Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged Recap

This past Saturday evening, Jews from all over the city visited Congregation Beth Sholom to mark our entrance into the final days of preparation for the Yamim Noraim ("the Days of Awe"). A joint production of Beth Sholom, The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard, Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged made for a special night (and early morning!) – the spirited service didn't end until almost 2 a.m.!

The centerpiece of Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged was a communal singalong featuring brothers Yehuda and Nahman Solomon. (Yehuda is the frontman of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav, as well as founder of Los Angeles' Happy Minyan.) Yehuda and Nahman were joined by prayer leaders and hazzanim from all of the participating communities – together, they led the crowd in giving voice to Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and penitential piyyutim (liturgical poems). According to Ashkenazi tradition, the recitation of Selichot begins after midnight on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah and, although our service didn't wind down until the wee hours, there was no shortage of energy and ruach in the Beth Sholom Sanctuary! Even at the end of the service, attendees danced, stomped, and swayed with the music and piyyut, awakening to the urgency of this moment and our need for teshuvah.

Before the main service began, attendees gathered for a lovely Havdalah ceremony and a community Selichot beit midrash co-led by Rabbi Aubrey Glazer and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan. The study session compared our traditional High Holy Days liturgy and selected lyrics of recently departed songwriter, Leonard Cohen (z"l). The takeaway from the session was the value of wrestling with the difficult personal work of teshuvah and cultivating a relationship with the divine (a struggle reflected in Cohen's poetry and lyrics).

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, the need for a commitment to teshuvah becomes increasingly urgent, but it is likewise important to balance the moments of reckoning with moments of joy. Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged provided both.

Thanks to the rabbis, performers, and prayer leaders who made the evening so moving and fun. Thanks, too, to all of the friendly folks from The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard who participated, making a memorable evening that much better. Todah rabbah, and l'shanah tovah u'metuka (for a good and sweet year)!

A selection of photographs and videos are included below. Please visit our Facebook page for more.

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
Sing in the "Season of Awe"!

Congregation Beth Sholom,
The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard
co-present a rollicking musical exploration of the traditional Selichot liturgy.


September 16, 2017
9 – 10 p.m.,
Special "Heart Opening" Havdalah
   w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 – 11:30 p.m.,
Broken Prayer & Its Repair: A Communal Selichot
   Beit Midrash
On The Prayerful Songbook of
   Leonard Cohen
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., we invite young Jewish singles, couples, and friends to join us for scotch and a rousing musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon (frontman of the popular Isareli-American band, Moshav), Nahman Solomon, and our community leaders.

At 10 p.m., all ages are invited to join us for Broken Prayer & Its Repair, a deep dive into the songwriting of the late, great Leonard Cohen (z"l) and its Selichot significance.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll open our hearts, dance, and prepare for the work of redeeming our world in 5778! After the incredible success of last year's Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged, we're super psyched to again raise our voices together. Yehuda, Nahman, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends will lead us in the joyous communal sing-along experience, one that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, Kehillah San Francisco, The Kitchen, and Congregation Anshey Sfard, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

All parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required. Please register below!

The High Holy Days At CBS

Web_MachzorCBS looks forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this fall.

The High Holy Days provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to take stock and reconnect with our deeper selves. Importantly, the spiritual drama and possibility of the "Days of Awe" are matched by the pleasure of spending time with so many friends, both old and new!

With support from the outstanding lay leaders in our community, Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, Ph.D., Rabbi Dorothy Richman, and Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell will guide us through the two main services that occur in the Sanctuary and Koret Hall.

SANCTUARY SERVICES
Our Sanctuary services balance traditional liturgy with familiar and innovative melodies so that the classic character of the High Holy Days is experienced in a contemporary context. Guided by Rabbi Glazer with support from Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and a cast of wonderful lay prayer leaders, the services include much interactive singing and reflection.

TESHUVAH / RETURN (KORET HALL)
The Teshuvah / Return services in Koret Hall are both traditional and creative, inspired by our beloved teacher, Rabbi Alan Lew (z”l). They are an invitation to "go deep" and connect with our prayer, with each other, and with the Divine. Led by Rabbi Richman and supported by a number of CBS lay leaders including Zoketsu Norman Fischer, these services engage active participation through group aliyot, lots of singing, traditional and creative ritual, and poetry, prose, and kavanot/intentions to inspire our prayer.

RENEW OUR DAYS: THE HIGH HOLY DAYS UNBOUND
We are also delighted to welcome back Aviva Chernick, shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher, to lead Renew Our Days, a special, two-part service occurring on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited and advance registration is required. (Details about Renew Our Days can be found here.)

YOUTH & FAMILY PROGRAMMING
Age-specific children’s programming is offered for ages newborn – Grade 8. This year, we're introducing Kadima Klub, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. Our ever-popular Family Service (for families with children ages newborn – Kindergarten) and Days of AWEsomeness programming (ages newborn – Grade 5) provides an opportunity for your little ones to connect with the rituals, music, and stories of the High Holy Days in a warm and fun context. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.

