Sim Shalom and UJUC Rabbis to Offer Services of Awe for High Holidays

On October 3,Sim Shalom Online Synagogue founder Rabbi Blane, will offer a Rosh Hashanah Jazz service to an adventurous group of congregants looking for an innovative place to celebrate the Jewish New Year. “The beginning of the Jewish Calendar, is a fitting time to make beautiful noise,” according to Rabbi Blane. “The Torah prescribes us to sound of the shofar creating a joyful noise . Melding the vitality of the musical rhythms with traditional Jewish liturgy is a perfect way for us to reflect on Continue reading →

Fountain of Youth Springs with Sim Shalom Rabbi’s Jazz Concert at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh

On Friday, September 16, 2016 Rabbi Steve Blane, Founder of Sim Shalom online synagogue, and Dean of JSLI, Jewish Spiritual Leader’s Institute, brought his love of jazz and Judaism together at the Rockleigh, NJ Jewish Home. Joined by New York bass player Kevin Hailey they performed Rabbi Blane’s original songs as well as Jazz Standards and traditional Jewish prayers for the residents. As soon as Rockleigh Jewish Home Sunni Herman, Exec VP, encountered Rabbi Blane she decided to bring him to share his musicality at Continue reading →

NYC Rabbi Cantor Transcends Faith in Nashville and Records Inspirational Album

Steven Blane, founder of Sim Shalom, the world’s only online Jewish Universalist synagogue and also a singer-songwriter is heading to Nashville to record an album of his original songs. The album, which will be produced by highly regarded Christian Music Producer, Billy Smiley will feature many of Blane’s inspirational songs, two of which he will premiere live at this year’s upcoming High Holiday Services at the Bitter End. The recording will take place at the iconic Dark Horse studios in Nashville. Comfortable in the Alternative/Folk/Indie Continue reading →

JSLI Ordains the Future of the Rabbinate with 11th Class of Global Rabbis

On the weekend of July 9th, 2016 the online Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute Rabbinical School of Sim Shalom, celebrated the ordination of 12 new Rabbis, a total of 112 strong, in Delray Beach, Florida. The school and the jubilant ordination redefines the process of Rabbinical studies to fulfill the growing need of cutting edge solutions that meet the criteria of the twenty- first century Jewish congregant. Twelve newly ordained Rabbis joined the 100 JSLI trained Rabbis before them that serve worldwide in congregations as pulpit Continue reading →

Sim Shalom Rabbi Cantor Finds Heaven Singing in NYC Jazz Club

On Tuesday nights, after Maariv services are concluded, Sim Shalom founder Rabbi and Cantor Steven Blane, substitutes his yarmulka for a fedora and preaches music of a smooth spiritual kind. Accompanied by the jazz musician Kevin Hailey on upright bass, Blane on piano and vocals, delivers contemporary bluesy original jazz songs about love, wit and joy at the Beekman Bar and Books Club located in New York City. The duets balanced harmony comes from the soul, the lyrics echo standards with fresh modernity, and the Continue reading →

Jewish Chronicle- Jewish Denominations- On the Decline or Rise? Great Op-Ed by Rabbi Reichmann

In light of today’s arguments regarding the ordination of women in the Orthodox movement, of Israeli rabbis not recognizing American Jewish decision-making, of changing policies and perspectives regarding the LGBT community, of these and many more, is Jewish denominationalism a destructive force? Is it a unifying force? Something else? Clearly, the modern world does not want or work with a “one size fits all” approach to Judaism. This has been true for most of the 20th century if not for the whole of the Jewish diaspora. Continue reading →

Sim Shalom Finds The Beef In Religious Responsibility And Joins Meatless Monday Campaign

Sim Shalom, the online synagogue, already considered the greenest of synagogues with no commuting required, joined the international Meatless Monday campaign, its latest calling to protect G-d ‘s creation. Tikkun Olam, to repair the world, is at the core of Sim Shalom’s tenets and its Meatless Monday commitment. The goal is to cultivate an understanding of Jewish environmental responsibility and foster participation. The Meatless Monday Campaign was launched in association with Sid Lerner and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2003 as an Continue reading →

A Bible Belt Congregant Finds His Way Home to Judaism With Sim Shalom Conversion

On December sixth,2016 the journey of Robert Hadley’s conversion to Judaism took on profound significance as he recited the Hebrew blessing and lit his first menorah candle wearing a yarmulke and a tallit which draped over his Seth Rogen look alike Chanukah sweater. Hadley, a Sim Shalomonline synagogue congregant, converted to Jewish Universalism and has enjoyed other Jewish Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Passover as a Jew by Choice. According to Hadley, “Choosing to convert to Judaism was a process that began after the birth Continue reading →

Live Jazz High Holiday CD Released From Sim Shalom

Sim Shalom’s new CD, fuses the raw emotion of jazz and the traditional liturgy of ancient Jewish High Holiday prayer and music. Sim Shalom, the world’s first purely virtual synagogue, brings its inventive programming to the High Holidays each year with jazzed up Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. During the High Holidays, members of the Jewish community reflect upon life and the year that has passed. They pray that the year ahead will bring blessings and peace. Jazz is thoughtful music, improvisation within a Continue reading →