjoy music and songs, and share the traditions of Passover. 

Registration is required; cost is $36 per person with a cap of $108; children under 18 free. Please register today and sign up for what you will bring to the pot luck dinner.

Register for April 23rd Passover Seder

Weekly D'var Torah

D'var Torah by Rabbi David

Parashat Vayikra 5784 (2024)

On Guilt and Taxes – Proudly Ahead of Our Time

How are guilt and taxes related, and why should we care? Judaism's ancient bedrock offers answers that might seem outdated, but they were far ahead of their time.

The Book of Leviticus opens with language that we moderns might find distant, but it offers us profound lessons about the proper roles of materialism and money in spiritual life – and what the point of spiritual life is supposed to be. Read more...

There are two additional places where you can read current and past Divrei Torah and other posts by Rabbi David. Check them out!

  1. The Blog on our website gives you a chance to read and re-read the Rabbi's posts.
  2. Our Facebook page, has been under utilized for many years, but now, the Rabbi has revitalized it by posting his blog posts there too. If you are a Facebook user, please be sure to "like", "follow" and/or share the Congregation Shir Ami Facebook page.

Gift Giving And Social Action

A Springtime Gift for Shir Ami

As is true for every congregation, financial sustainability comes from a combination of annual dues by members and additional generous donations made throughout the year by members and friends. We are so grateful to one of our members who independently and anonymously chose to make a $1000 donation and hopes to encourage others to make a donation of any size to help us raise a minimum of $3600 or more for a springtime gift to Shir Ami!


Thank you to those who have already donated to this project after receiving an email that went out to all members at the beginning of March. And we thank in advance those members and friends who will donate. The gift must be identified as “unrestricted” and the deadline is sundown on Monday, 4/22/2024, the start of Pesach (think “deliverance”!).


It's easy to make a gift: (1) mailing a check to Congregation Shir Ami, 1273 East Putnam Avenue, PO Box 312, Riverside CT 06878, or (2) donate online with our usual donation link: Shir Ami - Donate Note: if you donate online, you will be asked if you are willing also to pay the PayPay processing fee.) Either way, be sure to note that your springtime gift is UNRESTRICTED. 

The final results will be announced at Second Seder on Tuesday, 4/23/2024.

Adopt a 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 to distribute food at their pantry on Greyrock Place. 

We can help by sending 2-3 volunteers, two Wednesdays a month (10:30-12:30), to gather food into bags and distribute them to registered clients. 

We already have a number of Shir Ami members signed up but we need more! Our Volunteers will be at the Kosher Pantry on March 27, April 3, April 17 and April 24. If you would like to join us on any of those dates, let me know. You can sign up for one day or more- join our mitzvah squad!

Ronny Kaplan


Shir Ami Classes

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.

NEW CLASS started 2/21.

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:

March 27, April 10, May 8,

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

Blessings and Simchas

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

Scott Marschall - 3/7

Jenn Salop - 3/8

Jerry Sturman - 3/11

Jenny Lake - 3/12

Rabbi David Evan Markus 3/12

Ellen Keats - 3/13

Celine Cohen - 3/14

Lila Croen - 3/31

Susan Nisinzweig - 3/31

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. 

Community News

Interfaith Seder

Thursday, April 11

6:30 PM

UConn Stamford

Click here to register.

February Issue of

Greenwich Jewish News

Please click here to read the digital version. Please see Shir Ami articles on pages 6, 7, 8 and 17.

February/March Issue of

New Jewish Voice

Please click here to read the latest digital version.

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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