Astoria Center of Israel sanctuary (Photo © Mark Milch) The murals, by Louis Pierre Rigal, were inspired by the Pirkei Avot, Chapter 5, Verse 23, where Rabbi Judah Ben Tema says: "Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion, to carry out the will of your Father in Heaven".

 

 

Astoria Center of Israel is an egalitarian synagogue that maintains a conservative Jewish tradition and is built around a warm, wonderful group of people that embraces a wide variety of perspectives on Judaism in a joyful and inclusive community.
Everyone is welcome--visit our next service!

 

 

27-35 Crescent Street, Astoria (Queens), New York 718-278-2680
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACI Communal Seder is Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 pm. Cost to members $45, non-members $65; children ages 5-12 $25, under age 5 free. If you have been at ACI's amazing communal Seders, you know what a wonderful, unique experience that is! Those who attended said they had never experienced such a meaningful, inspiring, and fun Seder. Whether you've participated in the past, or have not yet had the chance to, don't miss this year's opportunity to share in this beautiful communal event that is musical, meaningful, delicious, and filled with singing, discussion, and new, fascinating perspectives on Exodus that will continue to inspire you all year through!
Deadline to register is this Monday, April 7. Bring your check to the ACI office or use the Paypal button on our home page. Due to food ordering requirements, ABSOLUTELY NO RESERVATIONS will be taken after Monday, April 7.

Celebrate Passover with a beautiful PERSONALIZED Haggadah WITH YOUR OWN FAMILY'S NAME ON IT! (First or last names!) Everyone at your Seder, will love their own personalized Haggadahs with their names printed on the front. First names, last names, nicknames, hyphenated names - you design how you would like the beautiful front cover to appear! You'll want to have these Haggadahs to enjoy at Seders for many years to come. They make wonderful family heirlooms, and terrific gifts too - for children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, hosts, guests, and friends and family!
Personalized Haggadahs are just $11.50 each (plus shipping), and ACI receives a donation of 20% on every Haggadah ordered (there is no minimum). Just visit www.personalizedhaggadahs.com and SELECT ASTORIA CENTER OF ISRAEL FROM THE PULL-DOWN LIST AT CHECK-OUT. (You can view the full Haggadah on the website too, or visit the ACI office to see a hard copy.)
Thanks for being a part of this new Passover tradition, and helping out ACI at the same time!

After 25 years of conscientious service as Ritual Committee Chairman, Mark Sohmer has retired. We will, however, look forward to seeing him in his customary seat at services, and at ACI events.
Mark arrived in Astoria at the auspicious age of three months. He is a graduate of our Hebrew School and became a bar mitzvah in 1961. With bachelors and masters degrees in marketing from Baruch College, he worked as an import customs broker.
At ACI Mark is a former Chairman of the Board. As Ritual Chair he prepared the Schedule of Services that you see on p. 2 in every bulletin. In fact, his was always one of the first items submitted each month. He also handled the distributing of aliyahs and ark openings year round, prepared the list of announcements at services, and had the time-consuming job of creating the entire High Holiday schedule of honors.
Mark comes from a long tradition of service to ACI. His parents, Sarah & Hy, were active volunteers and fundraisers. Sarah also brought her crackerjack memory to the position of office secretary here for 20 years.
We thank Mark for a job well done, and wish him continuing worthy deeds in good health. Says Mark, “It’s been an honor to serve the synagogue all these years.” The honor has been ours.

Astoria Center of Israel receives grant for restoration - Historic news for ACI. As Rabbi Pearl writes in his December column, "On October 16, as reported in the Queens Gazette, we came together to publicly announce that Illya Azaroff’s design firm had been hired, that a $200,000 grant from the Conservancy and the David Berg Foundation had been activated, and that the estate gift of $50,000 from Dorothy Horowitz – thanks to Sydelle Diner– made the grant match possible." CLICK HERE TO READ THE COVERAGE ON THE QUEENS CHRONICLE WEBSITE.

Monday night Hebrew classes resume this Spring. Native Israelis and ACI members Alona and Shlomo Shevach will teach a weekly, introductory Hebrew class, covering reading, writing, and conversation. This class is free to all ACI members (but you must pre-register, and seriously intend to regularly attend classes.) To registers call (718-278-2680) or email astoriashul[at]gmail.com the ACI office. Non-members also welcome - contact the ACI office regarding registration and fees.

New class - The Joy of Text: Everything You Wanted To Know About our Texts (But Were Afraid to Ask) - A monthly Shabbat morning learning series based on Judaism’s “text appeal” is starting up. Led by Rabbi Pearl, the “Joy of Text” will begin on November 16, and will meet once per month from 8:30am - 9:15am before Shabbat services. We will tackle some interesting textual highlights, comparisons, anomalies, and challenges, and tease out their contemporary relevance. Texts to be studied will include material from:

  • Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers)
  • Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law)
  • Parashat Hashavua (the weekly Torah portion)
  • Nevi’im (the Hebrew prophets)
  • Sifrei Emet (Biblical Wisdom Literature)

The class is open to all ACI members, and will be conducted in English so knowledge of Hebrew it is not necessary (but is of course welcome!). Please contact Rabbi Pearl at rabbipearl@gmail.com to let him know if you are interested.

Monthly Potluck Dinners return October 4. The dinner will start at 6:15 pm with Kabbalat Shabbat service following at 7:00 pm. It’s our monthly feast for body and spirit, as YOU, with your pareve/dairy kosher dish, help create a tempting table of tasty treats. See the EVENTS calendar for the full line-up of activities.

