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Ken-and-Flora-x350Ken and Flora Wilsker

If you would like information about establishing a new havurah, or if you wish to receive the AHC Havurah Newsletter for your havurah, please click here to contact us.

Volume 14 – September 2016


Dear Havurim (friends),

We hope that you have had a blessed and fun summer. Now, the High Holidays are upon us. We are now a year beyond Ken’s diagnosis and surgery, and we have had time to reflect on God’s miraculous healing and mercy on us. We are so grateful for all He has done and for all of your prayers and good wishes. Thanks to all of you once again. Ken is back to work full time and going full speed ahead. We just never know what the future will bring, but God has us in the palm of his hand, so we are hopeful and full of courage and faith. We have you all in our prayers.

We are about to celebrate a New Year and the High Holidays once again, Baruch HaShem! (Praise God!). Instead of a reflection on the themes of these holidays which we have done and will do again in the future, we thought we would do something different and more practical. We have been reflecting on how important it is for us to maintain our Jewish identities, and that means we get to celebrate these holidays in the Light of Messiah.

Our homes and the havurot are the perfect places for us to celebrate the feasts. We will include a short service for Rosh Hashanah in this issue. This liturgy can be done in the context of a normal Havurah meeting, or it can be done in your homes with your family gathered to have a Rosh Hashanah meal. The liturgy takes elements from Jewish tradition and our Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. We hope that you find this to be a helpful guide. Feel free to modify as you go, and we would love your feedback if you do use this.

In the years ahead, we hope to add to these liturgies for Yom Kippur and Sukkot. We also plan on adding liturgies for other Jewish feasts and holidays. If you are of Jewish background, you should find that these liturgies can help you and your family maintain your Jewish identity. For all Catholics, we believe these celebrations can enhance your walk of faith as we all seek to grow closer to our Lord Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

Our wish for all of you is for good health and maybe even a little prosperity. (If I were a rich man…) Most of all, for God’s abundant blessings for you and your families.

Shalom in Yeshua and Miriam, and Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday),
Ken and Flora Wilsker


Important Dates: Year is 5777

Rosh Hashanah (New Year) Sunday at sundown, Oct 2
Yom Kippur ( Day of Atonement) Tuesday at sundown, Oct 11
Sukkot (Feast of Booths) Sunday at sundown, Oct 16
Simchat Torah (Joy of the Torah) Monday at sundown, Oct 24

Rosh Hashanah Service – 2016


(Lighting of the Candles and Initial Blessing. Woman of the Household)

Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheynu, Melech HaOlam, asher kidshanu b’mitz’vo’tov v’tsivanu l’hadleek nayr shel yom tov.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has hallowed us by your commandments and has instructed us to kindle the lights for the festival.

Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheynu, Melech HaOlam, she’he’khe’yanu v’kee’yeh’manu v’higee’anu la’zman hazeh.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who kept us alive, sustained us, and privileged us to reach this season.

O Lord our God, on this solemn season of New Year we pray to you. Be near to us in our trials, strengthen us when crises surround us.

May the festival lights always remind us of your power to heal and forgive and of your love which is always available to us, even when we don’t deserve it. May the light of our faith in you always shine brightly in our hearts, and give us courage equal to whatever circumstances we may face. Bless us in this New Year, and all those we love, with life, and health, and peace. Amen.

(Prayers from Messianic Services for the Festivals and Holy Days, Dr. John Fischer)


(In the style of Liturgy of the Hours. Man of the Household)

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.


(A brief examination of conscience. Then say the Act of Contrition, together.)

My God, I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You above all things with all my soul, with all my heart, and with all my strength. I love You because You are infinitely good and worthy of being loved. And because I love You, I am sorry with all my heart for having offended You. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King (Recite together)

All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices, let us sing: Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun of golden beams, thou silver moon that gently gleams,

O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care: (R)

O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: (R)

O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Leviticus 23: 23-25 (Set up 2 sides to alternate verses)

Antiphon 1: May his great name be blessed for ever and ever!

