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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

At Levitt, a Religious Service Under the Stars

Three Conservative synagogues are set to converge on Westport’s Levitt Pavilion Saturday evening Sept. 8 for a special “service under the stars” prior to the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.

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Pharaoh’s Daughter Band members include (l-r) Basya Schecter, Uri Sharlin, Daphna Mor, Mathias Kunzli, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, Meg Okura and Yuval Lion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Officials at the Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston and Wilton say they will co-host the event with Congregation Beth El of Norwalk and Temple Beth El of Stamford. Set to begin at 8:30 p. m., the evening is free and open to the public, and blankets or chairs and flashlights are recommended, synagogue officials say.

They add that the evening will feature the music of acclaimed artist Basya Schechter and her band Pharaoh’s Daughter. The band’s music has been cultivated by Schechter’s Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan, and Greece, according to a spokeswoman for the Conservative synagogue.

Clergy from all three synagogues will be officiating the service: Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Cantor Laura Berman of the Conservative Synagogue; Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and Cantor George Mordecai of Temple Beth El of Stamford; and Rabbi Ron Fish of Congregation Beth El of Norwalk.

“Throughout the high holiday season, we gather with our respective communities under the roof of our synagogue buildings,” says Wiederhorn. “This year, we decided to join together with the larger community ‘under the stars’ as we usher in the Days of Awe with a special musical Selichot experience.

“This collaborative effort in a spectacular venue should make for a spiritually moving evening,” he added.

Selichot (properly pronounced “s’lee-KHOHT”) are Jewish poems and prayers for forgiveness traditionally recited in the period leading up to the high holidays.

“I’m thrilled that our three Conservative congregations will be coming together in celebration, reflection and song, marking a new phase in the growing connection between the Jewish communities of Fairfield County,” said Hammerman.

“This sacred season is a time for individual reflection, for families to come together and for our various communities to swell with worshippers,”  said Fish of Congregation Beth El of Norwalk. “What makes our area so special is that we also have the opportunity to join together with our fellow Conservative synagogues throughout Fairfield County to share our common goals and dreams for the coming year.”

The event is sponsored, in part, by members of the Conservative Synagogue and the Schloss family in memory of their son, Andrew Schloss, a columnist and sportswriter for The Wilton Bulletin who died in 2008 following a seven-month battle with leukemia.

In the event of rain, the service will be held at The Conservative Synagogue on 30 Hillspoint Road. For further information, call (203) 454-4673 or visit: www.tcs-westport.org.

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Posted 08/28/12 at 10:30 PM  Permalink



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