Rabbi Eichenholtz’s Message:

Summer has officially begun and last week we welcomed in the Hebrew month of Tammuz.  While we often talk about Shavuot as a spring holiday for me Tammuz is always means summer, maybe it has to do with my 15 years at Jewish summer camp.  A few short weeks from now we will commemorate with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz remembering the siege of Jerusalem as we prepare for Tisha B’Av and our moment of communal commemoration for communal tragedy.  As a kid growing up in camp I was aware of these events, they were a part of our summer programming, but it wasn’t until I left camp and entered the “real/adult world” that I realized how important these summer events are.


In our history there have been moments that have upended our entire Jewish lives.  And yet not one of them has destroyed us.  In our morning services we take time for individual study, the first paragraph of study is the following story from Avot D’Rabbi Natan.  Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai and his disciple Rabbi Y’hoshua walking through the ruins of the Temple.  Rabbi Y’hoshua moans that the place where we were able to atone for our sins has been destroyed.  Rabban Yohanan replies that we no longer need animal sacrifice for atonement, that deeds of loving kindness also provides for atonement, for ultimately it is deeds of loving kindness and not sacrifice that God desires.


Rabbi Y’hoshua is distraught at the loss of the Temple.  He cannot see a way in which Judaism will survive without its center.  He wants to connect to God and community.  Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai reminds him that more than through sacrifices, more than service of ritual to God, what Judaism is, what will keep us going individually and as a community are the acts of loving kindness.  This chesed is the core of our Judaism.


On Tisha B’Av, we commemorate the destruction of both the First Temple in 587 BCE and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.  For almost 2000 years we have mourned not having the Temple and yearned for the day when we are told we would return.  It is possible that as we gather on Tisha B’Av this year some or all of us will be mourning the temporary loss of our physical gathering in our synagogue home.  But I know that just as chesed provided comfort and hope to Rabbi Y’hoshua so too does our dedication to each other at this time provide comfort and hope. 


May it be that we will see each other in our virtual home as we anticipate a return to our physical home, (and let’s hope we don’t have to wait 2000 years)


 –Rabbi Eichenholtz




Our Ma’asim Tovim jar needs your submissions!

Know anyone doing good works? Let us know!

You can call the office outside of business hours and leave an anonymous voicemail, submit anonymously through the “contact” link on our website, or just let SJ know!



Shabbat Candle Lighting Times   

Friday, July    3  –  8:06pm        

Friday, July  10  –  8:03pm

Friday, July  17  –  7:59pm

                       Friday, July  24  –  7:53pm

                       Friday, July  31  –  7:45pm


Service Times:

**Services are online or over phone only**

Thursday Morning Minyan 8:30am

Friday Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm

Saturday Shabbat Service 9:30am



It’s L’Shana Tova Book time!

Please fill out and return your forms to the office before July 17th. Thank you!



If you need to make an appointment to speak to Rabbi Eichenholtz, please contact the office via phone or email to make an appointment. While the offices are closed to face-to-face meetings, Rabbi Eichenholtz is still available for consults over the phone.

978-534-6121     office@agudat-achim.org


The office will be closed:

Friday, July 3rd




Robbie Carter

From the Ma’asim Tovim Jar:

Robbie has been working with special needs high school students at his local gym

and promoting and facilitating their continued inclusion in his high school’s athletics programs.  

He has just received a scholarship for his volunteer efforts.

He also works with a classmate on improving access to mental health services for our community’s teens. 

Thank you Robbie, for your work helping to make our community better!



On Reopening: We have been paying careful attention to the guidelines from the state and other organizations, and our Exec Board and Rabbi have decided our building will remain closed until the start of MA phase 3. Please see the letter sent out earlier this week for more details. Thank you!




In these times of physical distancing, please make sure the CAA community knows how we can be of service.  Contact the office or the Rabbi.


We wish everyone good health:

Here are some of the best ways to keep our community safe from coronavirus:


  • Please stay home when you can
  • Please wear a mask which covers your nose and mouth whenever you are  in public spaces to protect yourself and others
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when outside or at grocery store, etc
  • Wash your hands often, for 30 seconds, with soap
  • If you visit with friends and family, visiting outside is safer than inside
  • Stay calm, stay in touch, stay safe!





