Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 12, 2013

'A new beginning'

Yom Kippur services to conclude High Holy Days


Jodi Blankstein, cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel, said the service will be based on Jewish traditions featuring eight pieces of poetry and music that she will sing with Laura Weiss, minister of music at South Church in Andover.

“(The pieces) will speak of spiritual uplifting and a feeling of healing and renewal. We want people to feel surrounded by spiritual music and support,” Blankstein said.

Rabbi Howard Mandell, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in Andover, said the High Holy Days offer Jews an opportunity to examine three essential areas vital to their spiritual and emotional well-being — one’s relationship with themselves, with God and with friends and family.

Rabbi Zalman Borenstein, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been leading High Holy Day services along with his father-in-law, Rabbi Asher Bronstein of Chabad of Merrimack Valley in Andover.

Borenstein vividly remembers attending Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services with 10,000 members at his synagogue in New York.

“It was very spiritual when you have so many people singing in unison or praying in silence together,” said Zalman Borenstein, who is hoping to establish a congregation in North Andover with his wife, Mushkie.

He said one way to make services more engaging is by adding prayers in English, chanting prayers, stories for children and adults.

“The holy days are not just a commandment; it’s part of our present life, too,” Borenstein said. “They may come every year, but this year is different from last and we’re not the same person we were last year.”

Zalman and Mushkie Borenstein will host a grand Sukkot party on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. at their home, at 42 Lincoln St. in North Andover.

“This is a new beginning in North Andover,” just like Rosh Hashana, Borenstein said.

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