Nonmembers, please scroll to the bottom of this post to place your ticket orders online. Alternatively, you can download the ticket order form and drop off at Beth Sholom.

CBS members, please click here to reserve your tickets and/or purchase guest tickets via EventBrite. (Please note that online purchase is only possible after you renew your CBS membership; the CBS office will supply you with the online access code upon request. If you do not already have an EventBrite account, you will be walked through the steps of creating one at "checkout.")

5778 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS
Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5778 High Holy Day season. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

SelichotSELICHOT
Saturday, September 16
9 p.m.Selichot study w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 p.m. — Communal Selichot Beit Midrash
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. (next morning)Hardly Strictly Selichot
   (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi
   of Anshey Sfard, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
Sunday, September 17
4:15 - 5:45 p.m.Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days
   Song Workshop


high-holy-daysWednesday, September 20
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Thursday, September 21
8:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
4:30 p.m.Mincha minyan
at Ocean Beach 5 – 7 p.m.Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot)

Friday, September 22
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

KolNidreFriday, September 29
6 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service –
   Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Saturday, September 30
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
   (Yizkor, ~11 a.m.)
10 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
   (Yizkor, ~11:30 a.m.)
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
   (Yizkor, ~12 p.m.)

2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, & Michael Loebs
2 – 4:45 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
4:45 – 7:30 p.m.Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:35 p.m.Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Thursday, October 5
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Friday, October 6
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
HoshanaRabbah2 6:30 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Wednesday, October 11
7 – 9:30 a.m.Hoshana Rabbah Service
9:30 a.m.Kiddush in CBS sukkah
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
Thursday, October 12
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m.Kiddush
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. — Simchat Torah Hakafot, featuring Veretski Pass

Friday, October 13
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged Recap

facebook_yehudasolomonduvidswirsky_hardlystrictlyselichotunplugged_september2016Almost two hundred people visited the CBS campus this past Saturday evening to mark our entrance into the final days of preparation for the Yamim Noraim ("the Days of Awe"). A joint production of CBS, the Mission Minyan, and The Kitchen, Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged made for a special night (and early morning!) – deeply affecting, joyous, and fun.

The centerpiece of the night was a communal singalong featuring Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav. Yehuda and Duvid were joined by prayer leaders and hazzanim from CBS, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen – together, they led the crowd in giving voice to Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and penitential piyyutim (liturgical poems). According to Ashkenazi tradition, the recitation of Selichot begins after midnight on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah (or the Sunday prior, if Rosh Hashanah falls on a Monday or Tuesday, as it does this year) and, although our service didn't wind down until 2 a.m., there was no shortage of energy and ruach in the CBS Sanctuary! Attendees danced, stomped, and swayed with the music and singing, awakening to the urgency of this moment and our need for teshuvah.

Speaking of teshuvah and the related seasonal demand for chesbon hanefesh (a rigorous "accounting of the soul"), Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan shared some moving words during the film panel that occurred earlier in the evening. Following a screening of Fire On The Water, a short film dealing with the Akedah (the binding of Isaac) that Rabbi Aubrey Glazer made during his days as a student filmmaker, Rabbi Wolf-Prusan spoke earnestly of his anxiety about the lack of communal sacrifice experienced by Jewish Americans in the last 50+ years. What loss has our society felt, he asked, as we wage an ongoing war in Afghanistan? Too many families lose their sons and daughters, of course, and our federal coffers are steadily drained, but the majority of Americans are insulated from the war – it remains a background abstraction, and there is little to no sense of communal commitment, contribution, or sacrifice. Even during the Vietnam era, Rabbi Wolf-Prusan argued, despite the anti-war movement and the greater public awareness of the body count (on both sides of the conflict), our culture experienced the 1960s and early 1970s as a period of economic growth and general prosperity. He contrasted this with the American experience during World War II, when all citizens were required to ration foods, fuel, and many consumer goods. We haven't experienced anything like that since the 1940s. "When will the bill come due?," he asked the audience.

Rabbi Dorothy Richman responded to Rabbi Wolf-Prusan and quoted the 20th century sage, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: "Some are guilty, but all are responsible." With so much racial strife, ongoing overseas wars, ugly partisanship, and reactionary politics, she said Rabbi Wolf-Prusan's anxieties about our lack of sacrifice hit her hard. Doubtless, many people in the room were similarly stirred.

This sort of earnest, challenging soul-searching is what the High Holy Days are all about. Observant Jews devote the entire Hebrew month of Elul – which began on September 4 this year – to the spiritual heavy lifting of teshuvah. And what exactly is teshuvah? Depending on which Jew you ask, you'll get different answers. Most resources translate teshuvah as "repentance," but many rabbis scorn this translation, and instead frame teshuvah (which literally translates as "return") as the work of returning to relationship with God. Given contemporary Jews' varied conceptions of deity, that's too vague a formulation for many. However you translate or characterize it, though, teshuvah is about working to develop and improve our character – and it's meant to be hard.

