Institute for Judiac Services and Studies (IJSS) members observed Yom Kippur via Zoom on Wednesday, September 15 and Thursday, September 16. Rabbi Harari officiated, Sarah Boltt, Cantorial Soloist was accompanied by David Mancini-Conway. They provided both traditional and contemporary services. Readings of poetry and prayers were recited throughout the service which added meaning to the most holy of holidays of the Jewish faith. Members of the Jewish Friendship Group were invited to join IJSS members for Yitzkor services. Many members contributed to make the services authentic and inspiring. IJSS thanks the staff at HOA-2 for their technical expertise that enabled us to present our services via Zoom.

A bit of interest: The Yom Kippur evening service begins with Kol Nidre (All Vows); a poignant piece of music chanted at the beginning of services. Its melody is mesmerizing and encourages contemplation and personal prayer.

Al Jolson sang it in The Jazz Singer, the first "talking" movie. Neil Diamond sang it in the 1984 remake. Perry Como recorded the Kol Nidrei (with Johnny Mathis doing in his 1956 album I Believe). In 1968 a rock band called the Electric Prunes produced a "composition" called "Release of an Oath" and subtitled "The Kol Nidrei: A Prayer of Antiquity." It has been said the most unexpected performance of Kol Nidrei was recorded on a Caribbean Island by a band playing sitar, oud, tabla, dumbek, and other instruments. FYI: sitar and oud are members of the lute family while tabla and dumbek are of the drum family.

IJSS held a Shabbat service on Friday, October 22 via Zoom. IJSS Members were sent the Zoom link.

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. Our members are friends and valued in the highest regard. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Joan Elder (520) 360-1478) or Seth Eisner (520) 818-6340) for information.

Our Request

As a small and active congregation, we are looking for volunteers to help our organization maintain and add to its consistency and vitality to Jewish traditions, religious programs, and services. We want to know what our members would like to see and experience in their congregation. The current board is open to your thoughts and suggestions. For that, we need you and your expertise.

Currently, we are seeking board members and those who may wish to volunteer for a short-term program or event.

In the past, many of us have volunteered in our Jewish communities, we hope that you will think of us now or in the future. To discuss your interests and ideas, please send an email to Joan Elder at

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