Congregation Kol Tikvah of Parkland are inaugurating their 25th anniversary with a series of events, starting on Friday with a unique Shabbat Rock concert service outdoors at the Amphitheatre at Pine Trails Park, 10561 Trails End in Parkland on Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
“One of the ways the service will be special is that it will take place outdoors with a special Shabbat tailgate dinner with food trucks available or one can bring dinner as well to eat at the park,” said Rabbi Bradd Boxman, spiritual leader of the congregation.
Titled “Shabbat Under The Stars,” CKT will feature its popular rock music band of eight musicians, all volunteers, who sing the Friday night service liturgical prayers and songs such as “Lecha Dodi” monthly on the third Friday of the month.
Combining the musical skills of two singers and musicians on acoustic and electric guitars, bass and drums, the troupe infuse the melodies with upbeat rock music arrangements inspiring congregants to both sing along with the musicians and dance at the service.
“We love to sing these uplifting liturgical prayers and having everyone joining us dancing and singing adds to the atmosphere. To sing and pray in the natural outdoor environment is uplifting,” said Rhonda Rosen Virgin, lead singer of the unnamed rock music band.
The innovations in the rock music Shabbat service also include some innovative lyrics written by the group’s founder and acoustic guitar player Barry Press that personalizes the songs for the congregants.
For example, the band performs the popular “Hallelujah” song with music by Canadian folk music artist Leonard Cohen but with lyrics oriented to CKT members.
Press rewrote the lyrics in the first verse to read as follows:
Kol Tikvah is a holy place
Where friends and family congregate
Not only for the prayers and songs on Shabbat
This is the place we rejoice and pray
Enjoy the song let it take you away.
From your lips lets draw a hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
“I adapted new lyrics to the song because it brings out the positive feelings we all have for Congregation Kol Tikvah and allows the congregants to share enthusiasm by singing along with the band,” said Press.
Along with Press and Rosen Virgin, other musicians in the band are Rabbi Boxman (backup vocals), Craig Kuperman (drums), Ellis Mass (backup vocals), David Ofstein (bass), David Rosenof (electric guitar) and Richard Salit (electric guitar).
Congregation Kol Tikvah was founded in 1991 and currently has 365 families as members. There are 350 students enrolled in CKT’s religious school and 135 children in the early childhood center.
The congregation is planning a gala 25th anniversary event that will feature artist Michael Israel on Feb. 6.
In case of rain, “Shabbat Under The Stars” will take place indoors at Congregation Kol Tikvah, 6750 N. University Dr. in Parkland.
For more information, call 954-346-7878 or go to www.koltikvah.net