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August 29, 2003 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-29

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Community

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DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8/29

2003

40

With the hope of making participa-
tion in High Holiday services more
comfortable for those with little or
no background in Judaism or
Hebrew language,
the National
Jewish Outreach
Program is offer-
ing a variety of
free crash courses.
Among the
more than 200
sponsoring loca-
tions of the classes
in Hebrew read-
Buchwald
ing, basic Judaism
and a one-day Hebrew reading
review are two local synagogues,
Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor
and Congregation B'nai Moshe in
West Bloomfield.
"A feeling of discomfort is one of
the most common reasons that Jews
don't attend synagogue on Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur," said
Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, founder
and director of NJOP in New York.
"Often, people feel intimidated
because they can't follow along in a
prayer book or they don't know the
basics of Jewish life and worship.
NJOP's goal is to make all Jews,
regardless of their background or
education, feel comfortable enough
to go to High Holiday services."
Reading courses include a begin-
ning class focusing on the Hebrew
alphabet and reading skills for fol-
lowing along in the prayer book, a
level II advanced Hebrew reading
course and a one-day review course.
The "Crash Course in Basic
Judaism" is a five-week lecture series
providing a basic introduction to
Jewish philosophy and observance.
Topics covered are God, prayer, sex-
uality, Shabbat, observance — all
emphasizing the positive aspects of
Jewish life.
By offering positive Jewish experi-
ences, NJOP is able "to demystify
some of Judaism and help newcom-
ers feel more comfortable walking
into a synagogue for the first time,"
Rabbi Buchwald said.
For information on NJOP's High
Holiday courses, call B'nai Moshe at
(248) 788-0600, Beth Emeth at
(734) 665-4744, the NJOP at (646)
871-4444, or access the NJOP Web
site at:

www.njop.org

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