agudasisrael star


505 Glasgow Lane

Hendersonville, North Carolina 28739


Yom Shabbat, 27 Shevat 5776

The Center for Jewish Living in Henderson County!


Once every four years we have the gift of an extra day—February 29. In reality, however, we are making up for lost time. Time which has already gone by, but we did not notice. After four years, our calendar catches up with the earthly rotations.
In our Jewish calendar, day and months are much more complicated. Simplistically, seven out of every nineteen years has an entire extra month, called Adar I. This month, in 2016, happens in February and March. This addition pushes back Purim and Passover—though the length between those two holidays remains the same. So we will not celebrate Passover until April 22.
This begs the question then, what are we supposed to do with a whole month? A month with no holidays of its own. A month with no special Shabbatot. A month which just is.
I would like to offer up that we use this month as one of spiritual rejuvenation. During the month of Elul, just before Rosh Hashanah, we do the spiritual hard work—looking deep into ourselves and seeking understanding and forgiveness from others, from ourselves, from God. It’s hard work!

And during the month of Nissan (this year in April), we think about redemption as it pertains to the Exodus. We think about the plagues as they were and as they are—more about this in a couple months. We think about tradition and our place in it, which often leads us to think about the future and our place in it. Redemption is hard work!

This month, Adar 1, I think we need to focus on taking care of spiritual sides. Not an intensive workout at the gym, but more of a relaxing spa day. For some of us, going to the spa means getting a massage. Easing away the tensions brought on by everyday aches and pains. For others, it means a manicure/pedicure. Beautifying that which we have been given. There are those who see a spa day as time to connect, or re-connect, with friends in an unhurried fashion.

What could a spa day for your soul look like? Ask yourself what it could be like to take time to honor and cherish your spiritual side. How refreshed could you be in a deep and meaningful way? Perhaps you would want to scrub away some of the grime that has built up from resentment carried too long. Or, maybe for you, sitting and meditating over the glory and beauty that surrounds us will fill you with child-like awe and wonder once more. However you find a way to rejuvenate your spiritual side is right.
Let us take this gift of time and spend it on spiritual awareness. Not hard work. And not pushed aside. Rather, time to care for that side of us which is so personal, so intimate, and so profoundly beautiful. I wish for each of us time to care for ourselves. May we each take time to do so.

Warmly and with blessings for a rejuvenating month,
Rabbi Rachael Jackson


Linda PerkelJanuary is coming to a close and, although the winter is supposed to be our “quiet time”, we have been busy. We had a beautiful Shabbat service conducted by the Brotherhood followed by a special oneg sponsored by Natalie Zitnick in memory of her late husband Stan Zitnick. For the first time, Agudas Israel participated in the MLK Day On, an interfaith day of service commemorating the civil rights leader and movement. Rabbi Jackson was a visible participant in the program. A small but committed group of Agudas Israel members volunteered at agencies around the community. It seems so “right” that we, as a congregation are part of this project. There is a strong history of Jewish engagement in the civil rights movement so our continuing presence in pro-grams such as these seems natural and appropriate. The plan is for this program to be ongoing so per-haps next year we will see a larger corps of volunteers. Finally, this year we will have our first Tu B'Shevat Seder at Agudas Israel. Tu B'Shevat is the New Year of the Trees and it has become the custom to eat fruits and nuts, particularly those that are abundant in Israel. The ritual of a seder began in the 16th century and provides an opportunity for us to gather together and remind ourselves that “…we spend our lives planting seeds. Time and effort are needed for our efforts to bear fruit. Wait patiently. One day, like the seed, we will be blessed.” (Belz, 2015).
Dr. Linda Perkel, President

The most up-to-date information:


SISTERHOOD MEETING: The sisterhood has invited Diane Strictler to demonstrate beading.  This will take place at their monthly meeting on February 15, 2016 at 12:00  $5.00 for members and $10.00 for non-members.  

SHABBAT ACROSS AMERICA: There is a national movement to encourage Jewish families to invite neighbors, friends and community members for Shabbat dinner.  This participation will foster awareness and create a learning experience on March 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm  A light dinner will be served.  $15.00 for members and $20.00 for non-members.  If you would like to attend contact Marilyn Rosen at 828.290.5333

GIFT CARDS:  If you would like to order gift cards for the upcoming holidays, contact Carol Leaman: 828.693.0145 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Helps support our fundraising efforts to keep Agudas Israel alive!

MEMBERSHIP: lf you would like information about joining our wonderful congregation, please contact our Membership Chair, Barbara Gittleman. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Contact the office for other questions.

2nd Annual 50/50 Fundraiser Raffle- $100/ticket - only 100 will be sold - Drawing December 7th, 2015 See Susan in office for tickets - Maximum Grand Prize is $5,000

ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES - Check the pamphlet with the schedule of classes that will take place throughout the year.  There are a wide variety of subjects and skills that you may be interested in.  See the dates and make sure you register before the deadlines.  Click here for COURSE BROCHURE for classes.

MOUNTAIN JEWISH FESTIVAL - SUNDAY, AUGUST 16, 2015 See Photo album of this fabulous day!Mark your calendars for the second annual Mountain Jewish Festival on August 14, 2016!

MITZVAH DAY COLLECTIONS: We are now collecting toiletries for Mitzvah Day, scheduled next July 10, 2016. Please place all items in the box in the Kaplan room at Agudas.  We are collecting UNOPENED/NEW shampoo, conditioner, soap, combs, lotions, toothbrushes & toothpaste, etc. We need small sample sizes as well as regular sized item.   

Agudas Israel has a Facebook Page.  We are keeping up with the current times.  Please take the time to check out our do not have to have a facebook account to view our page....see photos...LIKE US...the most up-to-date information:

  Bookmark this page and refer to it often for up-to-the minute program details/changes/and photos of latest events.

 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR MAINSTAY- Mainstay is in need of volunteers.  The Purple Ribbon Thrift Store needs help.  Mainstay is an organization that helps women and their children get shelter from domestic violence. Please call 828.693.3840 and ask for April Hatch, volunteer coordinator.

BOOKPLATES FOR OUR SIDDURS Bookplates are now ready to be inserted into our siddur, Mishkan T'filah. The bookplates can be purchases for $36 each, "In honor of" or "In memory of". Send your order with payment to Susan LaRue in the Agudas Israel office. There are only 100 books available and we expect them to sell out quickly

PHOTOS ARE NOW ON THE WEBSITE! Mazel Tov to the Chairs and volunteers on great events and a jobs well-done. See the Special Event section for photos from our latest special events at Agudas Israel (or click here)! (Please wait a few seconds for them to download.)

Hebrew Classes -Wednesdays, Arthur Lebowitz, resident language scholar will teach beginning and intermediate Hebrew.  6:30-7:30 Beginning Hebrew followed by Intermediate at 7:30-8:30 pm.  To register contact Susan at Agudas Israel's office, 828.693.9838

Upcoming Events


02.06.2016 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


02.07.2016 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


02.09.2016 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


02.10.2016 10:30 am - 11:30 am


02.10.2016 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


02.10.2016 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


02.10.2016 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


02.11.2016 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm