Exterior of Temple Israel Long Beach


Cantor Hass

Virtual High Holy Days

October 5, 2020

How We Made It Through These HHD’s Using A Computer As The Connection Between Each Other

If three months ago, someone asked me if I thought the HHD’s would happen as they just did, I am not sure what I would have said. We were finally getting adjusted to our new norm of praying, although it is ever evolving, and now we were faced with wondering how to create a meaningful High Holy Day prayer experience. With little time, we created a task force of incredible minds and committed lay leaders, including myself, Christina Boatwright, Howard Ort, Mark Dressner, Steve Gordon, Jerry Levy, Paul Levitt, Joanne Levy, Eric Shatzkin, and Rabbi Fox. Together, we worked tirelessly to create an experience that would be as close to “home” as is possibly could. The incredible Paul Levitt, our audio/visual magician, along with Jerry Levy, a photographer in his own right, worked their magic to encapsulate Temple Israel’s HHD’s through the faces of this community. Rather than focusing on the building or the sanctuary, Paul’s camera lens captured the faces that help to make this community the diverse and special place that it is. David York and our phenomenal quartet brought us closer together, as they shared the music that inspires us year after year.

On a personal note, this experience allowed me to learn new skills and experiment with ways to connect with our community on a deeper level. I can now add “video creator and editor” to my resume… pretty cool!

Sushila Love was the glue that put it all together. Her creativity and ability to help us feel as though we were sitting in the sanctuary. Joslyn Sarshad, our glorious soprano, mixed all of the music, as each singer recorded themselves from their own homes. It was clearly a team effort and one that was truly life changing.

I am so proud to be a part of this community and one that will do whatever it takes to create a home for our community, whether it is inside our beautiful building or sitting in our own living rooms.

May this year be one of renewal and strength. A year filled with abounding blessings, spiritual restoration, and continued community connection.