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Elul Learning and Singing: Getting Ready for the High Holidays

In the month of Elul, we have 30 days to begin our reflection and realignment on the way to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. FTJC offers several ways in to this fertile period of time: classes and discussions, as well as singing sessions to enter the atmosphere of the holidays and prepare ourselves for a powerful collective prayer experience.  Let's not wait until we're sitting in our seats on Yom Kippur to start reconnecting with our inner life and realigning with God and with those around us.


"Why Do I Gotta Do All This Stuff??--Mitzvot as Tools for Connection"
Taught by Yocheved Retig
Saturday, August 18, 2018
4:30-6:00 PM
Castle Village Community Room, 110 Cabrini Blvd. (north of 181st St.) (accessible via driveway)

As we get closer to Rosh Hashanah, it's an auspicious time to think about our personal growth in mitzvot. What are we doing, and what are we doing it for? Is there a gap between what we want in our religious lives and what we do? Think about a time you felt close to something good, a time you felt suspicious of someone else's sincerity, and come ready to think deeply about growing in our practice and about the obstacles standing between us and emunah (faith). This class is for the sarcastic, sincere, skeptical, and heartfelt among us!  Yocheved Retig teaches Jewish Studies at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan.

"Meditative Preparation for Elul"
Taught by Rabbi Lisa Goldstein and Igal Harmelin
Saturday, August 25, 2018
4:00-6:00 PM
Castle Village Community Room, 110 Cabrini Blvd. (north of 181st St.) (accessible via driveway)

In this experiential meditative workshop on teshuvah, we'll further our preparation for the High Holidays by exploring short Biblical and Chasidic passages with guided meditations. No experience required, neither in text study nor in meditation. If you have questions feel free to contact Rabbi Lisa Goldstein is the executive director of IJS, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality; Igal Harmelin is a spiritual director and meditation teacher.

"A Guide to Getting Into High Holiday Services"
Taught by Rabbi Guy Austrian
Saturday, September 1, 2018
4:00-6:00 PM
114 Bennett Ave. Apt. 6B (accessible; elevator or stairs)

Our goal will be to feel more oriented and better connected to what's happening in services, and to be better able to use that time to do the work of reflection and accounting to which we're called. We'll learn about their arc and flow and structure, introduce some key texts, and dive deeper into the liturgical centerpiece, "Untaneh Tokef" (a.k.a. "who by water..."). Geared toward those who are newer to traditional High Holiday services, or want a refresher and an overview. Please note in case of allergies: the home has a docile dog who sheds. 


"Community Singing Session"

Saturday, September 1, 2018
12:00-12:45 PM, during Kiddush
Hebrew Tabernacle, 2nd Floor Penthouse

Join our crew of High Holiday prayer leaders for a special opportunity to get into the spirit as we learn and practice some melodies that we'll lift up together on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 


Selichot: Late-Night Service
Saturday, September 1, 2018
11:30 PM
Hebrew Tabernacle, Social Hall, 1st Floor

Pack the room for this powerful late-night intensification of our preparations for the Days of Awe: a singing, swaying service that brings us closer to the poetry and passion of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


Special Shabbat Shuvah Tishrei Bonus:
"Fear and Loathing in Nineveh: The Book of Jonah as Literature"
Taught by Sue-Rae Rosenfeld
Saturday, September 15, 2018
12:00-12:45 PM
Hebrew Tabernacle Library, 1st Floor

Get ready for Yom Kippur by delving into this classic tale of avoidance, regret, and universal compassion, with attention how its literary techniques achieve the author's goals, and with a special focus on the enigmatic final chapter.  Sue-Rae Rosenfeld holds a BA in Judaic Studies and Classics from Brooklyn College, and has studied at JTS and Drisha.


"Community Singing Session"

Saturday, September 15, 2018
5:00-6:15 PM
140 Cabrini Blvd. Apt. 49

A special opportunity to get into the spirit as we learn and sing some melodies that we'll lift up together during Yom Kippur, with a focus on Musaf. All are welcome!


Sat, May 25 2019 20 Iyyar 5779