No, it isn’t a misprint! The New Jewish Year is 5784! The Institute for Judaic Studies (IJSS) will be holding evening services on Friday, September 15, and morning services on Saturday, September 16. Yom Kippur services will be held on Sunday, September 24, (evening) and Monday, September 25 (day). IJSS will be holding the ‘Break Fast’ at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 25. Congregants will be sent the full High Holy Day schedule.

Our clergy, Rabbi Sanford Seltzer and Cantorial Soloist Eliyanah Powers will be returning to the pulpit to lead and guide us through our prayers, liturgy and traditions. Joining us is our new accompanist Dr. Josh Nichols.

Dr. Nichols is a composer, organist, pianist and teacher. Currently, his studies are continuing at University of Arizona’s, Fred Fox School of Music in Composition. Having been commissioned to write ballet and dance music, chamber percussion and orchestra (chamber and full), Josh brings a variety of talents to IJSS. Experienced in his role of religious music with the ability to elevate the service and ritual, he will bring many flavors to our services throughout the 2023 to 2024 year.

Kol Nidre will begin our Yom Kippur service at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 24. The prayer ‘Kol Nidre’ (All Vows) is to many the single piece of liturgy that best represents Yom Kippur. A haunting melody often played by a cellist causes all present to delve deeply into their heart and soul, looking for forgiveness. We are fortunate that Robert Marshall, Cellist, will again provide us with his musical abilities by playing Bruch’s Kol Nidre at the beginning of Yom Kippur services. For those of you who remember, a beautiful musical composition played by an excellent musician.

Mr. Marshall’s experience is extensive, his talent wide, including being the principal cellist of Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO), among other professional roles locally and worldwide.

Summer Events

We are fortunate to live in a community full of activities and events. Often too busy to just relax and say ‘hello’.

Two gatherings have been arranged so that we can spend some time together during these warm months.

On Thursday, July 13, an informal gathering of IJSS and JFG members was held at the MountainView Bar and Grill, starting at 4 p.m. Many brought their summer stories and experiences to share.

IJSS currently invites all members and non-members of the Jewish Community to gather for a potluck on Wednesday, August 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., meeting at the HOA-1 Tennis Pavilion.

Let us celebrate each other and the coming of the high holidays. Making new friends and rediscovering our friends, to share experiences, stories and have, of course, good food! Everyone is asked to bring something!

Use your Last Name Initial to Please Bring...

A-F: Non-alcoholic beverages

G-M: Appetizers

N-S: Desserts

T-Z: Comfort Foods, hot or cold

For both events, email Melanie Einbund at

Remembering, Honoring and Worth RepeatingAll of us have experienced at one time or another the loss of someone dear. A Jewish practice is Yahrzeit (the Yiddish word for “anniversary,”) and refers specifically to the anniversary of the date of a person’s passing. We commemorate the event with a candle and recite the Mourner’s Kaddish.

Jeff Syden and Joel Wyner, IJSS board members, created a web page for our congregation who wish to honor the passing of a person(s). Jeff took me through the learning curve to access and add my loved ones to the site. But some background information first. The site for IJSS partnered with the National Jewish Memorial Wall to provide a way that Congregants and friends can commemorate and acknowledge their deceased. Since we haven’t a permanent building this website augments the plaque and Yahrzeit memorial that would normally be in the synagogue. The site identifies the Yahrzeit remembrance, sends reminders and has a place where you can store your personal memories of the deceased. Primarily, this is a platform for our community to capture family history and heritage through the sharing of stories and pictures.

You can access the site at or Once on the site you will find many choices you can explore including Online Plaques, Yahrzeit Reminders, Planting a Tree in Israel and other options. We encourage you to look, review plans and their pricing. If you need assistance, please reach out via email to Joel Wyner ( or Jeff Syden ( They will be happy to assist you.

A Message from Esta Goldstein‘As Chair of The Institute for Judaic Studies, I want to thank many volunteers who come early to set up the room for each service. I hope that more volunteers will come forth during the 2023 to 2024 year. Beginning with High Holy Days services on September 15 and throughout the year.

The board of IJSS appreciates and thanks all of you who step forward to help us to provide to our community. Thank you, very much.’

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, or for more information, please feel free to call Esta Goldstein (520) 825-1181) or Seth Eisner (5200) 818-6340).

Happy summer to all!

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