Selichot are Jewish penitential poems and communal prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays. For the first time, the Chatham Synagogue will hold a Selichot service at the shul. To provide some background to this event, members of the Synagogue’s Ritual Committee will host a learning session accompanied by dessert and beverages. This will be followed by the Selichot service which will be led by Rabbi Michael Strassfeld.
Rabbi Strassfeld has been prominent in the American Jewish community for nearly forty years, dating from his involvement as co-editor of the first Jewish Catalog in 1973. He graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University (1971) with honors in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, after having spent his freshman year at the Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also holds an M.A. degree from Brandeis in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and completed his doctoral coursework in Jewish History at Brandeis. He received his ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1991.
Rabbi Strassfeld was very active in the Havurah movement, having been the founding chairperson of the National Havurah Committee from 1979 to 1982.
Before coming to the SAJ, he held various positions at Congregation Ansche Chesed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, including Director of Program and Development, Executive Director, and Rabbi of the congregation. Rabbi Strassfeld led the SAJ from 2001-2015.
The Selichot learning session will begin at approximately 8:00 pm.
The Selichot service will begin at approximately 9:15 pm.