Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland will be ready to rock on Sept. 8.
That evening, Kol Tikvah (6750 North University Dr.) will host a Rock Shabbat service that includes rock melodies performed by the congregation’s band fused with liturgical prayers and songs.
The service begins at 6:30 p.m. but attendees can come early at 5:30 p.m. for a Shabbat tailgate dinner through the food trucks on property or by bringing their own dinner. Prospective synagogue members will have the opportunity to meet with the clergy, staff and other families of the congregation at this event which is also an open house for the whole community.
The congregation’s Rock Shabbat takes place monthly from September through June. Rabbi Bradd Boxman, the congregation’s spiritual leader, started these services almost a decade ago.
“I felt that I wanted to have a kind of a service that would be contemporary, that would have a very musical element to it, that would be received well by younger families and folks that have good memories of different rock melodies and that would give freedom for people to get out of their seats to sing and dance and to pray from more than just their mouths, but their whole bodies,” Boxman said.
Boxman continued, “Due to its nature, it’s not as formal as a regular service, and for some people, especially if they’re in mourning and they have to say some prayers for a loved one or maybe they’re not in that kind of a mood to have that kind of service, we offer an alternative service at 7:30 that’s led by the cantor.”
Boxman noted that the Rock Shabbat is “truly a Shabbat service.”
“We’re not skipping anything. We’re not throwing together a bunch of songs and calling it a service. We actually follow the structure of a Shabbat evening service and in between the different pieces of music, my role is to give a short two-minutes max inspirational lead-in to the song, so interspersed between the music is my role to kind of lift up this service with spiritual insights.”
Boxman said traditional Hebrew prayers are overlaid over the popular music played at this service.
“Some of the songs are popular and others are unique settings that were created for that particular prayer in a more rock n’ roll kind of way.”
Rhonda Virgin, the Kol Tikvah band’s lead singer who will perform in the Rock Shabbat, said, “My goal for the service is for everybody to feel joyfulness in prayer.”
“I don’t want them to feel like it’s a light version of a Friday night service,” Virgin continued. “I want them to come away feeling a spiritual connection and feeling that it’s truly Shabbat, just in an unorthodox way.”
Virgin said these services are always really exciting.
“I love getting together with the band. We have a lot of fun together. We have a really good synergy and it’s really exciting to see the congregation get involved, sing with us, dance and move and really welcome Shabbat in a non-traditional way. It’s nice to see everybody get into the service through their singing and their dancing. It’s a fun service.”
The Kol Tikvah band includes seven people who are all members of the congregation and perform there as volunteers.
Boxman noted that Kol Tikvah’s Rock Shabbats are unique compared to those that take place in other synagogues.
“Although we’re not the only ones with Rock Shabbats, Rock Shabbats in other synagogues usually have two or three people playing guitar in more of a folksy kind of way rather than as a real rock band. I don’t know if any other synagogue in the country actually has this seven-member rock band with electric guitars, bass, drums and all kinds of synthesizers with really high-end rock music.”
Call 954-346-7878 or visit koltikvah.net for more information on the synagogue and its Rock Shabbats, including an outdoor under the stars one scheduled to take place on Nov. 3.