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel:
‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest.

A memorial proclaimed with a blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.
You shall do no laborious work, and you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’ ”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit … As it was in the beginning …

Antiphon 1: May his great name be blessed for ever and ever

Psalm 122 (Set up 2 sides to alternate verses)

Antiphon 2: O Lord, open my lips and my mouth may declare your praise!

I was glad when they said to me,
Let us go to the house of the Lord.
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!
May they prosper, those who love you!
Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers!”

For my brethren and companions’ sake, I will say “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

Glory to the Father …
As it was in the beginning …

Antiphon 2: O Lord Open my lips and my mouth may declare your praise!

Reading : Deut 6: 4-7

Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


O Lord, we give you thanks for this time of repentance, redemption, and rejoicing.

O Lord, we give you thanks for this time of repentance, redemption, and rejoicing.

O Lord, you have brought us to the New Year

And we await your return

Glory to the Father …

O Lord, we give you thanks for this time of repentance, redemption, and rejoicing.

Antiphon: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet!

Gospel Canticle: 1 Thes 4:13-18 (Recite together)

But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so, through Yeshua, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Messiah will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Antiphon: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet!


Bless this year unto us, O Lord our God, and set a blessing on the face of the earth. Provide for us from Your goodness, and bless our year. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe; who blesses the years.

Final Blessing, Numbers 6: (Recite together as we make the sign of the cross)

The Lord bless you and keep you:
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you shalom (peace).

Blessing over the bread: (Traditional Challah is round for Rosh Hashanah. Distribute after the blessing.)

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam , ha-motzee lekhem meen ha-aretz.

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

Blessing over wine:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam, boray p’ree ha-gahfen.

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Blessing for meal:

Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord!

L’Shana Tova tikatevu! (May you be inscribed for a good year!)



News from the Diaspora

From St. Edith Stein Havurah, St. Louis, Missouri

After some summer relaxation and refreshment, we will be resuming our havurah meetings on the fourth Friday of September. This year, we will begin with an experiment. We will take the Parsha of the Friday we are meeting, read it, and then use some Jewish commentary and questions along with some Catholic commentary, to discuss what we have read.

The fall feasts of Israel begin in October this year, so we will celebrate Rosh Hashanah with some prayers and apples and honey in our first meeting. Then later on in October, we will erect our klutz- proof succah and have some meals with ushpizin (guests: havurah members and others). The Sukkot service that we began to develop last year can be found on our website at: http://

L’Shana Tovah Tikatevu! (May you be inscribed for a good year!)
David and Kathleen Moss

From the Light of the Nations Havurah in Houston, Texas

Shalom Ken,

Hope all is well with you and that your health has improved over the past months. You will be happy to know Light to the Nations havurah has been reconvening on a monthly basis since earlier this year. Our main focus has been brainstorming how to effectively bring the next Association of Hebrew Catholics conference to our parish, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. We determined that the best dates to hold the conference would be late winter into spring, and we selected a theme scripture verse: Isaiah 27:6. The three of us are willing to contribute a percentage to cover fees and plan on approaching Msgr. to see if parish funds can be additionally provided, given that Light to the Nations Havurah is a parish organization. Moreover, I also plan on reaching out to a friend or two at the parish for donation support in terms of food during the conference. In terms of food, we’re thinking of ordering a few good Texas BBQ briskets, beans, and potato salad.

If the dates mentioned above work with the presenters, our plan is to get to work with publicity/ advertising. Here in the Houston area, we have 1430 AM (Guadalupe Radio) and the Texas Catholic Herald. Both are sources I plan on tapping. Additionally, I am sure some of our larger parishes in the Houston area are willing to advertise the conference in their parish bulletin. Nick LaRocca indicated that if a final date is set, he can include the conference in the list of the parish events scheduled to be published next year. Moreover, since the conference is held in the Parish Life Center, there wouldn’t be a hosting fee. Essentially, this would boil down to covering presenters’ travel costs. One possibility is establishing a conference fund where financial contributions covering conference fees are deposited. We can see how much we are able to pool within the havurah and the parish, and then open it up to additional funding. We can set a date by when we need the target amount met (January 2017?).

