Renowned Composers, Actors, Producers and Musicians Take to the Stage to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Lincoln Square Synagogue Beginners Service

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“Over the years, the services have been attended by New York’s thinkers, seekers, professionals, artists and elite,” said Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, director of the National Jewish Outreach Program. "Broadway actors, directors and composers have prayed with comedians, Rockettes and dancers from the Martha Graham Company in true New York style spirituality.”

On April 2, the 30th anniversary of the Lincoln Square Synagogue Beginners Service was celebrated with performances from world-renowned artists who have been touched by the program.

Well known composer Steve Reich said, "My early interaction with Rabbi Buchwald and my experience with the Beginners Service are what inspired and began the Jewish life that has grown and become increasingly important to my life.”

The Lincoln Square Synagogue ‘Beginners Service’ was founded in 1975 as the first such service designed for people with little or no background in Jewish practice. The service, conducted by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, started with only three members, one of whom was Steve Reich. It was at Mr. Reich’s suggestion that a Beginners Service was inaugurated, as he and his wife, Beryl Korot the well known video artist, were searching for a way to become more familiar with the traditional Hebrew Sabbath services. In a very short time, the Beginners Service became an extremely popular and well attended Sabbath service.

“Over the years, the services have been attended by New York’s thinkers, seekers, professionals, artists and elite,” said Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, director of the National Jewish Outreach Program. “Among the participants have been TV writers and producers, filmmakers, publishers and models. Editors at top magazines such as McCall’s, Self, Health, Glamour, New York and the New York Times Magazine have joined us! Broadway actors, directors and composers have prayed with comedians, Rockettes and dancers from the Martha Graham Company in true New York style spirituality.”

Beginners Services can now be found all over the United States and in several European countries. The Beginners Service is primarily a learning service and is conducted both in English and Hebrew. Congregants are encouraged to interrupt the service at any point to ask questions. Each week a different beginner delivers the “D’var Torah” (Torah message) and the weekly Bible portion is studied by the congregation. There are now more than 250 ‘Beginners’ who reside in Israel and many hundreds who study in Yeshivot both in Israel and America.

About Rabbi Buchwald

Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, 60 years of age, has been the leader of the Lincoln Square Synagogue’s Beginners service since its inception, and has been instrumental in popularizing the service throughout the United States. He introduced many innovative and creative products in the synagogue, having earned acclaim for his synagogue’s high successful outreach program, and the unique “TURN FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SHABBOS” program. As director of the National Jewish Outreach Program, he heads one of the largest and most successful Jewish outreach programs in the world.

About the National Jewish Outreach Program

Founded in 1987 by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald to address the critical issues of assimilation and lack of Jewish knowledge, NJOP is now one of the largest and most successful Jewish outreach organizations in the world. To date, more than 860,000 people have benefited from NJOP’s innovative, free programs which have been held in 3,640 locations—including synagogues, community centers, military bases and college campuses—in all 50 states, nine Canadian provinces and 30 countries around the world.

http://www.njop.org

CONTACT:     

Ilya Welfeld         

Welfeld Public Relations         

201.439.1010     

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