Congregation Kneseth Israel, 330 Division St. in Elgin, will host “MishMosh Shabbat” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20. It is a Friday night service to welcome the Sabbath, with musical instrumentation, singing and joy.
“We have a very talented group of congregants led by our own Stew Levin, musical director, who rehearse once a month and introduce the congregation to newer, upbeat versions of our old standards. They have a great time singing together and their enthusiasm is contagious,” said Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein.
“It is a way to establish new traditions and set the foundation in a way that people can enjoy the experience,” Dan Knopoff said. “It’s participatory and fun. It’s a hoot. I’m having a great time.”
Stew Levin said, “‘MishMosh Shabbat’ is an evolving expression of faith and spirituality combining traditional prayer and chants with live music participation. Our goal is to lift our synagogue’s family’s spirits through communal song — combining our own robust modern music arrangements and compositions. All are welcome to add their own voice to our spiritual journey.”
Rabbi Frisch Klein echoes that sentiment. “We have a vision statement that includes meaningful observance. The goal of our ‘MishMosh Shabbat’ is to provide meaningful, uplifting, joyous observance. We encourage lifelong learning. By learning new music or music from a range of musical Jewish traditions, we fulfill that vision. We embrace diversity — and the diversity of music helps accomplish that. For Hanukkah, for instance, ‘MishMosh’ helped us sing ‘Ocho Kandelikos,’ a Ladino, Spanish song. And, finally, our hope is all of this builds community.”
Making “MishMosh” so very special is its homegrown talent.
“We actually now have three members of ‘MishMosh’ writing their own Jewish music and collaborating on pieces. I couldn’t be prouder of what these members are adding to Jewish life and spirituality,” Rabbi Frisch Klein said.
Shabbat services with musical instrumentation are not new, not even at Congregation Kneseth Israel. However, for a time here in Elgin, they did not have them. Since Rabbi Frisch Klein joined the team, there have been some.
“The first one since I was here was to celebrate our 125th anniversary. We have had a house band periodically ever since. This go around is more intentional.
“After about two years of research into what other congregations are doing, we’ve embraced doing a service with instrumentation once every month. In addition to enhancing the spirituality of those already here, we are hoping to reach newer, younger people who might be attracted by this kind of sound.”
For details, call (847) 741-5656 or visit www.ckielgin.org.