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entries tagged with: Temple Beth Rishon

 

Congregation gives members ‘Food for Thought’ about Dead Sea Scrolls and more

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been invaluable in helping scholars understand the Bible. Yet for each question they answer, they raise many others, says Shalom Paul, professor emeritus in the Department of Bible at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Answers to each question “would comprise a lecture in and of itself,” said Paul, who on Nov. 15 will speak on the topic at Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff.

Thanks to the scrolls — the first of which was found in 1947 and the last, “so far,” in 1956 — “a whole new Jewish literature came to light which sheds light on a period that was similar to a dark age in our history and our literature.”

“It opened up entirely new vistas on the understanding of Judaism and Christianity,” said Paul, the first speaker in the Wyckoff congregation’s second annual Food for Thought distinguished speaker series, sponsored by the Fred Emert Memorial Adult Education Fund.

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Shalom Paul

A trustee of the Albright Institute of Archaeology and chair of the Dead Sea Scroll Foundation, the speaker received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and received a doctorate in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

“We always knew that early Christianity was [affected] by Judaism, but we did not have the sources available to prove it,” said Paul, adding that the scrolls have been helpful in this regard.

In his talk, he will deal with such questions as: When were they discovered? How? How many were found? What languages were they written in? What materials are they written on? He will also address literary genres in the documents and “why there was such difficulty initially publishing them and how a drastic change took place after the 1967 war with the reunification of Jerusalem and the scrolls being totally within our hands.”

Paul said he will also explore different versions of the Bible and show that the scrolls represent “an intermediate stage in the development of the Bible.”

“Who are these people who produced these scrolls?” asked Paul. “Who are they, living at Kumran, by the Dead Sea, who produced these scrolls [and] composed a Judaism that heretofore was unknown to us? What was their social organization, the rules of their community?”

Paul described his most recent book, “A Study Guide to the Bible,” as a “popular book” on “how [the Bible] came to be, history, literary genres, poetry — everything you ever wanted to know about the Bible.” He said he agreed to the project because he realized that such a book was not available, with existing texts “either highly technical or else not written by competent scholars.” He will sign copies of his book at the Nov. 15 presentation.

Also scheduled to speak at the Wyckoff synagogue is Rabbi Michael Chernick, Deutsch Professor of Jewish Jurisprudence & Social Justice at Hebrew Union College (May 14) and Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of the New Jersey Jewish News (May 2).

Sharon Weiss, chair of the shul’s adult education committee, explained that the idea of a three-part lecture series was developed to accommodate the congregation’s diverse membership.

The scholar-in-residence program “got a little challenging,” she said, noting that the shul chose to discontinue that approach last year. “We relooked at the model and decided to vary the offerings.”

Now, rather than commit to an entire weekend highlighting one speaker, congregants — and members of the public — can choose among different speakers, talking on different themes.

“We did a little survey of what would interest people and gathered some topics,” said Weiss, noting that Paul is a scholar while the other two speakers will address current events and issues specific to the Jewish community.

“We put a lot of thought into it,” she said, pointing out that the series is dubbed “‘distinguished speakers’ rather than ‘distinguished scholars’ to avoid intimidating anyone.” The series name, Food for Thought, was also consciously selected to indicate that the Sunday morning lectures will be preceded by breakfast.

“Our intention is to make this a time to come together socially as well as for Jewish learning,” she said. “The whole concept in reinventing and growing the model is for more people to be exposed to Jewish learning,” she added. “We’ve got about 460 family units including people from traditional Conservative to Reform and interfaith couples. What we’re trying to do is develop the educational component of synagogue life and be known as a center for lifelong learning.”

For additional information, call (201) 891-4466 or visit www.bethrishon.org.

 
 

Consortium ensures revival of education program

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Richard Michaelson, Allyn Michaelson, instructor Bette Birnbaum, and Roz Melzer examine an ancient Israelite coin in a 2007 Melton class.

Melton is one of those incredible programs,” said Frieda Huberman, UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey’s director of school services and of the Florence Melton Mini-School. “It’s more than the sum of its parts.”

Clearly, that view is shared by others. When the two-year adult education program was scaled back this past year because of cuts in funding, a group of graduates banded together to launch what has proved to be a successful rescue effort.

