I was in LA over Rosh Hashanah to look at colleges for our son Max. Attended services at Royce Hall, which is a magnificent music hall on the UCLA campus. There were about 800 to 1000 people attending that night. There were three rabbis, a canton, musical director and 20 person choir. The next day, we joined the congregation for Tashlic to throw our sins into the Pacific Ocean. Though it was fun to experience another synagogue and the novelty of sea gulls flying away with our sins, I was home sick for the intimacy of the New Shul.
Fortunately, I got to be with the community for Yom Kippur. There is so much to say about the service but the one image that keeps rolling around in my head is seeing Zach, Ellen and Darby standing next to each other, all in white- Zach playing the mandolin and chanting a prayer in hebrew, Ellen staying in tune and singing the prayer in english and the Darby singing using sign language. That defined the New Shul for me. Anyone else feel that way?