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, the need for a commitment to teshuvah becomes increasingly urgent, but it is likewise important to balance the moments of reckoning with moments of joy. Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged provided both.

Thanks to all of the panelists, performers, and prayer leaders who made the evening so moving and fun. Thanks, too, to all of the friendly folks from the Mission Minyan and The Kitchen who trekked out – in some cases, carpooling (kol hakavod!) – to the Richmond to make this memorable evening that much better. Todah rabbah, and l'shanah tovah u'metuka (for a good and sweet year)!

A selection of photographs snapped during the event are included below.

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Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

HardlyStrictlySelichotUnplugged_PosterHardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
A Communal Soul-singing Experience

Congregation Beth Sholom, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen co-present a communal Selichot experience like none other.

September 24, 2016
9 – 11 p.m.,
Fire on the Water short film screening & forum
11 – 11:30 p.m.,
Coffee, dessert, & schmooze
11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., following a musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav, we will stretch our spiritual and intellectual muscles with a screening of Rabbi Aubrey Glazer's short film, Fire on the Water. The 30-minute film uses a father-son fly fishing trip to grapple with divergent notions of sibling rivalry, parental love, trust, reconciliation, and sacrifice. This special screening will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the themes of the film as they relate to the spiritual journey of the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe – featuring many of our CBS High Holy Days spiritual leaders, including cantorial soloist Aviva Chernick, filmmaker Jonathan Crosby, and Rabbis Aubrey Glazer, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, Dorothy Richman.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll put those limber muscles to work as we usher in “the season of awe” with Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged. Yehuda and Duvid will lead us in a joyous communal sing-along experience that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

Both parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required.
Please click through to register.

The High Holy Days At CBS

The "Days of Awe" are almost upon us – again! As another year draws to a close, we look forward to the next. We also look forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this October!
Facebook_JWeekly_HHDAvertisement No matter how “late” they may seem this year, the High Holy Days are always a good time to reconnect with old friends and to make some new ones. All of our services are conducted with joy, deep feeling, and humor, and they preserve the classic character of the High Holy Days while authentically connecting with contemporary Jews and their friends and family.

With support from cantorial soloist and rabbinic intern, Amanda Russell, and a cast of wonderful lay leaders, Rabbis Aubrey Glazer and Dorothy Richman will lead inspiring services in our acclaimed Sanctuary and Koret Hall. In addition, CBS offers a completely new prayer experience: Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part prayer lab occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. This a special opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish liturgy. Led by Aviva Chernick, teacher, hazzan, and frontwoman of Jaffa Road, the celebrated world music group, Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited & advance R.S.V.P. is required. (Full details on Renew Our Days can be found here.)

Age-specific children’s programming is also provided from Newborn – Grade 5, and we're introducing Launch Kadima 5777, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

Let’s put chalk to board and write the next chapter together!

Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5777 High Holy Days. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.
Nonmembers, please click here to access the High Holy Days Nonmember Ticket Request Form, which can be printed and mailed to the CBS office or scanned and emailed.

5777 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS

SELICHOT
Friday, September 23
6:30 p.m. — "Neo-Carlebach" Kabbalat Shabbat (guest-led by Yehuda Solomon)

Saturday, September 24
9 a.m. — Shabbat morning service (co-led by Yehuda Solomon)
1:30 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan (replaces our normal, evening minyan service)
9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. (next morning) — Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Duvid Swirsky, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi of Anshey Sfard, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
high-holy-daysSunday, September 25
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days Song Workshop

Sunday, October 2
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Monday, October 3
8:45 – 9:30 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
4:30 p.m. — Mincha minyan at Ocean Beach (near Fulton, just across from Beach Chalet)
5 – 7 p.m. — Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot and others)

Tuesday, October 4
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

Tuesday, October 11
6:00 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service – Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Tuesday, October 12
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
8:45 - 9:30 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
12 – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
2 – 4 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, Ovid Jacob, & Michael Loebs
4:45 – 7:30 p.m. — Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:30 p.m. — Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Monday, October 17
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Tuesday, October 18
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Wednesday, October 19
6:30 p.m. — Community Sukkot Dinner in CBS sukkah (to be followed by dessert at Congregation Chevra Thilim)

Sunday, October 23
8 – 10:30 a.m. — Hoshana Rabbah Service
10:30 a.m. — Kiddush in CBS sukkah

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
torah_iconMonday, October 24
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m. — Kiddush
6 p.m. — Mincha minyan
7 – 11 p.m. — Erev Simchat Torah Street Party, featuring Veretski Pass

Tuesday, October 25
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)