“It came out of the minds and hearts of Melton alumni,” said Huberman. “They wanted it to continue.”

The Melton loyalists — spurred by Sharon Weiss, a member of Wyckoff’s Temple Beth Rishon — created a network of synagogue liaisons to reach out to their respective shuls, seeking financial support for the program. Thanks to their efforts, a consortium of some 20 synagogues and two JCCs has joined with UJA-NNJ to fund the program for the foreseeable future.

An educator herself, Weiss said, “I know great teachers and great curricula when I see them. I was taking a Melton class last spring when I heard the program was in jeopardy. I was concerned mainly because the program had such a strong impact on me and I was afraid that this wouldn’t be available for other lifelong learners.”

Weiss, with several other Melton graduates hailing from Beth Rishon, Temple Israel in Ridgewood, and Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake, met with then Melton director Rena Rabinowitz “to get a sense of what our options were.”

“We felt strongly that we should give it a try,” she said. “We felt it was unconscionable not to make an attempt to see what we could do.”

Armed with a list of graduates, together with information about their synagogues, the group conceived the idea of a consortium, asking Melton graduates to arrange meetings between synagogue leaders and those pitching the consortium plan.

“We created a PowerPoint presentation and budget and set up appointments with heads of synagogues,” said Weiss. “The liaisons had a strong influence, talking about the impact the program had on them. It worked out fabulously. We now have enough financial support to offer the program.”

Weiss said the consortium is still a work in progress and she expects that more synagogues will “come aboard.” She said she is not worried about attracting students, since there is already a waiting list.

“I felt very passionate about it because of how it changed my life,” said the retired high school biology teacher. “It helped me understand my place on the Jewish continuum. I was brought up as a cultural Jew but with no understanding and appreciation of the shoulders on which I stand.”

“I have a responsibility,” she said. “I never understood that. I’ve found my Jewish voice,” she added, noting that not only did Melton inspire her to visit Israel but it empowered her to take leadership positions within her synagogue.

Helping to restore the Melton program entailed “full-time involvement,” she said, but it has been worth it. “Not only will we get learners, but we’ll get people who can become leaders.”

“I’m one of many,” she pointed out. “We couldn’t have gotten [so many] liaisons unless people cared.”

Melton graduate Susan Lieberskind, one of the graduates who helped create the consortium, said that once she realized the key to teaching her children to love Judaism lay in her own actions, “Melton became a ‘requirement.’”

Still, added the Hillsdale resident, “participating in adult Jewish education so that my children see that learning is a lifelong endeavor is only part of why I signed up for Melton. Being Jewish is an integral part of my life and I wanted to know the ‘why’ behind the various things I do.”

“Individual synagogue classes are great, [but] Melton provides a sophisticated, pluralistic curriculum and an opportunity to learn with a broader base of community members,” she said. “It makes new meaning of previous Jewish experiences and increases a student’s connection to the Jewish community, creating role models and leaders.”

Lieberskind noted that her Melton education has not only provided her with a better Jewish foundation but has given her “confidence to pursue leadership opportunities in the Jewish community.” One of her classmates recently completed a term as synagogue president, she said, while “a member of my original class went on to be UJA-NNJ president. There is no question that the presence of Melton students makes for a better community.”

According to UJA-NNJ’s Huberman, there will be three Melton 1 classes in Fall 2010, to be held at the Glen Rock Jewish Center, Temple Emanu-El in Closter, and Temple Emanuel in Woodcliff Lake. Students will attend two hours a week for 30 weeks. As regards instructors, she said, the program will draw on “the phenomenal Melton teachers who taught in the past.”

Calling UJA-NNJ the “anchor” of the program — which she expects to attract between 100 and 200 students — she pointed out that federation is providing staffing for the program as well as serving a fiduciary role.

“The details are still evolving,” she said, adding that the fall program will include one Melton 2 class as well as post-Melton graduate classes. The program will be open to the community.

For additional information, visit www.ujannj.org/meltonschool, call (201) 820-3914, or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 
 

UJA-NNJ head moving on to ‘next chapter’

Voices from the next generation

Howard Charish, reflecting on his years as executive vice president of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, said that graduates of the Berrie Fellows program are already doing valuable work in the community and will help to frame the Jewish future.

The Jewish Standard spoke with some of them.

