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Silverlake Independent JCC Blends Old And New Traditions In Yom Kippur Prayer Service

Crowds gathering outside the Siliverlake Indepedent Jewish Community Center before Yom Kippur service.
Crowds gathering outside the Siliverlake Indepedent Jewish Community Center before Yom Kippur service.
Courtesy SIJCC

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October 9 was Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Many spent the day fasting, praying and reflecting on the past year - as tradition has it. But in some L.A. synagogues, there’s room for new traditions. 

The fourth annual Yom Kippur service at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center was led by Deanna Neil, the founder of "Pop-Up Shul." It included many of the traditional torah readings and liturgy but shortened and sprinkled with modern twists, like the poetry of Mary Oliver and the music of Leonard Cohen.

"A lot of us have memories from our childhood of services that are really boring, or really not meaningful," said  SIJCC executive director Neil Spears. "We’re trying to take the best nuggets of Jewish wisdom, Jewish tradition, and Jewish text and re-enliven them to make them relevant today."