Although the event is hosted in Houston, I want to extend the invitation to our AHC Havurim and the larger AHC community. If anyone else wishes to participate in planning, or to contribute or attend, they are more than welcome to contact me and discuss it. In regards to outside attendance, Houston is readily accessible via airplane from most major cities. Therefore, with strategic planning, folks outside the southeast Texas area may be able to afford coming. My thoughts are that the opportunity for a conference should be accompanied with the opportunity for community. In other words, although the conference is scheduled for one full day, it would be nice for the attendees to meet and greet the speakers afterwards. More than likely the conference will be over around 5pm, just in time for the Sunday Vigil Mass. After Mass, those interested can head out to one of the many restaurants Houston has to offer.

Let me know your thoughts on the above. If it’s easier, we can chat over the phone and discuss further.

God Bless, Jorge

From the Fellowship of St. Joseph, Toronto, Canada

Hello Ken & Flora,

The Toronto branch of the AHC, the Fellowship of St. Joseph, is about to start another exciting year of meetings. We had a Ministry Fair this past weekend at our parish, and our group was well represented with our own display table. People came by, asking questions about how one can be both Jewish and Catholic, and to share their experiences with Judaism and Jewish people. Literature was available informing them about the AHC as well as a prayer card of St. Edith Stein. There was also a sign up sheet for our monthly mailing list, the flyer for our first meeting, and the schedule for the year.

The upcoming year will feature several professors from St. Augustine’s Seminary and will cover topics such as: Messiah in the Psalms, and The Azzazel of Yom Kippur.

We have made connections with other parishes in the neighbourhood as well as non-Catholic believers who are interested in the relationship between Judaism and Catholicism.

We are very excited to provide an opportunity for Catholics to discover the Jewish roots of their faith, and we have also advertised on the Archdiocesan website which has generated interest throughout the city.

We also have opportunities to speak at parish groups outside of our church on the Jewish roots of Catholicism, and we have had a few smaller groups at our home.

One goal we have is to find other Hebrew Catholics in the Greater Toronto Area and have them join us.

We are grateful to our parish, Blessed Trinity, and its staff for allowing us to continue this ministry to the community.

Blessings in Messiah,
Sue & Mark

Sue and Mark Neugebauer
Fellowship of St. Joseph
Association of Hebrew Catholics, Toronto Branch

 Vol 14 of Havurah Newsletter Final pdf
Vol 14 of Havurah Newsletter Final pdf
Vol 14 of Havurah Newsletter Final pdf

Vol 14 of Havurah Newsletter Final pdf

Vol 14 of Havurah Newsletter Final pdf

From the Almond Blossom Havurah in British Columbia, Canada

Dear Ken,

There is going to be an International Christian Leaders Seminar at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem- 26th November – 5 December 2016. The next will be in the Spring.

This is a Scholarship- the participant will pay to get to Jerusalem and back. The time there – hotel, most meals except lunch on field trips – will be covered.

It is organised by Dr Susanna Kokkonen, the Director of the Christian Desk at Yad Vashem. Please contact Gail at if you are interested. I will send you the info.

For our Havurah – The Almond Blossom in Vernon/Coldstream, BC Canada – for the Fridays in October we will be studying the Scripture Readings for the Feasts – Rosh Hoshanna, Yom Kippur, and Succot.

We usually get together with others to have an evening of Scripture and celebration/meal for Hannukah in December. For January and February, many people travel so we usually break for January and February and resume again in time for Lent/Easter week-end/Passover Seder.

Thanks. Gail.