Paramus resident David Goodman, who was in the Berrie program’s first cohort, said that it “brought him in touch with peers who were as passionate as I was about Jewish communal service.”

Goodman, who has been involved in the field “from a fairly young age,” was recently presented with the Marge Bornstein Award — what he called “a kind of life-achievement award.” He is 46.

The community activist said that what he found most powerful about the Berrie program was learning the history of Jewish leadership and “characteristics of Jewish leaders that go back to the Torah.”

“We’re just another generation of leaders,” he said.

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Laura Freeman, left, David Goodman, and Stephanie Goldman-Pittel

Goodman is spearheading the implemention of UJA-NNJ’s recently adopted strategic plan.

“We’re changing how federation operates,” he said. “One of the things we want for the future is for federation to be perceived as adding value to the community … not just through the giving out of money, but [figuring out] what other ways we can make the umbrella organization of the Jewish community have relevance in today’s world.”

“It’s quite a challenge,” he said, “but the community is up for the challenge.”

Goodman, the immediate past president of Jewish Family Service of North Jersey and a current vice president of UJA-NNJ, said he learned from his role in searching for an executive director for JFS that “you choose the best candidate for the position, that it doesn’t have to be age-related.”

“Howard has done a great job,” he said. “I’m sorry he’s leaving. But … I understand. Maybe he just felt that he came in with a vision and now he’s accomplished it and is ready to move on. It’s great to leave when you’re on top.”

Berrie Fellow Laura Freeman, Wyckoff resident and president of the town’s Temple Beth Rishon, said the Berrie program took her from being a “Type A leader to a Type B leader — from someone who manages meetings and puts out fires to one who is looking to make a difference, to create a vision and galvanize teams of people to work towards it — one who plants seeds that will grow long past her own leadership cycle.”

“The Jewish landscape is changing,” said Freeman, “minute by minute. The most important thing a new [federation] director needs to know is that the skills and commitment that took us to where we are are not the same as those that will take us to where we need to be tomorrow. It’s a daunting task.”

Freeman, who said she was surprised to learn that Charish will be leaving, said his replacement will need to be “a visionary and a risk-taker. He’s got a lot of challenges, balancing yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

Among the biggest of those challenges is “getting secular Jews to understand their role in perpetuating Jewish life and their responsibility to help Jewish life.”

Secular Jews “structure their whole life on choice,” she said. “They’re hard to engage.”

Still, she said, a successful federation leader can build an organization that will accomplish this task, helping such Jews “understand their role in sustaining the community.”

Stephanie Goldman-Pittel, a Berrie Fellow in Cohort 2 and a resident of Norwood, echoed Charish’s contention that Berrie graduates are “all doing such wonderful things. I feel blessed to be part of that community,” she said.

As an example of the Fellows’ communal involvement, she cited Michael Starr, who is heading up federation’s Synagogue Leadership Initiative and chaired the committee that drafted the organization’s new strategic plan.

Characterizing that plan, she said “the key word is accountability ... having the organizations we fund be accountable for the projects they’re going to implement.” She noted that other organizations she serves, Jewish and non-Jewish, seem to be striving for the same goal.

As regards the qualities needed in a leader, “my thought is to get someone who is a great listener. That’s a very important quality.”

Commending Charish as “a brilliant speaker and someone who has footholds in all areas of the community,” she said she would seek someone “who is basically open” and pays attention to other people’s points of view.

 
 

Temple Beth Rishon saves thousands, wins award for going green

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Beth Rishon youth decorated reusable water bottles during the synagogue’s barbecue Oct. 3. Mark Niederman

The colors of Judaism may be blue and white, but at Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, it’s green.

GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental group, honored Beth Rishon at its Sustainable Soiree and Awards Celebration Saturday night at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston because the Reform synagogue’s conservation efforts have saved it thousands of dollars by trimming electricity and gas usage. Beth Rishon was the first synagogue to join GreenFaith’s Certification Program, which GreenFaith created in 2008 to help houses of worship integrate environmental themes into their daily operations and outreach.

“In their efforts in that program they’ve just achieved some remarkable things,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s executive director. “They really are standard-bearers for the entire religious community in terms of integrating environmental leadership into their identity.”

