With Fall just around the corner, it follows that the Jewish High Holidays will be celebrated, as always, in September. I'm reminded of this fact thanks to an announcement from Rabbi Sara Shendelman, who, with Rabbi Steven Fisdel, will be leading uplifting free High Holiday Services with musical accompaniment in an extraordinary, little known church, the South Berkeley Community Church, located at 1802 Fairview Street. This church was built in 1880 as the first purposely integrated church in the country. It has a beautiful and very peaceful sanctuary.
Rabbi Shendelman is a spiritual teacher and counselor, having conducted services for 26 years. Rabbi Fisdel, himself a counselor, is a classical Kabbalist with powerful insight into the heart and mind. He has created a journey for the soul. Using the name, Canfei Nefesh, which literally means "Soul Wings", these two people share a desire to have a transformational experience during the High Holidays. To quote Rabbi Shendelman, "we celebrate creation, eat applies and honey to celebrate the sweetness of the world, and blow the shofar to wake up the heart to find our way back to our best selves. We lead through contemplative and joyous songs, stories and personal insights. We lead in English and in Hebrew with transliteration of all texts. I feel that the services I am doing with Rabbi Fisdel will be perhaps the most powerful I have ever participated in. He and I share a vision of uplifting ourselves with compassion hand in hand with understanding of ourselves and others." She goes on to add, "It is said that from Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur every being is seen and appraised."
Times for the free services, all held at the South Berkeley Community Church are as follows:
Rosh Hashana Evening:
Friday Wednesday, September 8th at 7:00 p.m.
Rosh Hashana Day:
Saturday Thursday, September 9th at 10:00 a.m.
Sunday Friday, September 17th at 6:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur (Shachrit):
Monday Saturday, September 18th at 10:00 a.m.
Everyone, especially young people, is invited to attend these services.
(Thanks to reader Peggy Scott for the corrections.)