You may have heard by now that High Holiday services will be conducted this year by Shira Ginsburg, Cantor Emerita at East End Temple in Manhattan.
Cantor Ginsburg brings with her a powerful resume, consisting of 20 years of professional experience on the pulpit, five recorded albums, and extensive theatrical performances nationwide. You can see a promotional video of her work on YouTube CLICKHERE and can find a considerable amount of her work on Apple Music.
Working with our resident musicians, Cantor Ginsburg will be with us for Erev Rosh Hashanah, as well as the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur morning and afternoon services.
After consulting with the Cantor in my capacity as Ritual Committee chair, she and I are adapting our High Holiday services to the needs of a 21st century Reform synagogue. This year, we will be observing Rosh Hashanah on the first day of the holiday only, and all of the services will be streamlined to their essentials.
Moreover, in keeping with the traditions of Reform Judaism, we will be assigning the aliyot on an egalitarian basis this year, rather than reserving the first ones for Cohanim and Levis.
This is in keeping with the idea of the Jewish people as “a nation of priests,” as we are described in the Torah, rather than a hereditary hierarchy.
Other changes will be made as Cantor Ginsburg and I continue developing service scripts that we believe will be contemporary, spiritually satisfying and aesthetically engaging.
Instead of making cold calls to congregants this year to request participation in our services, we are asking for volunteers to help us with our readings (in English), ark openings, as well Torah liftings and dressings.
Please let me know at your earliest convenience if you would like to participate in this moment of change for our congregation by volunteering to become involved. I can be reached at my email address or cell phone (call or text).
I thank you in advance for your engagement and support. I’m looking forward with special enthusiasm to sharing the holidays with you.
Please see “Temple Topics” for a complete holiday schedule.
Vice President and Ritual Committee Chair