Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
As you may know, we’re bringing Friday night Shabbat experiences back to CBI! Starting this fall, we’ll be experimenting with different Friday evening celebrations (services, potlucks, and/or joint potlucks-and-services) on the first Friday of every month.
However, the first Friday of September is Labor Day weekend when a lot of people are out of town, so we’re kicking off our Friday night / Kabbalat Shabbat adventures a week early — this Friday, August 28, when I will welcome a special guest to the bimah.
This coming Shabbat we will be hosting Rabbi David Markus of Temple Beth El of City Island, who (with me) serves as co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. On Friday night there will be a vegetarian potluck supper at 6pm (please RSVP for that – firstname.lastname@example.org) followed by a Kabbalat Shabbat / Welcoming Shabbat service at 7pm. The two of us will also partner in leading Shabbat morning services, where Rabbi David will offer the d’var Torah.
Rabbi David and I will be following the custom of wearing white on Friday night as we welcome the Shabbat Bride into our midst. Please join us in wearing white, in singing the songs of Kabbalat Shabbat, and in some joyous grapevine dancing around the sanctuary or patio as we sing Lecha Dodi! (We’ll also have hand drums and shakers for those who are so inclined.)
We’ll daven on Friday night using Rabbi Marcia Prager’s wonderful Siddur for Erev Shabbat, which features meaningful translations as well as beautiful poetry and images. On Friday night you will also be treated to a special story from our education director, Maggid (Storyteller) David Arfa, about the wonders of this month on the Jewish calendar, the lunar month of Elul.
Please join us for any and/or all of this coming weekend’s special Shabbat experiences: vegetarian / dairy potluck at 6pm on Friday (and please RSVP to the office so we know how many people to set up for!), Kabbalat Shabbat services at 7pm on Friday, and Shabbat morning services at 9:30am on Saturday.
Wishing you blessings as Elul continues to unfold,