Rabbi visits

The search for our new rabbi is in full swing and we are excited to announce we have two candidates scheduled to visit.  Both will be here over the course of a full Shabbat and weekend.  Please plan to join us as often as possible for services, conversations and opportunities to meet the candidates and show them all that Agudath Achim has to offer.


Rabbi Jeremy Szczepanski will be here March 18-20

Rabbi Mathew Marko will be here March 25-27


More details of their visits will follow in the coming weeks.

Rabbi visit cancelation

Rabbi Search Committee

Hi everyone! We wanted to let everyone know that Rabbi Shalom Kantor will not be joining us the weekend of February 12-15 for his rabbinical candidate visit. He has decided to pursue other opportunities.
Although we are disappointed in this, we still have several candidates to interview. Rabbi Search Committee members Steve Roth, Victor Shernoff, and Robyn Carroll are headed to New York City Sunday for Interview Week at the Rabbinical Assembly. We are anxiously awaiting their return and feedback, and will keep you in the loop as things progress.
As always, please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Rabbi Search Committee with any questions, comments, or feedback. We would love to hear from you!
Have a great day!
AA Rabbi Search Committee

Update Rabbinical Search and Visit

Update Rabbinical search and visit



The fun has begun! As of January 21, 2016, we had received 6 resumes for the Rabbi position. Of those 6, we felt 2 had the potential for being our next Rabbi. In the last few weeks we have conducted 2 phone interviews, as well as 2 video interviews. Based on those conversations we decided to pursue one for further discussion and one for a visit to our synagogue and Savannah (see more about the visit below!).


In the last week, we have received an additional 8 resumes.  7 of these candidates will be interviewed in person during Interview Week at the Rabbinical Assembly in New York City next week. We are just beginning to look at these applicants as a committee, and will follow up on those we feel are a good match for our congregation.


During the weekend of February 12-15, 2016, Rabbi Shalom Kantor and his wife will be spending the weekend with us as an opportunity to get to know the Agudath Achim community and most importantly, a chance for you to get to know him!


Please join us as often as possible as Rabbi Kantor will lead our services on Friday Night, Saturday for morning and evening services, Sunday morning minyan, and a tentative Q&A session to learn more about the Rabbi.  Finally, on Sunday evening our shul’s Progressive Dinner social event will be a final chance to interact with the Rabbi and his wife, as they attend the dinner as our guests! More details to come as we finish all the planning.


As always, please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Rabbi Search Committee with any questions, comments, or feedback. We would love to hear from you!


Have a great week!


AA Rabbi Search Committee


Dear A.A. Members:

The A.A. Sisterhood is launching a new fundraising project and is asking for your help.
The project will be called Mitzvah-Grams and is designed to bring in much-needed funds for the Sisterhood (and ultimately for the Synagogue) with very little effort on your part.
The first step in launching the project is to create a database of birthdays and anniversaries for the members of A.A.  Please fill out the attached request for this information, keeping in mind we need only month and date, not year.  Once we have created this database, the list of all birthdays and anniversaries occurring in the following month will be printed in the Hayom.  For example, the October Hayom will include a page of all birthdays and anniversaries occurring in November.
Here’s what you will need to do each month:
  1. 1.     Print out the Mitzvah-Gram page from the Hayom.
  2. 2.     Circle the names of all those people you would like to wish a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary.
  3. 3.     Mail or deliver your list along with $.50 for each circled name to either Agudath Achim, 9 Lee Blvd, Savannah GA 31405, Attn:  Sisterhood Mitzvah-Grams, or to Barbara Abrams, 24 Raindrop Lane, Bluffton SC 29909.
  4. 4.     Make sure to include your name the way you want it listed, as well as a check made out to Agudath Achim Sisterhood.
  5. 5.     Sit back and relax, knowing that all you A.A. friends and acquaintances will receive greetings on their special day from you.  And try to remember the last time you sent a greeting card for only $.50!  Your friends will know you were thinking of them, and we’ll do all the work.  It can’t get any easier than that.
  6. 6.     If you have questions about this project, please call me at (843) 705-3723.
Barbara Abrams, Chair
Gale Hirsh, Acting Sisterhood President


Print Name_______________________________________ Birthday ______/______
Print Name_______________________________________ Birthday ______/______
Print Names______________________________________ Anniversary _____/_____
Please detach, fill out and mail to:
Barbara Abrams
24 Raindrop Lane
Bluffton SC 29909
Or call me with the information at 843-705-3723.

