CBS to launch a new musical service
On Saturday morning, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m., Arlington Congregation Beth Shalom will be premiering its new “Shirat Shabbat” service — a musical prayer experience led by guest artists Chuck and Cantor Rachel Rosenberg, Cantor Sheri Allen and guitarist Chris Curtis.
The idea to launch this new service began a year ago, when Cantor Allen attended a liturgical music conference in Chicago, organized by friend and colleague Cantor Rachel Rosenberg, who serves Conservative Congregation Rodfei Zedek on Chicago’s South Side. Cantor Rosenberg and her husband Chuck are members of a popular band called “Shakshuka,” and they perform in programs and events throughout the Chicago area. Seven years ago they decided to widen Shakshuka’s appeal even further, and created a service called the “Na’Aseh v’Nishma Minyan,” complete with their own siddur.
Cantor Rosenberg explains, “With the exception of summers, we have been doing it once a month consistently. We worked with congregants and listened to what they were looking for, and Chuck and I worked up a bunch of arrangements for melodies we like. We continue to add and change these whenever we have the inspiration and time.”
Their service runs concurrently with the main sanctuary service. She remarks, “Attendance was inconsistent at first but then grew to about 30-40 so it’s been great… one family requested that their son’s bar mitzvah be celebrated at Na’Aseh V’Nishma so we did — about six years ago. Since then, more and more families choose this service so that now 70% of our b’nai mitzvah are Na’aseh V’Nishma style. As we have many non-Jews attending we find this service is much more accessible — and we insist on everyone’s participation!” Both services then come together for Kiddush and lunch.
Cantor Allen found the service so energizing and uplifting that she couldn’t wait to share her experience with the Beth Shalom board, who gave her the green light to bring Chuck and Cantor Rachel in to help CBS develop their own “spin-off.” They even graciously allowed CBS to share their siddur.
Everyone is invited to attend services and experience CBS’s version of “Na’Aseh V’Nishma,” which Beth Shalom has renamed “Shirat Shabbat.” After services, all are welcome to stay for Kiddush lunch. There is no charge, but RSVPs would be appreciated. For questions or more information, please contact Thressa Lobel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cantor Sheri Allen
CAS Mitzvah Day: Feeding Children Everywhere
Congregation Ahavath Sholom will take on the ambitious project of making 36,000 lunches at its annual Mitzvah Day, from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Jan. 26, at the shul, 4050 S. Hulen St. “We will be packing 36,000 meals in 90 minutes,” Rabbi Andrew Bloom told the TJP Tuesday. “Eighteen thousand will be shared locally and 18,000 will be shared nationally,” he added. All the Tarrant County religious schools are participating and community members are invited to help.
According to its website (www.feedingchildreneverywhere.com), Feeding Children Everywhere is “committed to providing healthy meals to those in need…to sustainability. Creating a hunger-free world will be possible if we have an awareness of our impact on the world around us. We have implemented sustainability goals to reduce our carbon footprint and to eliminate the utilization of harmful plastics.”
Beth-El Congregation Scholars-in-Residence
Beth-El will host two scholars-in-residence beginning next week.
Rabbi Ron Segal: Beth-El Scholar-In-Residence Weekend
The Beth-El Scholar-In-Residence weekend will feature Rabbi Ron Segal for Shabbat Friday, Jan. 31, through Saturday, Feb. 1.
At Kabbalat Shabbat Services, 6:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, Rabbi Segal will discuss “The State of Things.” A wine and cheese reception will precede the service at 5:45 p.m. At Havdallah services, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, the topic will be “American Reform Jewry: What We See.” All programs will be held at Beth-El, 4900 Briarhaven Road.
Rabbi Ron Segal is the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents Reform rabbis in all of North America. Rabbi Segal has been the rabbi at Temple Sinai in Atlanta for his entire career. He grew up in Bryan, Texas, and will visit Fort Worth with his wife, Jill Greenman Segal, who grew up in Fort Worth at Beth-El.
Rabbi Mike Comins: Spiritual Scholar-in-Residence
At 7:30 p.m. on three Tuesdays, Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and 25, at the Temple, Rabbi Mike Comins will address “Making Prayer Real: Why Prayer is Difficult and What to do About It,” as the synagogue’s Spiritual Scholar-in-Residence.
Who is responsible for your inner life? Is it the rabbi, the cantor, the educator? Rabbi Mike Comins believes that one key to transforming synagogue worship is to spend less time thinking about what happens up front on the bimah, and more time on what happens in the hearts of prayers. He interviewed over 50 spiritual leaders for his book, “Making Prayer Real,” and discovered that those who find prayer meaningful often had little in common theologically, but shared similar practices and techniques to bring prayer alive. Rabbi Comins shares the wisdom and best practices he gleaned to enliven and deepen our prayer lives.
Rabbi Mike Comins grew up in Los Angeles, made aliyah in his twenties, served in the Israeli Army, studied extensively in Israel and eventually moved back to the States to write books and create curriculum to help Jews focus on the meaning behind the words. He is the author of “Making Prayer Real: Leading Jewish Spiritual Voices on Why Prayer is Difficult and What to Do about It.” He has taught adults about the power of transformative worship and living through Jewish text study, outdoor hiking Shabbat experiences and through his Making Prayer Real program. He has also created an online course and curriculum to guide confirmation students and college students through the conversations of a prayerful guided life.