New Jewish High Holiday Service Fills Void for Hundreds of Jews in South Florida
A new Jewish High Holiday service is enabling spiritual and cultural connections to Judaism outside of mainstream congregations in south Florida. Shema Koleinu, “Hear Our Voices,” will bring the community together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur through prayer and song at the Miramar Cultural Center, September 16-17 and 25-26.
The organization’s services provide an opportunity for Jews who are not religious to find some connection to their heritage and sense of restoration in their life. Cantor Debbi Ballard and Rabbi Steve Spiegel lead the inclusive family-friendly worship services in a way that is understandable, relevant, and fulfilling.
Ballard, who has served as a cantor for several years, believes in the empowerment and discovery of Jewish roots for all— both unaffiliated, interfaith, intercultural and LGBT individuals and families. Unlike most Jewish worship services, Shema Koleinu holds their services outside of synagogues. Debbi views the High Holiday as an opportunity to reach out to those who do not feel connected to other Jews in a place of worship.
“We are creating a space where all people can feel welcome,” says Cantor Ballard. “Our goal is to provide a spiritual connection and home for Jews and interfaith couples that have not found the environment elsewhere.”
The Shema Koleinu High Holiday services are just one example of Cantor Ballard’s initiative to provide quality community outreach, lifecycle events, and Jewish education for unaffiliated and interfaith families and individuals throughout southern Florida. She continues to recognize needs that traditional synagogues are not meeting, including officiating Jewish and interfaith weddings. This High Holiday, she plans to bring as many people together through prayer and song as Torah stories come to life, prayers are shared, and spirits are renewed for the year to come.
Tickets are available now for purchase through the Miramar Cultural Center box office. For more information on the services, visit www.shemakoleinu.org
Date: September 16–17 and 25-26, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM (evening services), 10:00 AM (morning services)
Venue: Miramar Cultural Center — 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL 33025