Friday, September 7, 2012

Connecting to Leonia Life

Congregation Adas Emuno has been getting some nice attention from our local community newspaper, Leonia Life.  Maybe you saw our recent post, Life in Leonia, which covered the coverage of our August ice cream social for our religious school?

Last week, the paper ran two items.  One was Adas Emuno in Leonia Announces High Holy Day Services, and it went like this:

Congregation Adas Emuno of Leonia will hold High Holy Day Services beginning with Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.
Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz and Student Cantor Alison Lopatin will officiate. Pianist Beth Robin will accompany. A children's service for Rosh Hashanah, geared for younger children and their families, will be offered from 8:45-9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 17.
Tickets are not required for the children's service. The regular Rosh Hashanah morning service will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The second day of Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Sept. 18 with tashlich and a picnic lunch at the Englewood Boat Basin, Englewood Cliffs, weather permitting.
Kol Nidre Services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m., featuring pianist Beth Robin and cellist Fran Rowell.
Yom Kippur services will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26 beginning with a children's service from 8:45-9:30 a.m., followed by morning services at 10:30 a.m., and then afternoon, Yiskor and concluding services at 4:30 p.m.
A Congregational breakfast will follow. High Holy Day tickets for non-members are $250 each and may be purchased by calling the temple office at 201-592-1712. Congregation Adas Emuno is a reform synagogue founded in 1871, located at 254 Broad Ave., Leonia.

The same issue included a piece on our newest clergy member:  Leonia Congregation Welcomes New Student Cantor.  Along the same lines as our recent post, Introducing Our New Student Cantor, it went like this:

Congregation Adas Emuno of Leonia welcomed its new student cantor, Alison Lopatin, who is currently in her fourth year of Cantorial school at Hebrew Union College/The Jewish Institute for Religion, in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York City.
Lopatin graduated from Wesleyan University and attended the San Francisco Conservatory.
She sang opera in various venues around the San Francisco Bay Area before beginning her Cantorial studies at HUC-JIR.
Lopatin also served as a student cantor at Temple Emanuel in Roanoke, Va., for the last two years.
At Adas Emuno, she will join Rabbi Barry Schwartz in leading holiday and Friday evening shabbat services throughout the year, as well as providing musical programming for the temple's religious school.

And today's issue of Leonia Life features another front page report by Raeshelle Middleton on our recent screening of the documentary film Connected (see our previous post, Get Connected at Adas Emuno).  It's entitled Leonia Gets ‘Connected’ with Film, and here is what Raeshelle had to say about the event:

Community members gathered to watch Tiffany Shlain's documentary "Connected," which discusses the interconnectedness of human society, at Congregation Adas Emuno Aug. 25.

Before continuing with Middleton's report, we just want to thank Tiffany Shlain for her generosity in giving us permission to hold this exclusive screening of a film that is still making the rounds of film festivals, and was recently screened at the Democratic Party's national convention. It was a privilege as well as a treat.

Focusing on the mind, the filmmaker referred to present topics such as the advancement and use of technology, the issue of pollution, health and some of the advances in modern science and how this has affected the evolution of human communication.
The film focused on multiple subjects as the documentarian went into detail about what was going on in her personal life at the time as well as the relationship that she had with her family.
Members of the community from all age groups came out to watch the movie. There were refreshments served and almost every seat was filled. Afterwards there was a discussion about how the audience viewed the film.
Just to interrupt again, we were quite pleased that about a third of our audience were new to Adas Emuno, having heard about the film through local publicity in various parts of Bergen County.
The movie studied how during different eras people have used different parts of their brains such as the right side and the left side during certain circumstances. One of the subjects that were introduced in discussion was the way that friendship is viewed in modern day with the increase in dependence on social media and technology for communication and how that affects face-to-face interaction.
"What's happening to those brains when they get overloaded, when if you're like me and you check your cell phone for e-mail 100 times a day?" said Rabbi Barry Schwartz.
"Young people and old people my age talk about friending, and then I recognize that this is a person that they've never spoken to or seen face to face, and they think that this is a friend. To me the internet has separated people. It has brought more information into my life but is hasn't brought more friends into my life." said Muriel Haber. "A friend in my definition is somebody that I can call up and say, 'Hey meet me for coffee,' and speak on a very intimate and depend on."
The movie also spoke about Technology Shabbats, which is encouraging people to unplug technological devices on a particular day in order to become more mindful of the world. The movie discussed subjects such as the overuse of the Internet and the cellular phone which may be responsible for changing the way of thinking for many people.
"Unplugging and taking a break is how we can become mindful of what we are doing, rather than doing it unconsciously," said Lance Strate, president of the congregation.

And what better place to unplug than at Adas Emuno during Shabbat services and the upcoming holidays or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?  And who better to unplug with than Rabbi Schwartz, Cantor Lopatin, and our wonderful, warm and intimate Reform Jewish congregation?  If you're looking for a spiritual and stimulating High Holy Days experience in Bergen County, New Jersey, try connecting with us. You won't be disappointed!

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