Meryl alcabes photography 2017 josh voss for jis 8447 qrpfg6

Image: Meryl Alcabes


Community and family are two things that come to mind — both the local neighborhood and synagogues — and also the feeling of belonging to a worldwide community. This has influenced my behavior in many ways. I served in the Israeli army. I try to say yes to volunteer opportunities, such as chaperoning the SHA Israel trip or taking part in NYHS Shabbatons. In Israel, I volunteered at the Lone Soldier Center helping create a family for soldiers who don’t have families in Israel. Music is another way I connect with my Judaism. I started out singing Shir HaShirim with Hazzan Aryeh Greenberg, and as I grew older I was allowed to participate in more tefillot. Starting with the megillot of pre-bar-mitzvah to leading Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat services, it’s like coming up through a “liturgical pipeline.

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