Reminder: If you feel unsafe at home, help is available.

Journey to Safety is 1-781-647-JFCS (5327) –a program of Jewish Family and Children Services – Boston.

National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 –also available by text and internet chat on their website.  



Sunday Community Learning

Sunday Learning Sessions continue with


                                        Talmud Study Sunday, July 5 at 10:00 am.

                                        All are welcome, no experience is required! Please join us!


                                       Hebrew Class Sunday, July 12 at 10:00 am.

                                       Please join us!




Join Rabbi Eichenholtz for Cooking and Baking over Zoom

Fridays at 11:00am

Just click the regular Zoom link to join, just like for services

All welcome!


Chesed Committee Honor High School Graduates

This year social-distancing restrictions deprived high school seniors of the ceremonies and celebrations that usually accompany high school graduation. In order to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates in our community, the Chesed Committee is giving tzedakah in their honor.  Each student was asked to select a charity to direct our donations.  The following are our graduates and their charities:


Aaron Bateman      Kylee Kare Kits for Kidz



Teah Arum               The Actors Fund       



Robbie Carter          Mental Health America                                                      



Jarrod Camerer       Global Green USA



Oren Cohen             Kylee Kare Kits for Kidz



Jayde Levine            Worcester County Food Bank     



Mazel tov to all our high school graduates!



The Chesed Committee would like to honor our college grads, too. 


Are you or someone in your family graduating this spring?  Raise your hand—or better yet, call the office and let us know.  We would like to recognize you!



Thank you to our Board and Exec Board members!

Congregation Agudat Achim would like to thank outgoing President Scott Zibel for all of his efforts on behalf of our synagogue during his tenure. We would also like to thank outgoing Board of Trustees member Eric Mendelson. Thank you Eric and Scott!

We welcome Rich Cohen as our incoming President and Lisa Bateman as our new 1st VP.

Welcome and thank you all!



Congregant’s Corner

The purpose of these brief sketches is to highlight members of our Agudat Achim community so that we may all get to know each  other a little better. If you’d like to suggest someone else to spotlight, please contact me at 603 899-2221 or gordensteinr@elms.edu. I appreciate your feedback.

–Roberta Gordenstein


Steve Levine has a long history with Congregation Agudat Achim. He’s lived in the area his entire life and his father was a past president of the shul. Steve went to preschool, kindergarten, Sunday School, Hebrew School and a post-bar mitzvah class at Agudat Achim. He admits to being afraid of Rabbi Lowenthal but developed a special rapport with the new rabbi, Rabbi Levine (no relation!) who gave him bar mitzvah lessons. In spite of that, he went away to Northfield Mount Hermon and then the University of Lowell and became what he calls a “High Holiday Jew” for many years.

What brought him back was his son, Brock, who was a year or two away from his bar mitzvah. Brock didn’t like missing school because of the High Holidays, so Steve offered him a deal—if Brock would attend services every week, he wouldn’t have to go on the Holidays. Surprisingly, Brock accepted the arrangement and Steve wound up at services every week. To his amazement, he discovered how much he loved the building and davening there! He experienced  a strong emotional connection which was encouraged by Rabbi Alpert. While serving on the Board, Steve became the Building Committee chair and has served in that capacity ever since. He is now the chair of the new combined Building/Security Committee.

Besides owning a packaging and assembly factory where he packs food for Amazon among many other companies, Steve has an interesting hobby—he collects old cars and motorcycles. He has three Lincolns, a Harley, and a red 1986 Corvette. He also has a pontoon boat which he pilots around the lake where he lives in Westminster.

Steve has a large extended family. He has a daughter in Hawaii and four grandchildren there, two stepchildren who are both nurses, and his wife Krissy and their two children, Brock and Jayde. Brock has just graduated from Mount Wachusett and Jayde is about to begin her freshman year at UMass Amherst. Steve is also fortunate enough to have a mother and brother and sister who all live in Florida with their families.

