Northern Hills Synagogue — Congregation B’nai Avraham has adopted the new High Holiday prayerbook developed by the Conservative movement, Mahzor Lev Shalem, and will begin using it at High Holy Day services this year. The mahzor, published by the Rabbinical Assembly in 2010, brings Conservative liturgy up to date, including references to the matriarchs alongside the patriarchs as an integral feature of the text, and expressing a contemporary Conservative Jewish religious sensibility. The mahzor features a new English translation, new readings in English and in Hebrew, and considerable explanatory material in the margins of the mahzor. The congregation solicited donations to pay for a complete set of the mahzorim, and the effort was quickly oversubscribed.
In order to orient the congregation to the High Holiday experience using Mahzor Lev Shalem, the Shabbat service on Saturday, Aug. 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will be devoted to learning about the new mahzor. Worshippers will use Lev Shalem for parts of the service which are the same on Shabbat and the High Holidays. In addition, Rabbi Gershom Barnard will speak about various special features of the mahzor. Following Northern Hills’ popular Chavurat Shabbat format, discussion sessions will take place in which volunteer prayer leaders from the congregation will discuss the parts of the High Holiday services which they will lead. Sonja Rethy will make a presentation on the Rosh Hashanah Musaf service and Don Hordes will make a presentation on the Kol Nidre service. In addition, Maksim Shilkrot, Northern Hills’ Director of Education and Programming, will conduct children’s programming based upon the High Holiday worship.
A luncheon will follow services, which is free and open to all. No reservations are needed.