The certification program now includes 27 congregations of various faiths, including 16 other synagogues. Another 20 to 25 are expected to join in December. Beth Rishon is set to complete the two-year program next year.

Winners of Temple Beth Rishon Watt$ Green Worth contest:

Congregant: Jeffrey Zenn
Clergy member: Rabbinical Intern Sandy Olshansky
Board member: Elena Greene
Under 17: 10-year-old Justin Pecore

“The certification program has given us the structure for our work and made us part of a bigger community,” said Harriett Sugarman, co-chair of T’Green Olam, Beth Rishon’s environmental committee.

Beth Rishon’s board began investigating going green in 2007 and soon after created T’Green Olam to oversee its green strategy. From March 2008 to February 2009, the synagogue reduced its electricity usage by 30 percent and natural gas usage by 16.8 percent. By the end of 2009, the synagogue had saved $16,554 from the same 10-month period the year before.

The synagogue is on schedule to match last year’s level of savings in 2010, said T’Green Olam co-chair Mark Niederman.

The synagogue did not spend a lot of money to implement its environmental changes, Niederman noted. Rather, it lowered the thermostat in areas that weren’t being used; moved small meetings out of large rooms to avoid excess air conditioning for short periods; shut down walk-in refrigeration except during catered events; moved mid-winter services out of the sanctuary and into the small ballroom; and balanced heat distribution among rooms that were too hot or too cold.

“The ways that we shaved our energy use really had to do with vigilance and common-sense approaches to ways we use the building and the way the building is kept when it’s not occupied,” Niederman said.

The T’Green Olam committee has also taken the message to the synagogue’s Hebrew school and general membership. Earlier this year, it held the “Watt$ Green Worth?” contest, which challenged congregants to estimate the synagogue’s annual savings based on charts of its energy usage in 2008 and 2009. Despite e-mails heralding Beth Rishon’s efforts, it was the contest that really drove home the synagogue’s savings accomplishment, Niederman said. That, he added, was a part of a lesson learned from GreenFaith’s program.

“The work you do is admirable, but you accomplish more through the ripple effects,” he said, noting that the committee created the contest to inform congregants, but when local media picked up the story other synagogues began calling for green advice.

“The leverage effect of what we did magnified the accomplishment by virtue of informing everybody,” he said.

Rabbi Kenneth Emert was quick to credit Sugarman and Niederman for leading the shul’s efforts.

“I am overjoyed by what they’ve done. We’re very proud,” he said. “All the clergy and the congregation owe them a debt of gratitude for taking this on.”

The rabbi pointed to Midrash Kohellet Rabah, “Be mindful then that you do not spoil and destroy My world, for if you spoil it, there is no one after you to repair it,” calling the midrash his congregation’s inspiration.

“That’s really why Jews and people of faith are involved in GreenFaith at all,” he said.

During its soiree GreenFaith also honored the New Jersey Black Ministers’ Council and Sister Kathleen Deignan, a graduate of GreenFaith’s fellowship program.

Niederman was hopeful that the recognition of Beth Rishon’s activities would spur other houses of worship to make similar changes.

“If someone takes notice that we saved a lot of money, a lot of energy, and that inspires somebody to take action, that’s as good it gets,” he said.

With elections less than a week away, Niederman pointed to environmentalism as an issue everybody can get behind. National security, reducing the U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and improving the environment fall out on a broad spectrum of ideals, but can all be tied together, he said.

“Energy conservation cuts across all those barriers and is something everybody should rally behind,” he said. “It’s above politics.”

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From left, Mark Niederman, Temple Beth Rishon; Rev. Fletcher Harper, Greenfaith executive director; Rabbi Kenneth Emert; and Steven Blumenthal, GreenFaith board chair, at GreenFaith’s Sustainable Soiree and Awards Celebration Saturday night at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston. Courtesy Michael Frenkel

For more information on GreenFaith’s Certification Program, visit http://greenfaith.org/programs/certification.

 
 

Interfaith teens to discuss their identity

Leaders plan to listen, not lecture

Felicia Sparozic gets presents for both Chanukah and Christmas. While she says “I make out pretty well,” at times she wishes she could talk with other teenagers about being between worlds.

“My mom’s Jewish and my dad isn’t,” said the 16-year-old junior at Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes. “At times I’ve thought, ‘It would be good to hear from kids who are in the same boat.’”