A new year for Tot Shabbat begins October 5. Bring your young children for a fun Shabbat morning -- with songs, stories, and yummy kiddush snacks! Meet and mingle with Astoria's families! Thanks again to Cara Bernstein who stepped in to lead Tot Shabbat last year. Welcome to Lisa Goldberg, who is leading Tot Shabbat this year.

Shabbat Kids & Youth Education Program (SKYEP) starts again October 5. This year SKYEP is split into two age groups:

  • Older children (pre-bar/bat mitzvah) meet with Morah Ayelet 9:30-10:30 am, then go into the Main Sancturay with assignments and guidance to experience the Shabbat service 10:30-11:30.
  • Younger children (ages 8-10) meet with Morah Ayelet 10:30-11:30, then all join with the congregation for the kiddush.

New Facebok group for ACI members - become part of the conversation! If you're a member of Astoria Center of Israel, then you're welcome to join our new Facebook group, a place for real time conversation and updates on all that's happening at ACI. Simply search for 'Astoria Center of Israel: Members Group' and request to join!

Sign your child up for free Jewish books from the PJ Library. PJ LIBRARY IS A JEWISH FAMILY ENGAGEMENT program implemented on a local level throughout North America, mailing free, high-quality Jewish children's literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis. All families raising Jewish children from age six months of age through five, six, seven or eight years (depending on the community) are welcome to sign up on the Astoria Center of Israel page of the PJ Library Website.

The ACI Cookbook is heating up! Co-chairs Gina Friedlander and Zahava Alter ask you to submit recipes to us at ACIcooks@yahoo.com. Recipe forms are available from the information table in the synagogue lobby. You can also download the form - right-click on your mouse and choose 'save as' to download the form in Word format or click HERE to download the form in PDF format. You're encouraged to submit 3 or 4 favorites and we'll include as many as possible. The more creative, them-based, or holiday, the better. And make sure they're kosher! Please address any questions to ACIcooks@yahoo.com. Thanks for your help!

EVENTS CALENDAR:

All events are at the Astoria Center of Israel unless otherwise noted. All events are at the Astoria Center of Israel unless otherwise noted. Events may be cancelled due to weather conditions. Check this website for cancellation notices.

Ba'alat Mitzvah Graduate Seminar
Date: Tuesday, April 1
Time: 6:30-7:15pm

ACI Board Meeting
Date:` Tuesday, April 1
Time: 7:30 pm

Potluck Dinner and Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Date: Friday, April 4
Time: 6:15pm - Dinner; 7:00pm - Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Bring a kosher dairy or pareve dish to enhance our eclectic edibles experience, followed by services.

Tot Shabbat
Date: Saturday, April 5
Time: 10:45 am

Shabbat Kids and Youth Education Program
Date: Saturday, April 5
Time: 9:30 am (older group), 10:30 am (younger group)

Adult Ba’alat Mitzvah Class
Date: Saturday, April 5
Time: F ollowing services

Shabbat Kids and Youth Education Program
Date: Saturday, April 12
Time: 9:30 am (older group), 10:30 am (younger group)

Lunch and Learn
Date:
Saturday, April 12
Time: following Shabbat services:

"BYOCh" Bring Your Own Chometz! With Passover approaching, get rid of your chometz at this brown-bag lunch! And in the spirit of the Seder's Four Questions, bring your own questions about Passover (up to 4) to ask the Rabbi and learn more about this pivotal holiday.

Astoria Center of Israel Communal Seder
Date:
Tuesday, April 15
Time:
6:30 pm
Cost: Members $45, non-members $65; children ages 5-12 $25, under age 5 free.

If you have been at ACI's amazing communal Seders, you know what a wonderful, unique experience that is! Those who attended said they had never experienced such a meaningful, inspiring, and fun Seder. Whether you've participated in the past, or have not yet had the chance to, don't miss this year's opportunity to share in this beautiful communal event that is musical, meaningful, delicious, and filled with singing, discussion, and new, fascinating perspectives on Exodus that will continue to inspire you all year through!

Deadline to register is this Monday, April 7. Bring your check to the ACI office or use the Paypal button on our home page. Due to food ordering requirements, ABSOLUTELY NO RESERVATIONS will be taken after Monday, April 7.

Enjoy full-course kosher-for-Passover catered dinner, wine included!

...ALSO included: singing, spirit, music, and lively discussion!

Tot Shabbat
Date: Saturday, April 19
Time: 10:45 am

Shabbat Kids and Youth Education Program
Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 9:30 am (older group), 10:30 am (younger group)

Adult Ba’alat Mitzvah Class
Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: F ollowing services

Hebrew Class
Date:
Monday, April 28
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tot Shabbat
Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 10:45 am

Hebrew Class
Date:
Monday,May 5
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tot Shabbat
Date: Saturday, May 10
Time: 10:45 am

Hebrew Class
Date:
Monday, May 12
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Hebrew Class
Date:
Monday, May 19
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

ACI Blood Drive
Date: Sunday, June 22
Time: 10:30 am

For complete details see our EVENTS page.

   
  Parents Cooperative If anyone has infants or toddlers and would like to participate in a Parents class please contact Judy Markowitz at jmsm219@hotmail.com or Judy Pearl at jtvimages@aol.com for additional information and upcoming events.
 

 

 

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