Rabbi Eichenholtz’s Message:

“Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah, let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora, gather round the table, will give you a treat, sevivon to play with and latkes to eat…”  Invariably as we enter the Hebrew month of Kislev (this year on Thanksgiving Day), this and other Hanukkah songs start popping into my head, stuck on and endless loop.  Eventually, this will morph into the SiriusXM Hanukkah channel, and playlists on Spotify and iTunes, but that’s a different story altogether. 

On one hand, these songs speak to our joyous celebration and our experiences around Hanukkah, on the other they present what, I often refer to as, the picture book version of the holiday.  A happy colorful but often simplistic view of the holiday tale.  I have to admit, Hanukkah wasn’t my favorite holiday, it was fun and I liked candles, and certainly fried food, but it didn’t hold a candle (pun intended) to Pesach or Sukkot, or even Purim or Shavuot.

And then I realized, while the other holidays, their stories, observances and meaning had grown with me over the years.  I was still thinking about Hanukkah in the same way I did when I was little, nothing had changed or grown with me.  So, I offer the following — join me on December 15th at 10am as we learn together the adult version of Hanukkah.  Let’s elevate the holiday from picture books, to nuanced story that continues to inspire and challenge us.  And then on December 22nd we can join together and rejoice in the childlike wonderment of the candle as we bring in Hanukkah as a community. 

May we all find the light and inspiration in all of our holidays, even in our darkest times.


–Rabbi Eichenholtz



Shabbat Candle Lighting Times   


Friday, Dec   6  –  3:53pm

Friday, Dec 13  –  3:54pm

Friday, Dec 20  –  3:56pm

                           Friday, Dec 27  –  4:00pm


Service Times:

Thursdays: 7:15 am Morning Minyan

Fridays: 6:00 pm

Saturdays: 9:30 am




Office will be closed:

–Fri, December 6

–Tues & Wed Dec 24 and 25

No Religious School:

–Sun Dec 1, Tues Dec 24, Sun Dec 29, and Tues Dec 31




Board meeting: Mon, Dec 9, 7:30pm

Education Committee: Sun, Dec 15, 9:00am


Rabbi Office Hours:

Appointments available Sunday morning, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Please contact SJ in the office to schedule your appointment!


In appreciation:

HIAS, JDC, and New Israel Fund all have sent letters thanking the members of Congregation Agudat Achim for your generous donations to their efforts. Thank you for your generosity to our wider world!


Hanukah Party

Sunday, December 22 at 11:00am


Followup from Rabbi Glass, this year’s Scholar in Residence:

Ways to help Refugees: http://bit.ly/BorderSolidarity

The poems she shared: (click links to read poems)

Prayer for Immigrant Children and Families by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Run to Them by Desiree O’Clair

Of the Empire by Mary Oliver



Bob & Carol Sarafconn

From the Ma’asim Tovim Jar:

Carol and Bob for their ongoing efforts towards community programs which encourage participation with our members and the greater community. Thank you especially for your work on the Scholar in Residence program each year!”


Community Resources/Reminder:

The Massachusetts deadline to sign up for health insurance via mahealthconnector.org is Jan 23, 2020 (Dec 23 for coverage starting Jan 1)


**if you are not a MA resident, your deadline may be Dec 15!**



Join us for Community Learning!


What is Hanukkah Really About?

Sunday, December 15 at 10:00am


Learning Series classes will resume in January—stay tuned!


Kaylee’s Kare Kits for Kids Wrapping Party

Sunday, December 15 at noon


Join Kaylee’s Kare Kits team in the Social Hall

and help wrap donated gifts for local children—bring a donation of wrapping paper/tape or just bring yourself!

(you may want to bring a pair of scissors, but write your name on them!!)



CAA’s Hebrew High School

is looking for food donations for kids in need!

The Hebrew High School students will be volunteering to pack “kare kits” for Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz on December 22nd. Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz is a non-profit organization in Leominster that provides food for almost 500 children in our local area. The food packages help ensure that these food insecure children do not go hungry on weekends when they are not able to eat meals at school. 

The Hebrew High school will be collecting the following non-perishable food items during the month of December to donate to Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz.


Food donations are being collected in the lobby during the month of December

  • 100% Juice Boxes
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Applesauce Cups
  • Canned Pasta Meals
  • Canned Soup
  • Oatmeal Packets
  • Granola Bars
  • Fruit Cups
  • Pudding Cups
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Cereal – Individual box serving size only
  • Individual packets of cookies, crackers & pretzels


Chanukah on Ice

With the Jewish Federation of Central MA

Thursday, Dec 26, evening

Worcester Common Oval

Candlelighting at 5:00pm, food and skating to follow candlelighting.

Free admission! Bring your own skates, or rent them there!


Do you identify as a college or post-college member
(or member adjacent)
of the Congregation Agudat Achim community?

Join your peers for dinner, games, and fun

on Shabbat Chanukkah at the Rabbi’s House.

Friday Evening Dec 27 at 7:15pm


Come to services at 6:00pm at shul or meet at the house at 7:15pm, the choice is yours! (Seriously, you don’t have to come to services, just come for dinner at 7:15 that’s totally fine)

Please RSVP to to the office and let Rabbi Eichenholtz know of any dietary preferences or restrictions.

