Shabbat Unplugged draws a younger crowd to Temple Israel.
Left Rabbi Paul Yedwab addresses the
Shabbat Unplugged "congregation."
Special to the Jewish News
new Shabbat service at
Temple Israel had 800 peo-
ple clapping, singing and
swaying Friday night, Oct.
Turning in prayer books for projection
screens and bringing in new tunes and a
10-person band, "Shabbat Unplugged"
invited Jews in their 20s, 30s, and early
40s to find new meaning in the Shabbat
"We really felt if we don't get the next
generation of Jews to love coming to
services, we'd really have a problem
because the synagogue has always been
the center — a center for being involved
in loving Israel, Jewish culture, and com-
munity," said Temple Israel Rabbi Paul
Yedwab, who played guitar and led the
Some people told him they had not
been to synagogue services since their
bar or bat mitzvah, but Shabbat
Unplugged had renewed their interest.
"This generation is not going to come
to services out of guilt. It's going to be
because they love it, because it's uplift-
ing," the rabbi said.
Shabbat Unplugged will take place the
second Friday of
every month through
December at 9 p.m.
at Temple Israel, on
Walnut Lake Road,
east of Drake, in West
Yedwab wants them
to continue beyond
that date. "Hopefully,
it'll take on a life of its
own," he said.
Jane Strumba, 20,
Hills to the event,
and she now plans to
return. "I just really
Tara and Steve Grekin, right, sing prayers with old and new friends.
liked how it was done
— you could feel the
love in the air," she
the younger crowd. I think that music
for him to connect with Judaism. "I
Strumba does not mind traditional
and Judaism is such a great combina-
think services are subjective and based
services, but liked the music at Shabbat
on individual preferences. For me, I pre-
Unplugged and the accessibility. "I know fer this type of service because I haven't
For Bubba Urdan, 33, of West
a lot of people don't like going to servic-
Bloomfield, Shabbat Unplugged was a
been too involved in Judaism in my past
es, not because they don't want to be
chance to celebrate Shabbat and meet
and this provides an opportunity for me
there, but because it's so long. But today, to give to the service and to receive in
new people. "It was spiritual, and I
everybody could participate," she said.
thought it'd be a great place to come
the service," said Appelman.
David Appelman, 29, of Farmington
meet Jewish girls," he said.
"I think people are thriving for this
Hills played saxophone and flute during
He looks forward to coming back and
type of effective experience, particularly
the service, which was a meaningful way