Felicia will get her wish on Wednesday, March 16, when she and other local teens will gather to share stories and discuss issues related to growing up in interfaith families.

Hosted by Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff, the “Teen to Teen Listening Tour” is the brainchild of Dr. Michael Goldberg.

Goldberg, a dentist who practices in Midland Park, would like to provide young people ages 16 to 18 with a chance to investigate their Jewish identity.

“We hope they will learn more about Judaism in this forum, and it might give them a seed to look further into their Jewish identity,” Goldberg told The Jewish Standard. “But we can’t do that by lecturing to them; they have to come to that conclusion themselves.”

Goldberg, the immediate past president of Temple Beth Rishon, initiated the project after taking part in a Torah study program that encouraged him to give back to the community. He says the idea was inspired by his own experience as a teen, when at times he feared that embracing Judaism might mean rejecting the Christian side of his family.

“I had grandparents in another culture and 65 cousins in another culture,” he said. “You want to respect the Christian side of your family but you also want to feel comfortable in your own skin [as a Jew]. It [will be] a forum for kids to come and discuss how they balance the two cultures.”

Goldberg approached Karen Brand, outreach coordinator of Jewish Family Service of North Jersey, after seeing an article in this newspaper about her work with youngsters. JFSNJ will co-organize the project along with Beth Rishon and Beth Haverim Shir Shalom, a synagogue in Mahwah.

The evening will be social; kids will be served pizza and have a chance to share their stories.

Rabbis Joel Mosbacher of Beth Haverim Shir Shalom and Kenneth Emert of Beth Rishon have lent their support to the program; both rabbis have sent an invitation to families in their congregations who have teenagers. They have also asked those teens to invite other teens from interfaith families. All area teens are welcome.

Leah Kaufman, executive director of JFSNJ, says that above all, the evening should be fun.

“It is a difficult age; lots of kids struggle then,” said Kaufman. “This is a support network for them to talk with peers and try to find their own answers. Each person is different.”

The religious portion will come from Rabbi Leana Moritt, who along with Brand will lead the discussion.

The evening will not be a lecture about the dangers of assimilation, but a chance to listen to teens and provide them with a forum to share feelings, as well as to give them guidance in how they can address their questions about being Jewish, according to Moritt, whose organization, Thresholds (http://www.Jewishthresholds.org), which is co-sponsoring the event, specializes in counseling interfaith couples and families.

“Look, it would be disingenuous to say this is not a Jewish program,” Moritt said. “[But] we’re not looking to give them a litmus test. They have questions [and] stories. What does it mean if their family goes to church and synagogue? If they are feeling Jewish does that mean they can’t go to their Christian family for Christmas? Do they have to minimize their experiences with the side of their loving family that is not Jewish? This is about being able to address their questions and challenges.”

The pilot session will take place at 7 p.m. at Beth Rishon. Another session is planned there for March 23. For more information, call Goldberg at (201) 970-1351 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 
 

Spirituality, intimacy, and a shruti box

Wyckoff shul finds there’s gravitational pull to meditative Shabbat service

Joanne PalmerLocal
Published: 07 September 2012
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Rabbi Ziona Zelaszo

Say that you are a rabbi, a newly fledged one at that, and not a twentysomething either, but with a lifetime of experience and knowledge behind you.

Say that you also happen to be an academic — a professor of anthropology, say, well schooled in understanding innate human urges and cultural responses to those urges.

Say, too (and we are almost finished pretending), that you have been asked to help create a service in your own shul that attracts people who otherwise would not be in shul at all. You want to find some way to attract seekers, people who might be looking for something, even if very tentatively, but cannot or do not think they can find it in regular shul services.

If you are Rabbi Ziona Zelaszo, an Israeli-born former adjunct professor at Montclair State University, now a hospital chaplain ordained in 2010 from the Academy of Jewish Religion in the Bronx, you put all your knowledge of the human condition, including many people’s instinctive although easily deflected tilt toward spirituality, into devising a service that is at once nonthreatening and enthralling.

If your shul is Temple Beth Rishon in Wyckoff — which, in this case, it is — you would find yourself starting monthly meditation services.

And that is what Zelaszo has done.

