“Now, we’ve become kind of like roadies, we follow them around

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“Now, we’ve become kind of like roadies, we follow them around

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sibling rabbis lead spirited Rosh Hashana service

canada goose deals NEW YORK “The purpose of this service is to excite you,” began Rabbi Perry Berkowitz, who along with his sister, Rabbi Leah canada goose outlet london uk Berkowitz, runs East Side Synagogue, an unconventional congregation on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. canada goose deals

As usual, canada goose outlet toronto address the siblings were sharing the same pulpit and holding their nontraditional brand of Rosh Hashana services Monday.

canada goose store In Manhattan, the holiday can often mean high priced tickets at prestigious synagogues, but the Berkowitzes’ services seek only a reasonable contribution and are canada goose outlet real held in a rented space in the Unitarian Church of All Souls on Lexington Avenue. canada goose store

The services are freewheeling, rollicking affairs that have the feel of a gospel church. They give evangelical type sermons and are backed by a gospel choir that sings liturgical music often in Hebrew. The songs can range from hymns and spirituals to klezmer and pop, and they often spur congregants to form conga lines down the aisles.

Monday’s service ran for five hours canada goose womens outlet and varied from fiery sermons canada goose outlet 2015 to musical romps backed by a spirited band.

canada goose coats on sale The choir swayed and clapped while singing a spiritual. The band played “Shalom Aleichem” and then a klezmer song as congregants danced canada goose outlet boston the canada goose outlet online reviews hora. Leah Berkowitz led a line of dancers through the aisles, out the door and back to the front of the bimah, or raised platform. canada goose coats on sale

Canada Goose sale An hour or so into the service, a sharp voice rang from a man in an embroidered robe and a skullcap a Jewish gospel singer named Joshua Nelson, the synagogue’s “kosher gospel” singer, who began singing in Hebrew but in the style canada goose outlet of Mahalia Jackson. Canada Goose sale

canada goose clearance sale Nelson fits in neatly with the canada goose outlet edmonton Berkowitzes’ style of worship, one that Perry Berkowitz said was inspired partly by a mentor, Abraham Joshua Heschel, the canada goose outlet houston Polish born rabbi and renowned theologian who was active in the civil rights movement. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose coats “When he first came over from Warsaw, he tried many denominations, looking for that passion, that intensity, canada goose victoria parka outlet that fervor of his Hasidic youth,” the rabbi canada goose outlet store calgary said. “He finally found it in a gospel service in a black church, and we’re trying to bring that canada goose outlet shop into the synagogue.” canada goose coats

Berkowitz said one goal was to attract black Jews, like Nelson, to the services.

Canada Goose Parka “They are the hidden part of the community,” he said, adding that canada goose outlet store montreal the congregation welcomes interfaith couples and people of all sexual orientations, as well as nonobservant Jews unaffiliated with a temple. Canada Goose Parka

buy canada goose jacket Donna Tabas, a midwife from Rockland County who sat near the front with her husband, Ira Tabas, a cardiovascular researcher at Columbia University, said she had recently found her spiritual home here. buy canada goose jacket

“I tried everything Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad and there were benefits to all of them but these services are much more experiential,” she said. “They bring people in from all over the place. It’s much deeper than just being glued to the prayer book.”

cheap Canada Goose Allen Katz, a software sales executive from the Upper East Side, said, “Tickets for Rosh Hashana in a Manhattan synagogue can cost you $4,000 for the family, but once you come here, and you like it, there’s no place else you’ll ever go.” cheap Canada Goose

canada goose The Berkowitzes lead services with the comedic patter of a vaudevillian team, interrupting each other and interspersing snappy quips and references to Talmudic law. After wishing the congregation a Happy cagooseclearance New Year and getting a less than hearty response, Perry Berkowitz asked his sister, “What do you think?” canada goose

She shook her head and they tried it again and the response was louder.

Perry Berkowitz told congregants that someone asked why God permitted rain on Rosh Hashana.

canada goose clearance “They said, ‘Don’t you have a connection upstairs?'” the rabbi recounted. “I said, ‘Sorry, I’m in sales, not management.'” canada goose clearance

Canada Goose online He canada goose outlet london urged the congregation to wipe away any negative associations from the past year and to start the new canada goose outlet orlando year, canada goose outlet store near me “Not with oy, but with joy.” Canada Goose online

He told them to exhale and let canada goose outlet uk go of “all of the oys of the past year.”

“Everyone let out a collective oy,” he directed them “One, two, three. Oy.”

buy canada goose jacket cheap A spirited “Oy” resounded in the worship space. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose black friday sale He said he overheard a woman recently say that “Rosh Hashana is all about buying food at Zabar’s,” the renowned gourmet food market on the Upper West Side. It was not, he said, but conceded later in the service that the post service lunch had been donated “of all places, by Zabar’s.” canada goose black friday sale

The siblings trained canada goose outlet toronto location with influential leaders of what is known as the Jewish Renewal movement, like Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Their father, William Berkowitz, canada goose uk site was an influential rabbi on the Upper West Side.

Canada Goose Jackets During the service, the Berkowitzes touched on social and political themes including racism, anti Semitism, Black Lives Matter, climate change and canada goose outlet in new york homophobia. Canada Goose Jackets

After Perry Berkowitz blew the shofar, or ram’s horn, the choir broke into an energetic version of “Walking in the Light of God.”

Judy Wolfe and Terry Phelan, sisters from Manhattan, said they began attending Rosh Hashana services with the Berkowitzes 35 years ago when they were held in a rented movie theater on Third Avenue and 72nd Street.

Canada Goose Outlet “When you smelled popcorn, you knew the service was over and the movie was starting,” Wolfe said. “Now, we’ve become kind of like roadies, we follow them around.” Canada Goose Outlet

After an impassioned sermon by the Rev. William Barber II, a Christian minister, the Berkowitzes led the congregation in a Hebrew prayer set to the melody of “We Shall Overcome.”.


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