In honor of the Jewish and Christian holidays that week, kosher and fried (okay, not ALL fried) Chinese food will be served (dinner—meat and vegetarian; drinks—hard and soft, hot and cold; and dessert—chocolate and non-chocolate; all provided…just join us!)

Bring your favorite Shabbat-friendly (no-writing, no electric) games or pick something from the Rabbi’s collection.




American or Chinese?

Stakes or Social?

Morning, Afternoon, or Evening?

These are life’s most important questions.

Or at least the ones that will help us create some new Mahjong games at CAA.

We are looking for teachers to get us going and people who want to learn!


So bring your set, or your grandmother’s set, or bring yourself and a friend, to join us as we learn to play and get some games going. (Your own set is not required to play)


Suggested times currently are:

Sunday morning, before, after, or during the Rabbi’s class

Tuesday during Religious School at 5:00pm

Saturday after services (with lunch or snacks, services attendance not required, these would be no-stakes games) around noon

Monday evening

If you like any of these times, let Sarah Jane know when you’d come,

or you can suggest a different time you could make it


Thank you to everyone who attended or helped out at the Interfaith Thanksgiving!

We had a great turnout despite the bad weather, and a good time was had by all.




Our sympathies and condolences are extended to:

The family of Brian Shifrin who passed away November 16, 2019


The family of Seymour Bolinsky who passed away November 20, 2019



Yahrzeits for December 2019


Dec 1-7:  Shirley Bloom, Jerry Boro, Marvin Charney, Mordecai Cohen, Eli Ebb, Charlotte Feingold, Frances Goldfarb, Anne Grossman, Annie Horwitch, Irene Levine, Morris Levine, Rose Lipkind, Sarah Novick, James Poppel, Bettie Robinson, Freda Sandrof, Seymour Smith, Abram Weinstein


Dec 8-14:  Milton Bernstein, Sadie Borowsky, Edith Brenner, Pearl Cohen, Simon Cohen, F. Robert Drury, Nathan Aaron Feinberg, Jean Freed, Samuel Goldfarb, Pearl Graham, Meyer Green, Anne Grossman, Dora Jaffe, Moses Kander, Bertha Kerzner, Ruth Levin, David Mankoff, Rebecca Marshall, Lee Rome, Abraham Rothstein, Samuel Sandrof, Ruth Shaevel, Michael Simmons, H. Peter Solomon, Pinachas Tieger, Wallace Weinbaum

Dec 15-21: Harry Berger, Jacob Borowsky, Abraham W. Britton, Marjorie Brodkin, Helga “Sunnie” Epstein, Sidney Feinberg, Louis Feingold, Sylvia Gaynor, June Gill, Benjamin Goldberg, Bessie Goldberg,  Adeline Heimberg, Jack Herman, Bella Holzer, Felice Lubin, Rosalyn Malin, Joseph Muller, Bertha Nissenbaum,  Harry Rice, Howard Rome, Samuel Skurnick, Ida Weisner


Dec 22-29: Sarah Bockstein, Clara Charney, Ida Chitoff, Dora Coplon, Ida Dorfman, Bessie Dunn, Hilda Epstein, Charles Fay, Jean Finestone, Esther Foster, Sabina Foster, Klein Frankel, Rebecca Grand, Nada Grossman, Seleck Feivel Kalin, Sophie Katzen, Stephen Kay, Bertha Kniager, Harry McCrensky, Rebecca Rosenberg, Robert Salny, Frank Sarkin, Anne Schreter, Sadie Shubert, Peter Tobin, Nettie Vigoda, Harry Wexler, Susan Winthrop, Philip Witzky


Dec 30-31: Albert Aranson, Isaac Chitoff, Rose Claman, Adele Forgelman Dreyfus, Lewis Florence, Joseph Friedson, Esther Goodstein, Arthur Marshall, Louise Muller, Morris Portnoy, Samuel Salny, Allen C. Silberberg, Isadore Solomon







>>Sunday, December 1:  No Religious School


Thursday, December 5:  Morning Minyan 7:15am


Friday, December 6:  Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm


Saturday, December 7:  Shabbat Service 9:30am


>>Monday, December 9:  Board Meeting 7:30pm


Thursday, December 12: Morning Minyan 7:15am


Friday, December 13: Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm


Saturday, December 14:  Shabbat Service 9:30am


>>Sunday, December 15:  Adult Continuing Education 10:00am

                                                     What is Hanukkah Really About?


                                                  Kaylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz wrapping party 12:00pm


Thursday, December 19: Morning Minyan 7:15am


Friday, December 20: Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm


Saturday, December 21:  Shabbat Service 9:30am


>>Sunday, December 22:  Hebrew High School packing food “Kare Kits” 9:00am

                                                  Hanukkah party 11:00am


>>Tuesday, December 24: Office Closed

                                                  No Religious School


>>Wednesday, December 25: Office Closed


>>Thursday, December 26:  Morning Minyan 7:15am


>>Friday, December 27:  Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm

                                                  20-Somethings’ Game Night at Rabbi’s house 7:15pm


Saturday, December 28:  Shabbat Service 9:30am


>>Sunday, December 29:  No Religious School


>>Tuesday, December 31: No Religious School


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