If it is November, then it means that the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are behind us and we have begun the programing year with excitement. There is so much going on at Temple Emanuel and I hope that you are availing yourselves to the many wonderful programs, activities and learning opportunities.

I am especially proud of a 5-part seminar that I will present beginning this month. Entitled STORIES OF MUSIC, we will “probe the intersection of Western Art Music and Jewish music, and the influence it has had on the sound of synagogue worship”. Or if we look at it another way, we will look at modern music from the past century and attempt to answer the big question, “But can I sing it in shul?”

and attempt to answer the big question, “But can I sing it in shul?” The lessons were created by the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA on behalf of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley is one of a group of synagogues nationwide introducing this series this year. The first session will take place on Wednesday evening, November 6 at 8:00 pm. I hope you will join us.

Before moving forward, it is that time of year when we look to the past and recognize the many young people whose participation in our High Holiday services added beauty and meaning to our prayer experiences.

For many of us, one of the highlights of our High Holiday worship is the participation of our teens in chanting Torah and Haftarah during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. These young people dedicated many hours of effort and practice in the days and weeks leading up to the holidays and I would like to thank each and everyone of them.

On behalf of the clergy and a grateful congregation, we offer our thanks to the following young people for elevating our prayers and for giving us all a spiritual high. I offer a special thank you to our high school seniors (*) who for the past several years have returned each year to chant their respective readings for us. It is through their dedication and the commitment of the younger students to follow that our traditions are renewed each and every year.

*Lily Cohen, Noah Haberman-Hirsch, Jayme Silver (high school seniors) Adam Agresti, Alexis Ban, Jordana Brief, Max Dryerman, Dylan Fitter, Aaron Gerber, Jillian Fleishman, Lindsay Fleishman, Leah Levant, Dylan Kedem, Daniel Kroner, Jesse Milston, Melissa Reifman, Michael Reifman, Leah Rimland, Brooke Sendik, Jeremy Slaten, Arielle Solomon, Evan Starr, Sophie Starr, Isaiah Wescott, Zachary Wolpov

Finally, I offer an additional thank you to Lily Cohen. Since my first High Holidays with you in 2015, Lily has charmed us all through her participation in our Yom Kippur evening service. The elegance and beauty of her voice added a unique spirituality to our prayers.

Lily, Noah Haberman-Hirsch and Jayme Silver will move on to new challenges and opportunities. We offer them all our heartfelt thanks and best wishes.

And now we begin planning for next year and the years to follow. If you or a member of your family would like to sing at our High Holiday Services, please contact me in the near future.