I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to our Agudas Israel community as well as our Hendersonville one. For the second year, on January 16, we participated in “MLK: A Day On, A Day of Service” in collaboration with several other area churches. Over the last many months, the committee contacted and arranged for non-profit organizations who would benefit from the help of volunteers. We put together a wide -range of options. When we met at St. James Episcopal Church, Agudas brought nearly twenty members! When all was said and done here is how the community helped: Bagged rice and beans to make 4,804 meals; delivered home baked cookies to grateful first responders at 12 police and fire stations; made and delivered over 150 paper flowers to residents at Cherry Springs Nursing Home and Laurel Hills Rehabilitation Center; interacted with children at Hands-On; worked to restore a home for the Housing Assistance; prepared medical items for bar coding at the Medical Loan Closet; served a meal to people at the Rescue Mission; painted a room for Safelight; helped with cleaning at the Council on Aging thrift store. We all gave our time to provide much-needed support to many agencies in our community who help the people here in need. I think Dr. King would be pleased in how he was honored and that we are keeping his dream alive. Each month in our Chai Lites, we have been highlighting an organization for “Mitzvah Opportunity of the Month.” Some of the time, such as in January, there are options for us to work together as a community; other times, there are options for us to engage in as individuals. Either way, we are actively promoting one of the values of Judaism: to do good in the world. As we have said many times before, one of the most famous quotes from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) says “The world stands on three things: Torah (study), Avodah (worship/service), Gemilut Hasidim (acts of kindness)”. Each time we give of our time, our resources, our energies, ourselves, to another person or to an organization, we are living this value. Kol hakavod to all the MLK volunteers, and to all the people who volunteer throughout the year in so many ways.
Rabbi Rachael Jackson
There is a theme that we are hearing repeatedly in the synagogue and Reform Judaism communications. That theme is community. Now there are several dictionary definitions of community. One definition is: a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage; a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (Dictionary.com). Now it is clear that we at Agudas Israel constitute a community. It is easy to see how we come together to worship, study, support each other, and participate in activities to support the greater community. Sometimes, it is harder to appreciate the subtle ways in which we are “community”. I was both pleased and struck by the joyous support of our congregants of Sophie Tanker on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah. I could feel the swell of pride we all felt as we sat in the sanctuary as a community and listened to her D’var Torah and Torah portion. It was wonderful to celebrate such a wonderful milestone within our synagogue walls. Most of us feel a sense of uncertainty as we look toward the future. We wonder, who will replace us? Clearly it is our young people, Sophie and her upcoming classmates, and those who will hopefully follow them, they are our hope for the future, for our community. We must look outside our walls, outside our own social groups, think out of the box, to welcome and embrace the new generation needed in order for our community to grow.
Dr. Linda Perkel, President
Read the our Newsletter "Chai Lites" for January by clicking Chai Lites February 2017
Rabbi Jackson's High Holy Days Sermons 5777 (Chick here to read all four sermons from this year's services)
See what books we have in the Agudas Israel Library for you to check out by clicking here: AGUDAS ISRAEL LIBRARY
See photos of our Mountain Jewish Festival from August 21, 2016 by clicking here: Mountain Jewish Festival photos 2016.
See photos from our Annual Sisterhood Fashion Show, August 2, 2016 by clicking here: Sisterhood Fashion Show 2016