May, 2018


What is Kehillat Etz Chayim?


Etz Chayim was formed in 2018 as a Modern Orthodox congregation in Huntington Woods, Michigan that is guided by the rabbinic leadership of Rabbi Asher Lopatin.


How often will Etz Chayim meet?


Initially, the shul will meet for Shabbat services from Mincha on Friday night through Maariv on Saturday, as well as on all holidays.


Where will Etz Chayim be located?


While a specific long-term location has not yet been determined, the shul will be located in the area of Coolidge Highway between Ten Mile and Eleven Mile.  See below for information regarding our temporary locations.


When will Etz Chayim hold its first services?


Etz Chayim will have its first davening on Erev Shabbat on Friday, August 10, 2018.


Where and when will Shabbat davening be held?


Shabbat services will be held from and after August 10, 2018 each Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday night.  Shabbat morning services will begin at 9:30 a.m.  Please check our Facebook page and website for evening davening times.


During Kehillat Etz Chayim’s inaugural year, Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Mincha/Maariv services will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings at a private residence in Huntington Woods (please contact for the address). 


Shabbat morning services will be held in the small chapel at Congregation Beth Shalom located at 14601 Lincoln in Oak Park.


Where and when will holiday davening be held?


All holiday davening will be held in the small chapel at Congregation Beth Shalom located at 14601 Lincoln in Oak Park. 


Etz Chayim will hold services for Jewish holidays beginning with Rosh HaShanah on Sunday, September 9, 2018 and continuing with the remainder of Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and Tisha B’Av.


Morning services for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah will begin at 8:00 a.m.  Please check our Facebook page and website for evening davening times.


Do I need to be a member or purchase tickets to attend Shabbat or holiday services?


Membership never is required to attend Shabbat davening.  For the High Holidays in 2018, neither membership nor a ticket is required.  Those who wish to support Etz Chayim may do so by becoming a member, sponsoring a Kiddush or making a contribution.


Will there be programming for children?


Yes, children’s learning and activities will be a focus of Etz Chayim.


What is the relationship between Etz Chayim and Congregation Beth Shalom?


In recent years has rented to third parties certain facilities within their building.  Kehillat Etz Chayim is renting Beth Shalom’s small chapel for use during our inaugural year as we seek out an ideal permanent location. 


What is Etz Chayim’s hashkafa?


Etz Chayim is a Modern Orthodox congregation.  The davening and religious practices will comport with those observed in traditional Modern Orthodox davening.  Etz Chayim will not be a “partnership minyan.” We will look for opportunities for all congregants – men, women, and children – to engage meaningfully in the shul services and with their Judaism.  Specific details, such as the nature of the mechitza, choice of siddur, etc. will be determined by the Rav in consultation with the Ritual Committee.


May I attend the shul if I do not identify as Modern Orthodox?


All who wish to attend Etz Chayim are welcome to do so no matter their hashkafic or denominational identification.  


What are Rabbi Lopatin’s rabbinic credentials?


Rabbi Lopatin received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshivas Brisk of Chicago under the esteemed Rav Ahron Soloveichik zt”l and from Yeshiva University in New York. From 1981 until Rav Ahron’s passing, Rabbi Lopatin had a close personal relationship with Rav Ahron (and was inspired by Rebbetzin Ella Soloveichik, zt”l) and served as Rav Ahron’s Meshamesh in New York while Rabbi Lopatin studied for ordination.


Who is Rabbi Lopatin?


Rabbi Lopatin, a Torah scholar and a Rhodes Scholar, is husband to Rachel and a father of four.  In addition to leading Etz Chayim, Rav Asher will establish an academic center for civil discourse to be based in Southeast Michigan.  He most recently was President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York.  Prior to that he was the head Rabbi of the Anshe Sholom Modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago, which he grew by hundreds of families.  


Rabbi Lopatin now looks forward to partnering with the region’s many congregations, institutions of Jewish learning, and rabbinic and spiritual leaders to advance Torah study and community-building in Huntington Woods and surrounding areas.


How do I become part of the Etz Chayim email distribution list?


If you would like to receive updates from the shul or weekly divrei Torah from Rav Asher, please email with your contact information. You can also stay up-to-date on our Facebook page and, soon, our website.


How can I meet Rabbi Lopatin?


Rabbi Lopatin and his family look forward to meeting you at shul or over a Shabbat meal after they arrive in Michigan this summer.   


How can I become involved with or learn more about the shul?


Please email with questions or to express an interest in becoming involved.


How can I support the shul?


Contributions may be made through Paypal at Etz Chayim’s Facebook page or by check to Kehillat Etz Chayim, 25210 E. Roycourt, Huntington Woods, MI 48070.  In addition, the shul’s website, which is in formation, also will accept contributions and membership fees by credit card.