We invite you to join us over the summer for our musical Friday night services. Experience our Shabbat in the Round format with soulful melodies for
a more mellow and meditative vibe, as well as our larger Koltrain Friday Night Services where the lively songs get people up on their feet dancing.
Friday Night Koltrain-led services:
What is Koltrain you ask?
Reprinted from the Jacksonville Jewish News (Spring 2009)
All aboard: JJC’s “Koltrain” takes on new passengers
Koltrain has made a permanent stop at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. Hazzan Jesse Holzer, inspired by a desire within the congregation to bring new forms of music to the synagogue ritual experience, created a synagogue band in honor of his installation this past April. In what could’ve been a one shot deal, the congregation embraced the new sound that led up to the Friday night liturgy. Suddenly, Koltrain helped conduct the synagogue’s family services once a month during the spring and summer months. Given the name Koltrain (Kol in Hebrew means voice), the group has recently added a monthly Sunday morning Shaharit LIVE! Service to its repertoire.
Instrumental services are a relatively new phenomenon in the Conservative movement. The 70’s and 80’s gave Jewish composers an opportunity to write Rock and Folk services, but these were seen as performances rather than continued venues for worship. A little more than 10 years ago, Craig Taubman, a leading Jewish recording artist, took off with an idea he penned “Friday Night Live!” Conservative synagogues around the country use his service to this day. It is one that combines new melodies with tunes made famous by the Chassidic Song Festivals of the 1970’s. Each synagogue that uses instruments to bring in Shabbat has its own twist on which tunes and which instruments are utilized.
While the format to creating a pre-shabbat sound might be the same, Koltrain is unique in many ways. Comprised of only synagogue members, Koltrain gives our community the opportunity to see members of the congregation in new ways. We have active Hebrew School and Day School parents who Jazz up every service they are a part of, instilling a sense of Jewish pride in their children. Our father-son pair of musicians enriches the family feel as well. Whether its our ritual co-chair jamming out while our ritual director strums a mean bass line, or our Men’s Club President plays the sweet sounds of the chalil while a Hebrew School teacher strums a groovy interpretation to the words “Open my lips that I may sing your praises,” Koltrain is an eclectic big band with an intimate flavor.
During the winter months, as Shabbat begins much earlier, the group decided to branch out so the talents could be utilized throughout the Jewish calendar year. By doing a rock service on Sunday mornings, Koltrain has also made it on to the world wide web via Youtube. Koltrain is looking forward to adding to its slate of activities by expanding to other venues such as Pizza in the Hut and Israeli Dance Night at the Center. The members are also working on creating a cd so that everyone who attends services may feel comfortable singing along. The Jacksonville Jewish Center would like to invite the entire community to take a peak at the not-so-hidden gem of Koltrain. May you find an outlet to sing and dance in new and profound ways. For further information regarding Koltrain and all of the instrumental services at the Jacksonville Jewish Center, please contact Hazzan Jesse Holzer at email@example.com .