Editor of Reform Movement's New High Holiday Prayer Book to Speak
July 29, 2015, 7:30 pm
Temple B'nai Chaim (TBC) will host a special presentation and discussion on the new Reform High Holy Days machzor (prayer book), Mishkan HaNefesh at 7:30 PM on July 29th, 2015. The discussion will be led by Rabbi Hara Person, Senior Editor of the new prayer book and Publisher and Director of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Press. This event is open to all.
The new prayer book includes updated translations, thoughtful essays, rich commentary, and a beautiful selection of poetry by authors such as Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes and Henry David Thoreau integrated with traditional prayers. There are for the first time gender-neutral blessings, and the word "couple" replaces the traditional "bride and groom" to acknowledge same-sex unions. The prayer book's goal is to provide an environment for those of all backgrounds to find meaning in the High Holy Days.
Mishkan HaNefesh ("Sanctuary of the Soul") was published as a two-volume set, the first for Rosh Hashanah and the second for Yom Kippur. This new prayer book has been piloted in 300 congregations around the country. After piloting it at services last year, TBC leadership and congregants are enthusiastically looking forward to using Mishkan HaNefesh for all of their upcoming High Holy Day services.
Rabbi Hara Person is the Publisher and Director of the CCAR Press, where she works with CCAR leadership and members to produce books and other publications for rabbis, congregations, and the Jewish community. She also oversees the publication of the CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly. She was ordained in 1998 from HUC-JIR, after graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College (1986) and receiving an MA in Fine Arts from New York University's International Center of Photography (1992). Before coming to the CCAR, Rabbi Person was the Editor in Chief of URJ Books and Music, where she was responsible for the revision of The Torah: A Modern Commentary (2005) and the publication of many significant projects, including the Aleph Isn't Tough adult Hebrew series and Mitkadem : Hebrew for Youth as well as several award-winning children's books. While at URJ, she was also the Managing Editor of The Torah: A Women's Commentary, named the National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year in 2008.
Rabbi Person is also the author of Stories of Heaven and Earth: Bible Heroes in Contemporary Children's Literature, That You May Live Long: Caring for Your Aging Parents, Caring for Yourself(co-editor), and The Mitzvah of Healing (editor). Her essays and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals, including Bridges, upstreet, Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, Women and Judaism, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, andThe Women's Haftarah Commentary.
Since 1998, Rabbi Person has been the High Holy Days Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Olam, Fire Island Pines, NY, and she has been named Adjunct Rabbi at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, where she teaches adult education classes.
Rabbi Person lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Yigal Rechtman, and their two teenage children.
For more information, please contact Temple B'nai Chaim at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (203) 544-8695.