Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

What We’re Reading This Summer

This Summer, Kol Ami is taking on two important books as we prepare our minds and souls for High Holidays.

Beginning on Tuesday evening, July 21st, we will gather in a series of 6 Zoom meetings to discuss Rabbi Alan Lew’s guidebook to the High Holidays from Tisha B’Av through Sukkot, This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation.

The journey I will describe in these pages is one of self-discovery, spiritual discpline, self-forgiveness, and spiritual evolution. It is the snapshot the Jewish people pull out every autumn of the journey all human beings must make across this world: the journey from Tisha b’Av to Sukkot, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, from birth to death and back to renewal again. Seeing yourself in this snapshot will help you chart the course of your own spiritual evolution. Every soul needs to express itself. Every heart needs to crack itself open. Every one of us needs to move from anger to healing, from denial to consciousness, from boredom to renewal. These needs did not arise yesterday. They are among the most ancient of human yearnings, and they are fully expressed in the pageantry and ritual of the Days of Awe, in the great journey we make between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Join us for 45-minute discussions and meditation on each of the steps in this ancient journey of transformation.

Schedule: Each session will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

July 21, Chapters 1-3 (Tisha B’Av) led by Rabbi Gilah, Jason Weiss, and Elizabeth Greene

August 18, Chapter 4 (Elul) led by Amber Baum

September 1, Chapters 5-6 (Selichot and Rosh Hashanah) led by Ruth Anne Faust

September 15, Chapters 7-8 (Days of Awe and Kol Nidre) led by Mattie Cohan

September 22, Chapters 9-10 (Yom Kippur) Led by Jason Weiss and Elizabeth Greene

October 6, Epilogue (Sukkot) Led by Jason Weiss and Elizabeth Greene


Join us on the evening of Saturday, September 12th for Selichot as we discuss Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an AntiRacist, and explore how to move forward as allies of the movement to uphold the truth that Black lives matter.  This is a joint service of Kol Ami and Shirat HaNefesh

8:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. Havdalah
8:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. Book Discussion
9:45 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Selichot Service with Rabbi Gilah and Hazzan Ramón Tasat

Our book discussions are open to the wider community.

Email for registration information.

Contact Kol Ami

P.O. Box 1801, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 571-336-5544
Rabbi's Study: 202-364-3006

Where We Meet

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) & George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 22204
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