Who is on the Rabbi Search Committee?

Greetings from the committee! This is the first of many letters to come from the search committee to keep everyone involved with the Rabbi search. We wanted to reach out to the entire congregation to introduce the committee, share all the hard work we have been doing, and tell you about opportunities of how you can be involved. We are honored and excited to be working on this great task.


Who is on the Rabbi Search Committee?

You asked and here is the answer! Below is a complete list of our committee with our contact information. Please feel free to contact any of us if you feel there is something the committee should know or for general feedback.



Barbara Abrams                             843-705-3723                   barba43@hargray.com

Matthew Allan                               912-401-4663                   matthew@kw.com

Robyn Carroll                                404-409-0585                    robynlevycarroll@gmail.com

Carol Cohen                                   912-233-2113                    cjcsavga@bellsouth.net

Adam Fins                                      508-641-7300                    amfins@gmail.com

Doug Goldstein                              912-665-1515                   dagonit3@bellsouth.net

AJ Haysman                                   912-596-3078                    ajhaysman@icloud.com

David Hirsh                                    912-667-9664                    dnhirsh@comcast.net

Ken Hoffman                                 843-441-4114                     hoffmaks@earthlink.net

Nancy Isaacson                              912-234-3366                     isaacson2@gmail.com

Fran Kaminsky, Secretary             912-484-7701                    fkaminsky@kaminskyfamily.com

Motti Locker                                  912-224-4285                     mottilocker@aol.com

Aileen Miller                                  805-252-5119                    ajw0505@yahoo.com

Lynn Reeves, Chair                        912-484-5415                    lynncreeves@gmail.com

Steve Roth                                      912-658-6135                     nevetsmd@bellsouth.net

Steve Sacks                                     912-355-1224                     smsacks@gmail.com

Kenneth Sadler, Co-Chair              912-661-0484                   ksadler@aol.com

Victor Shernoff                               912-507-2979                     vshernoff@comcast.net

Aaron Tillinger                               912-335-3773                     aaron@tillingers.net


How can YOU be involved?

You will be seeing opportunities to participate over the next few months in our search. As we narrow the field of applicants, we will look for congregational feedback and it will be critical that we have full participation in the action-packed visits for the selected candidates.


In fact, we welcome feedback throughout the entire search process to ensure we are doing the best job we can! If you have something to say, we would like to hear it. Please contact any of the Rabbi Search Committee members or email Motti at mottilocker@gmail.com with your thoughts.


What has happened so far?

  • Rabbi Barkan informed the board he would seek other Rabbinic opportunities
  • AA President, Steve Roth, selected Lynn Reeves as the Rabbi Search Committee Chair
  • The search committee members were selected
  • The Committee discussed survey and focus group results from the congregation a few years ago, what has changed (or not), and what we are looking for now
  • The Committee conducted an extensive SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) Analysis to better understand our group perspective of AA. Below are the top results from the exercise.
      • Open to people from all walks of life (i.e. interfaith, age, orientation, culture, background)
      • Growing number of young, energetic families
      • Balanced/traditional but open to change
      • Apathy-lack of commitment
      • Lack of wide involvement by congregation
      • Poor attendance
      • Programming for children/committee to manage
      • Outreach to unaffiliated-define “why us”/older and younger demographic
      • Creative/effective programming to meet congregant needs
    •   THREATS
      •  Image
      • Competition
      • Conservative movements-lack of identity
      • Lack of need to affiliate (cultural)
      • The Committee formed subcommittees to work on specialized areas of the search
      • The Rabbinic Assembly (“RA”) Application Subcommittee completed the application (26-27 pages!) and reviewed it with the entire search committee at large
      • The final draft of the RA Application was submitted on 10/15/15 and posted online for all potential candidates to view on 10/20/15


What’s Next?

  • Receive and review resumes to determine a short list of candidates for the first round of interviews
  • Conduct phone and Skype interviews to identify a final list of candidates
  • Invite top candidates for a weekend visit to lead services, interact with the community, and learn about Savannah
  • Request feedback from congregation members and prepare nomination
  • Hold congregational meeting to vote to approve our next Rabbi