The full moon of the month of Elul brightened up the sky dramatically and now the moon is waning, and the next new moon will be Rosh HaShanah. At Bonai Shalom, we have a feast of classes and programs for the last days of Elul. This Shabbat we will also be welcoming our special guest from Jerusalem, Dr. Michael Kagan, author of “God’s Prayer,” who will be joining other rabbis in the community for our First Friday program, as well as participating in a discussion following the performance of God’s Prayer” on Saturday night.
On Wednesday night at 7:00 pm in honor of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s birthday, Morah Yehudis Fishman will be teaching a class on “Hassidic Perspectives on the High Holidays.” On Thursday at 7:00 pm, I will be teaching a class on teshuva, or return.
Our First Friday program continues with “Preparing Mind, Body and Soul for the Days of Awe” with Rabbis Ori har DiGennaro, Nadya and Victor Gross and Dr. Michael Kagan, with Rabbi Marc moderating. 6:00 pm – Kabbalat Shabbat Services, 7:00 pm – Dinner, followed by the panel to help us begin to confront the awesome days ahead! Each teacher will share favorite teachings or spiritual practices connected to this season and we will then have an open discussion to help us navigate the inner and outer journeys of the Holidays.
Reservations required for dinner and discussion: $15/adult, $12/child (under 12 years old), $50 max per family. Space is limited and will fill quickly, so RSVP now! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday September 5th.
On Saturday night, we have a unique program for the beginning of Selichot, 8:45 pm – 12:00 am, “God’s Prayer” – a special performance and service for selichot, with special guest author Dr. Michael Kagan from Jerusalem:
8:45 pm – Havdalah
9:00 pm – A dramatic reading of “God’s Prayer” by Dr. Michael Kagan, followed by a discussion with the author and cast
10:30 pm – Break and light refreshments
11:00 pm – Selichot Service led by Jan Kirschner and Rabbi Marc, setting the liturgical mood for the season
“God’s Prayer: the Sacred Task of Living” by Dr. Michael Kagan is a recently published book of prayer, poetry, modern-day psalms. expresses the Creator’s deep pain at the state of our planet and Her loving prayer that we pull back from the edge, clear up the mess and make this home into a better place for all. The message in this ‘prophetic vision’ is of critical importance to the well-being of human life on this planet. It is addressed particularly to followers of the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but is relevant to people of all faiths. Kagan and his wife, Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan, live in Jerusalem and are long-time friends of Congregation Bonai Shalom.
The dramatic presentation will be performed by Jan Kirschner, Charna Rosenholtz, Pamela Sherman and Rabbi Marc Soloway.
Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine.
Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.