Under a moon-lit sky and against a backdrop of stained glass windows, Temple Or Elohim conducted Frirday night services in the temple’s parking lot Sept. 5. The event was the seventh annual “Shabbat Under the Stars,” featuring a complimentary barbecue, a performance by the temple’s five-piece band, and an interactive and rousing service, led by Rabbi Harvey Abramowitz and Cantor David Katz.
Welcoming the informal congregation of more than 300 local residents, with some coming from nearby Locust Valley, Plainview and as far south as Wantagh, in addition to Jericho, Syosset and Woodbury.
“This event is an expression of community and celebration,” said Abramowitz.
The barbecue offered turkey and beef burgers, hot dogs, chicken and salads and beverages, sponsored by Hasson Caterers, Ben’s Deli and the New Country Deli.
The band, which played popular and contemporary music, comprised guitarists Dave Berg and Joan Abramowitz, drummer Michael Wilner, bass player Scott Feldman and trumpet player Lenny Gerschitz.
Katz, who accompanied on guitar and piano, in addition to singing, roused the audience with lively renditions of the Hebrew Sabbath prayers.
Howard Pastolove, president of the temple, said the purpose of the event was to remind the community of the innovative spirit of Temple Or Elohim and to alert them to the events the temple sponsors throughout the year.
“Our hope is that whatever background or religious affiliation people have who came here, they found a sense of comfort, familiarity and fulfillment,” said Laurel Fried, event organizer.
Katz said the evening was videotaped and the video will be posted on the temple’s website, www.templeorelohim.com.