Last spring the Senior Staff went to the Zaiman Educational Alliance committee with a request for funding to enhance the musical offerings at the congregation and schools. Each had multiple needs united with a vision of bringing more song into our hallways, our prayer services and our classrooms. Over the course of nine long weekends, our Rosh Shirah Sam Blustin, brought music to all three of our schools and to our congregation. He led Ta’am Shabbat with our KSDS students, Shabbat singing with our youngest GECEC and Tot Shabbat friends, and taught monthly in RRS. We scheduled special programs including a pajama Havdalah, zemirot (Shabbat singing) after services, and seudah shlishit (the Shabbat Third Meal). Sam also enhanced our Amuno minyan and helped create a new musical offering – Shir Shabbat on Friday nights.
Here’s what people had to say about our “year in song”:
“Amuno Minyan participants have been so fortunate to have Sam Blustin lead us in prayer and song. His beautiful melodies and niggunim (wordless songs) added a deeper dimension to our davening and drew more and more people to our service. We hope that Sam’s model of an uplifting, participatory, ruach (spirit) -filled service will continue.”
“The best form of a compliment is through imitation. Watching my son play guitar, sing songs and pretend he is Sam, while my daughter sings along puts a huge smile on my face. Sam has captured the heart and soul of my kids through his guitar and music on Friday mornings in the chapel.”
We wish Sam lots of good luck as he continues with the fourth year of his rabbinic education and we express our gratitude to the ZEA for funding this program.