Congregation Agudat Achim

Over 120 years of commitment to Conservative Judaism

Programs and Services of Women’s Network

Our purpose is to strengthen and unite all synagogue women into one network of women, supporting each other in our homes, synagogue, and community; and reinforce our bonds with Conservative Judaism, Israel, and Jews worldwide.


We are doing this by Learning, Living, Sharing, and Linking.

LEARNING

You will experience stimulating programs and study groups designed to enhance your personal growth, Jewish involvement, and sense of community.


Book Club

Everybody is welcome to attend the book club, which meets at the synagogue's library bi-monthly at noon to discuss books of various topics. All the sessions are at noon at the synagogue library and everybody is welcome.

Library


Women's Network provides funding for new books and periodicals. Stop by the library to enjoy a good article or to lend a book! For more information, please contact the synagogue office.


Rosh Hodesh Program


We celebrate the Rosh Hodesh (New Jewish month) by learning something new each month. Every lady is welcome, regardless of age or Judaism knowledge level. Join us!

LIVING

Add your voice and influence concerning the family, synagogue, the Jewish community, and Israel.


Babysitting


Babysitting is available by request during religious services.


College Packages


Women's Network sends care packages to all current college students within the Agudat Achim membership.

SHARING

Enrich your own Jewish identity and that of your family by giving to others and teaching the gift of Jewish values.


Reyut


In 1981, Sadie Schneider sent a survey to the entire congregation, asking what needs individuals had for personal services. Sadie was a champion of community support and resources, in identifying the needs of our community and in creating Reyut, offered solutions to those needs. Today, Reyut is the heart of Women's Network, a committee working to create a truly caring congregation. It is made up of volunteers who provide:


  • Transportation when needed to medical appointments, to services and to synagogue activities.
  • Meals following funerals and on other needed occasions.
  • Hospital visits.
  • Homebound visits on holidays and as requested.
  • Nursing home visits.
  • Holiday celebrations for the developmentally disabled.
  • Rosh Hashanah and Purim packages to homebound seniors.
  • Support requests for members as needed (after consulting with Rabbi Spitzer to ensure they can be done responsibly).


As Sadie wrote in the original description of Reyut, "As awareness of needs grows, so does the program grow. We work closely with our Rabbi in the development of these activities." For more information or to request a service, please contact the synagogue office and leave a message for Linda Birnby. All requests are confidential and no request will be ignored.


In 2020, curtailed by COVID-19 rules to protect our community, Reyut has been made available for the following activities:


  • Hospital visits (when safe; cards are sent to the person's home when Rabbi Spitzer is notified)
  • Meal following a funeral (while shiva minyanim are held virtually)
  • Nursing home visits (when safe, plants may be delivered to homebound congregants or those in a nursing home or assisted senior living; cards are being sent while visits are not possible)
  • Meals to go from As You Like It catering service at Congregation Agudat Achim are being delivered, with subsidies available for those struggling financially
  • Transportation to medical appointments has been restricted due to COVID-19, but deliveries may still be made at this time
  • Babysitting is a less common request, but available when safe
  • Weekly calls to homebound congregants are still being made throughout 2020
  • Holiday celebrations for developmentally disabled members of the community will be discussed


New requests are always welcome! Suggestions for workshops to further our connection to those in need are also welcome. 


Faith Community Nursing Program

Faith Community Nursing is another arm of Reyut. The mission of this Program is to support members of our Congregation through life's transitions while growing spiritually.


Our volunteers provide health education, personal health counselors, referral agents and liaisons, health advocates and developers of support groups for populations across the life-span. All information is kept strictly confidential. Ongoing programs include "Cooking for One" classes and the Healthy Living Group. For more information, please contact Ellin Friedman: ewf13@mindspring.com


Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM)

We serve lunches to children and youth ages 18 and under during a week in the summer, under the auspices of SICM. For more information, please contact Ruth Fraster fraster@nycap.rr.com

Hearts and Hummus

Hearts and Hummus is our annual community service project, traditionally done for Ellis Hospital. Heart-shaped pillows are sewn and stuffed to be given to the cardiac patients following their open heart surgery.

Synagogue Assistance

Women's Network provides funding for special projects and items that are not funded through the general budget. We support USY and Kadima programs, the Religious School, and the synagogue at large.

LINKING

By being a link of Women's Network, you will have the opportunity to connect with other women. Be that woman who can make a difference!


Donor Program

We have a yearly special donor program. The money raised helps Women’s Network to provide assistance and support to all the provided activities.


Women’s Network Shabbat


On this special Shabbat, more than fifty women participate in leading the service. On this Shabbat, we celebrate the anniversary of our umbrella organization, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, along with the women of our synagogue. For more information, please contact Hildy Reich: hhjar@nycap.rr.com


Torah Fund


The Torah Fund of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism has raised nearly $66 million since its inception through various fundraising events including the sale of greeting cards for every life event and benefactor pins to support the Jewish Theological Seminary. Women's Network supports this effort with a program, along with the sale of greeting cards throughout the year.