Hamden synagogue host for service of new year preparation

Rabbi Brian Immerman of Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden.

Rabbi Brian Immerman of Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden.

HAMDEN — Selichot, a service of preparation for Judaism’s High Holy Days, will be held Saturday at Congregation Mishkan Israel.

Rabbi Brian Immerman, spiritual leader of Mishkan Israel, said Thursday that the service, held on the Saturday before Rosh Hashana, is part of the month of the month of Elul, which traditionally “is a time of introspection.”

“It’s the first time during the High Holy Days season that we come together as a community to ask for forgiveness for our communal transgressions,” he said.

Rosh Hashana, the two-day Jewish new year — this year will be the Hebrew year 5779 — begins at sundown on Sept. 9 and ends at sundown Sept. 11. The High Holy Days conclude with Yom Kippur on Sept. 18 and 19.

“A lot of times we think of the High Holy Days as being the event,” Immerman said. “And traditionally in Judaism there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for the High Holy Days, so that you’ve taken stock of who we were and what we did in the last year … so we’re not asking those questions of ourselves for the first time” at Rosh Hashana.

In addition to “taking account of the soul” for the past year, “we think about who we want to be in the year to come,” he said.

Three other Reform congregations will join Mishkan Israel for the service: Temple Emanuel in Orange, Temple Beth David in Cheshire and B’nai Israel in Southbury. The service will begin at 7 p.m. Mishkan Israel is at 785 Ridge Road.