Bringing People Together with Music
for the Holidays and Beyond

l to r; Rabbi Jessica Fisher, Jack Klebanow, Cantor Gabby Schvartz and Rabbi Zach Sitkin performing at Beth El Synagogue Center

In a collaborative effort, Jack Klebanow, Music Director of Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music at Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle, is preparing for a special Musical Selichot Service on September 17 at 8:30 pm, at Shaarei Tikvah, 46 Fox Meadow Road, Scarsdale. The evening will feature clergy participation from Pelham Jewish Center, Temple Israel Center of White Plains, Greenburgh Hebrew Center, Westchester Jewish Center, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, Shaarei Tikvah and Beth El Synagogue Center.


“This is a collective effort,” said Klebanow, “The service will be a preparatory evening for the High Holidays with a taste of music and prayer, along with special guest musicians.”


Cantor Ethan Goldberg from Westchester Jewish Center will play guitar and Klebanow  will be on keyboard. The evening will begin with Havdalah and a learning session inside the synagogue and then everyone will go outside under a tent for a joyous musical Selichot service.


“We are expecting representatives from all the sponsoring congregations and even nonmembers can attend,” explained Klebanow. “This service should get everyone in the Holiday mood.”


As the Music Director of The Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music, Klebanow. has served as Music Director at Beth El Synagogue Center since 2017. He directs this new initiative and is responsible for mapping out the strategy for achieving the Center’s vision.


  For over 100 years, Beth El Synagogue Center has been a leading voice in the Conservative     Movement, with a robust congregation and renowned clergy team.


The Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music at Beth El fulfills a central mission of the synagogue to use music as a foundation for ritual and secular communal life. The goal of the Center is to infuse music into every aspect of synagogue life, including all demographics such as nursery and school age students, young families, empty-nesters and elderly. This music initiative will play a fundamental role in shaping religious services as well as wide-ranging cultural events and activities. 


The Shoresh Halev Center for Jewish Music at Beth El will also i) support emerging Jewish artists; ii) provide opportunities for established artists and composers of new Jewish music to serve as scholars and artists in residence; iii) serve as a venue for concerts, symposia, workshops and conferences; and iv) foster inter-faith dialogue and events with other religious communities in the region.


“For many years, music has been central to our mission,” states Rabbi David Schuck of Beth El Synagogue Center. “We are extremely proud of this initiative and believe that this exciting music program is a direct reflection of our core values. Music serves as a spiritual practice, allowing people to experience personal and communal sacred time, and as a bridge among our community of communities, bringing people together in harmony. We are confident this program will have a tremendous impact on our community, and we are hopeful to contribute a voice that rings out throughout the Jewish world.”


The Shoresh Halev Fund aims to integrate music into the Beth El Synagogue Center community and to position Beth El Synagogue as a hub for musicians and artists who are part of the current renaissance of Jewish music, both liturgical and secular. The Shoresh Halev Fund is established through a generous grant by a family of the Beth El community. 


Beth El Synagogue Center is a large, multi-generational, egalitarian congregation, located in New Rochelle, serving the Westchester Jewish community, and is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. With a membership of more than 500 families, a vibrant Nursery School and Religious School, and a renowned Summer Camp, Beth El has daily religious services and countless secular and religious activities and is one of the most prominent conservative synagogues in the country.


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