When I asked him if he wanted to add anything else, he said he just loves being a member of Congregation Agudat Achim



Yahrzeits for July 2020


July 1-4:  Sumner Alpert, Sarah Heimberg, Sophia Krevoruck, Murray Shapiro, Philip Chitoff, Morris Miller, Frank Silverman, Milton Chernoff,  Mildred Padonle, Edward Erwin Spanier, Sam Bernstein, Simon Winthrop


July 5-11:  Michel Kurianski, Morton Levine, Jennie C. Cerier, John Coleman, Jr., Ariah Lieb Freedman, Hanna Toibe Freedman, John Coleman, Jr., Ariah Lieb Freedman, Hanna Toibe Freedman, Sadie Nathan, Ingrid Schack, Gladys Shack, Edward David Wasserman, George Cohn, Peter Sirvint, Maurice Latinik, Miriam Stevens Mendelsohn, Bernard Migdol, Peter Saul, Esther Shapiro, Sarah Stevens, Calvin Samuel Ungar, Lester Alt, Charles Chernof, Lottie Jaffe, Herbert Tieger, Nicola P. Angelini


July 12-18: David Goldberg, Fay Lazarowitz, Herman I. Levin, Abraham Possick, Tena Lipkind, Nathan Goldstein, Philip Weisberg, Benjamin Jaffe, Maxwell P. Zide, Benjamin Smith, Irwin and Margot Weinbaum, David Schwartz, Grace Sterling, Lena Zelda Caplan, Minnie Rosenberg


July 19-25: Lena Davis, Doris Levine, Hans Hess, Rose Rosenbaum, Louis Alintuck, Bud Marcus, Gladys Solomon, Leon Weiner, Abraham Ogowetsky, Klem Rubinstein, Sophie Szyszko, Herman Cofman, Minnie (Falk) Epstein, Irving Finestone, Lena Flaum, Gertrude Goldman, Rose Rebecca Primack, Judith Siel, Esther Brotheim, Sara Kane, Nathan Miller, Marcia Rubinstein, Alvan Tall, Mae Benson, Israel Dansky, Herman Mand, Dora Rothstein, Seymour Silberberg, Deborah Steinberg


July 26-31: Martin Feldman, Elizabeth Bernstein, Shirley Billet, Jack Fashing, Philip Rome, Alice Annie Wagner, Leah Rubin, Fannie Sarkin, Lewis Green, Morris Rosenberg, Harry Baylin, Benjamin Novick, Benjamin Novick, Eugene Mendelson, Lewis Rome




**all events are still remote via Zoom**



Thursday, July 2:  Morning Minyan 8:30am


>>Friday, July 3:  Office Closed

                                   Cooking with Rabbi Eichenholtz 11:00am via Zoom

                                   Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm


Saturday, July 4: Shabbat Services 10:30am


>>Sunday, July 5:  Community Learning—Talmud Study 10:00am via Zoom all welcome


Thursday, July 9:  Morning Minyan 8:30am


>>Friday, July 10:  Cooking with Rabbi Eichenholtz 11:00am via Zoom

                                   Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm


Saturday, July 11:  Shabbat Services 10:30am  


>>Sunday, July 12:  Community Learning–Hebrew 10:00am via Zoom all welcome!


Thursday, July 16:  Morning Minyan 8:30am


>>Friday, July 17:  Cooking with Rabbi Eichenholtz 11:00am via Zoom

                                   Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm


Saturday, July 18:  Shabbat Services 10:30am   


Thursday, July 23:  Morning Minyan 8:30am


Friday, July 24:  Cooking with Rabbi Eichenholtz 11:00am via Zoom

                                   Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm


Saturday, July 25:  Shabbat Services 10:30am  



Thursday, July 30:  Morning Minyan 8:30am


Friday, July 31:  Cooking with Rabbi Eichenholtz 11:00am via Zoom

                                   Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm


**As of right now, services will remain via phone and online. We will keep you posted when we know more. Thank you for your patience and adaptability!




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