Beach congregations to hold joint High Holiday services

July 12, 2019

What’s Happening

Chad Bornstein, president, Beth Chaverim; Ellen Jaffe-Gill, rabbi, Tidewater Chavurah; Dr. William E. Feldman, president, Tidewater Chavurah.

Chad Bornstein, president, Beth Chaverim; Ellen Jaffe-Gill, rabbi, Tidewater Chavurah; Dr. William E. Feldman, president, Tidewater Chavurah.

Congregations Beth Chaverim and Tidewater Chavurah will see in the Hebrew year 5780 together, holding joint holiday services beginning Sept. 29, 2019.

All services will be held in the parish hall of Old Donation Episcopal Church, 4449 N. Witchduck Rd., Virginia Beach. Tashlich, the casting of sins into water on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, will take place at a congregant’s home.

Tidewater Chavurah has been a “congregation without walls” since its formation in 1998, meeting in members’ homes. Beth Chaverim, which was founded in 1982, has been conducting Shabbat services at Temple Emanuel since relocating from its building on Rosemont Road several months ago.

The two congregations have held joint services twice, once in January and again the Shabbat before Purim. Each has a connection to Old Donation through a former or current congregant. The Bayside church is providing space without charge.

“We’re so grateful to Old Donation for its generosity to Tidewater Chavurah and Beth Chaverim,” says Dr. William Feldman, the chavurah’s president. “They’ve been a wonderful friend for several years.”

Beth Chaverim, the only congregation in Virginia Beach affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, and Tidewater Chavurah use the same High Holidays prayer book, Gates of Repentance, and each uses Reform liturgy on Shabbat.

Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill, spiritual leader of Tidewater Chavurah, will lead the services along with Beth Chaverim’s soloist and guitarist, Jim Hibberd. Also providing musical depth to the service will be Beth Chaverim’s choir.

“I can’t wait to work with the choir,” says Rabbi Jaffe-Gill, who is also a cantor. “It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve sung the holiday liturgy with a choir and instrumental music, which really enhance the beauty and spiritual nature of each service. Jim is a joy to work with.”

Beth Chaverim’s incoming president, Chad Bornstein, says “Beth Chaverim is really pleased to team up with Tidewater Chavurah. We have our musicians, and they have the rabbi. I’m looking forward to blending our High Holiday traditions into services that will be meaningful to everyone.”

For more information about High Holiday services with Tidewater Chavurah and Beth Chaverim, contact Carol Smith, 499‑3660, carita@verizon.net, or Betsy Blank, 495‑0730, bblank18@verizon.net, of Tidewater Chavurah, or the leadership of Beth Chaverim at temple.office@bethchaverim.com.

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