Welcome to Temple Ahavat Achim

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  • Welcome

    We are Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester, MA. For more than 100 years we have been, quite simply, the center of Jewish Life on Cape Ann and surrounding North Shore towns.

  • Our teen programming is based on experiential learning and gimilut hasadim (acts of loving kindness). We learn to be Jewish is to do Jewish!

  • We are the only Jewish congregation on Cape Ann. We have been an integral part of the community for over a century. There is a real sense that each one of us is needed to nurture and sustain Jewish life here.

  • Our lively, creative synagogue school is for students K-8th grade, and we have Shabbat and Sunday morning programs for 0-preschool ages, too!

  • We invite you to join us!

Events

Adult Torah Study with Rabbi Lewis

Thursdays at 11 am

Neighborhood Shabbat

Click here for details.

Havdallah, Preparing for Days of Awe and Selichot Service

with Rabbi Lewis, Carl Woolf and Laila Goodman

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st AT 7:30 PM

Light refreshments, songs, Havdallah, short Selichot service and a creative preparation for the High Holidays!

We will do a short writing exercise as a self-assessment on character traits based in the Mussar tradition.  The exercise is designed to discover your "soul" curriculum.  What character traits feel in balance? What character traits do you want to work on?

This event is free of charge.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 
 
 

A MAH JONGG EXTRAVAGANZA!

Thursday, October 17th at 5:30 pm

THE LINE-UP:

5:30 pm - Registration, welcome & snacks

6:30 pm - Dinner & movie

"The Tiles that Bind" - a 32-min entertaining film on the history of Mah Jongg in America

7-9 pm - Play Mah Jongg!

 

Don't know how to play? Come and learn!

Bring your own mah jongg set (one per table)!

Don't forget your cards!

Groups and single players welcome!

$18 PER PERSON

 

SPACE IS LIMITED!!

CLICK HERE TO RSVP by MONDAY, OCTOBER 7th!

TAA Book Club: My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit

Thursday, October 24th at 7 pm

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This is a free event. Everyone is welcome. Please RSVP to Barbara Kaplan.

News

Tashlich Stones

Tashlich is the most embodied High Holiday ritual we do at TAA.  It is a late ritual for Judaism, first recorded in the 1400s. It is flexible in that it can be done anytime from the first day of Rosh haShanah (as long as it is not Shabbat) until the last day of Sukkot either alone, with family or in community.  At TAA, as in most communities, we meet on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh haShanah at a body of "living water" that has fish in it.  Some biblical passages that are read, but the essence of the ritual is symbolically casting away of our sins into the water by shaking out our pockets or throwing breadcrumbs. 

Tashlich then should be part of the process of self reflection and relationship repair that is the focus of this month of preparation for the Days of Awe. The ritual, which probably originated as a folk tradition, was not received enthusiastically by rabbinic authorities who understood the tendency for people to engage in the ritual disconnected from any self-reflection, self-improvement or teshuvah. In other words, to see Tashlich as a magical exorcism of our sins by throwing things in water. 

This year, Rabbi Lewis invites you to share in a Tashlich ritual with specific intention about how we would like to do better and what we would like to leave behind as we enter the new year.  This might be a very specific behavior that caused us to act in a way we regret (i.e., becoming frustrated and responding inappropriately with a particular person and/or a particular situation) or a general commitment to improve ourselves and our relationships (i.e., by being less reactive and impatient in general). 

Instead of bread or pocket lint, we will be using stones collected from the beach that will be returned to the ocean as a physical symbol of our commitments to leave behind unhealthy, stifling and destructive behaviors. Sessions to help set our intentions and begin the process will be held on:

Thursday, September 19th from 12:15 - 1:00 pm and Sunday, September 22nd from 10:00 - 10:45 am.

Please click here to RSVP!

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HIGH HOLIDAYS 5780

Click here for everything you need to know about the High Holidays at our Temple!

 

Operation Isaiah

What sort of fast does G-d require of us on Yom Kippur?  The Prophet Isaiah’s answer is startling and clear:

Is such the fast I desire,

A day for men to starve their bodies?

Is it bowing the head like a bulrush

And lying in sackcloth and ashes?

Do you call that a fast…?

No, this is the fast I desire:

To unlock the fetters of wickedness,

And untie the cords of the yoke

To let the oppressed go free;

To break off every yoke.

 It is to share your bread with the hungry….

To honor Isaiah’s words, it has long been the custom of our congregation, as we enter the temple for Kol Nidre, to bring nourishing, non-perishable food that we donate to the Cape Ann Food Pantry.  We suggest that you donate one pound for every person in your family. 

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BREAK-THE-FAST 5780

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9th at 7 PM

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

 

Rabbi Myron and Eileen Geller Endowment Campaign Updates

CLICK HERE

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Connect

TAA WEEKLY NEWSLETTER:

CLICK HERE

 

 

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DONATIONS & MEMBERSHIP DUES:

CLICK HERE to make a donation or pay your dues online

If you are paying with a CREDIT/DEBIT CARD ONLY, please CLICK HERE instead. 


Click Here for the Photo Gallery

TAA photo

See images from recent events, and a record of our past


Hebrew Calendar

Weekly Torah Portion

Eric and Cynthia Kaplan

Cynthia and I came to TAA 12 years ago when we moved part-time to Gloucester.  TAA is a "Hamish" place and the Rabbi is a big part of why we enjoy it. 

I am a retired pediatrician having practiced for 40 years in Lowell and Westford. We lived in Chelmsford and raised our two daughters there.  My wife Cynthia loves plants and has worked at Cavicchio Greenhouses for many years.  One of our daughters is a lawyer in Massachusetts and the other owns a scene design shop for off Broadway shows in Brooklyn, NY. 

I enjoy the many opportunities to engage and help out at TAA.  I have joined the kitchen "crew", the Torah study class, and am a regular at Shabbat services and Sunday minyan. Having been a board member at my previous shuls for 25 years, I hope to have something to offer the TAA board of directors.