Though this shteeblehopper has been busy hopping around the world lately, and not having as much time to blog as she would like, she was pleased to see these two recent posts on places with plenty of singing in NYC.
Click here for the Kol Zimrah recap.
Here are some highlights describing Joey Weisenberg leading Kabbalat Shabbat for Kane Street, a Conservative synagogue, in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn:
Peer through our chapel door on any given Friday night, and you’ll probably see nine or 10 people standing around an old wooden shtender (reader’s lectern), co-leading the Kabbalat Shabbat service with gusto. You’ll see two 20-somethings (a guy in jeans and a woman who is head of our social action committee); two women in their 40s, singing while their hungry families wait for them at home; an empty-nester couple in their 60s; a new guy whom nobody seems to know; and—a fairly new phenomenon—an infant or two, bouncing in a Baby Bjorn as mom or dad bangs along on the shtender to the rhythms of Carlebach’s Lecha Dodi.
“In order to make something more than the sum of its parts you have to have people close, for the same reason that an orchestra sits close together,” Weisenberg said. “I see the congregation as being a giant Jewish orchestra. It changes its composition every week and frequently has a different conductor. There’s a certain amount of discipline in an orchestra. Is it time to be quiet? Time to be loud? And you’d never have people in a true orchestra talking to each other and ignoring the conductor.”
“At the beginning of every service, the leader should request that at least six people come up to support him or her,” Weisenberg said. “What’s most important is that they’re physically there, and trying. Kabbalat Shabbat is a flexible service in a number of ways, and a good training ground for leadership. Of course, it’s helpful if you have people who know what they’re doing. But it’s equally helpful if you don’t. The service begins with the invitation to the community: L’chu n’rannena l’Adonai – Come, let us sing together to God.” At other times during the service, we make no noise at all.