A Recap of High Holy Day Services

Melanie Einbund

High Holy Day services for Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) were well attended. Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, a scholar of distinction and religious observant, offered services to our congregation reflecting on tradition, history, concerns, and hopes for a New Year. Wishes of health, peace, and joy to all were offered.

Eliyanah Powers’ voice is prayerful. I shared with Eliyanah my experience with a cantorial soloist at a former synagogue. Hearing that cantor was like going to a concert. I told Eliyanah that when she chants, I pray. She shared with me that when she leads us with her words she is praying. For myself, it makes my experience meaningful and contemplative.

Josh Nichols, DMA, our new accompanist, learned the Hebrew words and music for High Holy Days with no previous knowledge. His musicality and presentation were flawless. Our congregation will experience his musical talents throughout the year.

Robert Marshall, cellist (the principal cellist of Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra), introduced us to the Yom Kippur service by playing Bruch’s “Kol Nidre.” The composition sets the tone for the most important holiday of the year.

Honey cakes, symbolizing a sweet New Year were given to those who attended Rosh Hashanah morning services. A sincere thanks to our bakers: Roz Eisner, Esta Goldstein, Joy Erickson, Marsha Foresman, Diane Korn, Brenda McBride, Linda Merritt, and Judy Friedman. Many of us, including me, have sweet memories of a honey cake at Rosh Hashanah. Heartfelt appreciation to Loraine Stillman who provided honey cakes for the Rosh Hashanah oneg (a gathering of congregants after services).

We start the New Year with Shabbat Services. Please make note of the following dates.

2023: Nov. 17, Dec. 15

2024: Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 22, and April 19

The Institute for Judaic Services and Studies’ (IJSS’s) Annual Meeting will be held in December. We encourage all IJSS members to attend and participate.

If you wish to sponsor an oneg for a special event, remembrance, or celebration, contact Sherry Kaplan at [email protected].

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Joan Elder at 520-360-1478 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

IJSS wishes the community a Happy New Year—L’shana tovah.