The alternative service Zelaszo runs is in Temple Beth Rishon’s library. It is aimed at “people who don’t have little kids any more, and don’t want to be in the main sanctuary, where there’s a bar mitzvah going on.” (Not, she adds, that she thinks there is anything wrong with a bar mitzvah celebration; it is just that even joyous lifecycle events can seem like so much noise to someone who is profoundly uninterested in them.)

Instead, “we make the library like a sanctuary. We cover the books, and we sit in a circle.” The windows are curtained in red, so the light that filters through it is dim and soothing.

“I’m in the room before people come in,” Zelaszo continued. She plays an ancient Indian musical instrument called a shruti box. It is not a drum; rather, it is a kind of bellows that “works on vibration.”

“I sound the instrument as people come into the room, and they already get the feeling that something special is coming,” she said. “I create an environment that is secure and serene. It does not encourage chitchat. People come in and sit down, and I start a niggun” — a wordless song that goes straight to Jews’ hearts. “They join me in the niggun, and we keep going until people stop coming in. When the room is full, I begin with words.”

Zelaszo uses the siddur, but she takes out sections “and I create my own template,” she said. “And then we focus on each prayer at a slow pace. I allow people to breathe in and breathe out the meaning of the prayer.

“That way, people get a sense of what they have done at other times in the main sanctuary. They get a new perspective.

“And you don’t have to know Hebrew to pray well. I am taking this stress away. I am allowing them to get in touch with what the prayer means to them on a personal level.

“I allow people to have time with the prayer,” she continued. “Like the Shema. It takes a long time. I create a kavanah before I actually start the prayer, so people have an introduction.”

Each service is built around a theme, but it’s not necessarily prepared in advance. She might center the service on the Amidah. “One time, I focused on the matriarchs and patriarchs. I talked about the meaning of our ancestors in our lives. Another time, I talked about mechayay hametim” — the restoring of life to the dead — “and I helped people to think that it doesn’t always mean the physical body. Sometimes, we are dead spiritually. We are numb. We need to peel off a lot of layers to revive ourselves on the physical, emotional level. So if anyone felt that, I invited them to close their eyes and meditate on that part of the Amidah. And then I create the mood with my shruti box.”

The mood is based on the people present. “If they’re really deep into it, I won’t take it away from them to move to something else. Sometimes less is more, and we can build on that.

“I hope that there will be more and more people who are interested in coming to shul,” Zelaszo said. Her service is a tool to draw people in. “It is not a New Age thing,” she added.

Kenneth Emert, Beth Rishon’s rabbi, is pleased with the service. “We want to invite people to experience Shabbat in many different ways,” he said. “Some people feel comfortable in a traditional service. Some come to our nosh-and-drash” — a Torah study class before Shabbat services. “This is a third option. It says to me that there is a spiritual hunger.”

Beth Rishon is fortunate; its problems are particular to a shul that is doing well. This year, Emert said, is “top heavy with bar and bat mitzvahs”; there are so many that almost every Shabbat sees not one but two, and often there are baby-namings, as well. (“It’s cyclical,” Emert said. “Some years are fat and some are lean.” This is a very fat year.)

Often, however, people who do not have children that age tire of the speeches, or long for more intimacy at shul. Zelaszo’s service is aimed squarely at them, as well as at people new to Shabbat services. In fact, Emert would like to try other kinds of programs, too. “I want to explore with other rabbis what works,” he said.

Louis Milowsky, a regular at the main service, saw the need for the meditative one a few years ago. “I had experienced a service at the Carlebach Shul” — a magnet for Orthodox participatory davening on Manhattan’s Upper West Side — “and it had given me the idea of a meditative service. I explained my vision of it to Ziona, and she took it and did it in her way, which was much more than I had ever thought of.”

He overflows with testimonials. “Cantor Mamber’s father” — that’s Beth Rishon’s longtime cantor, Ilan Mamber — “said that he never knew that Judaism could be like this. Another older gentleman who is going through a hard time said that this was exactly what he needed.”

And then there is his own testimonial. “You come out of there so energized! The energy is phenomenal. And it lasts! It’s not something that you do and you feel okay and you’re on to something different. The energy lasts all week.”

Beth Rishon’s next meditative service is scheduled for Sept. 29.

 
 
 
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