As the capital of Kyrgyzstan erupted in violence Wednesday, members of the Central Asian nation’s small Jewish community held their breath and sat tight.
At Temple Congregation Ohabei Shalom in Nashville, Tenn., congregants newly trained in the ancient skill of shofar blowing sounded the ceremonial ram's horn for the first time this past Rosh Hashanah. It was the first time a lay member of the 150-year-old synagogue had blown the shofar.
"It was quite a pivotal moment" for the 800-family congregation, said its rabbi, Mark Schiftan.
Deeply rooted in classical Reform Judaism, the temple's services until recently were marked by choirs and English-only prayer. This Reform movement charter synagogue is undergoing upheaval, and it is not alone.