Midbar Kodesh Temple, PJ Library Las Vegas and the David L. Simon Foundation recently joined together to bring musician Rick Recht to the Las Vegas community for an Artist-in-Residence weekend. Rick Recht is one of the most celebrated Jewish artists of our time playing at Shabbat Alive! services and family, religious school, teen, camp, and tot concerts throughout the United States and abroad. Recht is widely recognized as a pioneer of the Jewish rock music genre, elevating the medium of Jewish music as a powerful and effective tool for developing Jewish pride and identity. In addition to his role as an artist, Recht is regarded as a top Jewish educator and song leader in the Jewish world and is a spokesperson for PJ Library.
The weekend began with MKT's Tot Shabbat followed by Friday evening services and on to Saturday morning where Midbar Kodesh Temple congregants, guests and community shared a ruach filled Shabbat with the gifted performer.
Later in the evening PJ Library hosted a Havdalah service led by Rick at the home of Nancy and Irv Weinberger where over 40 children and their families gathered together under the stars to say goodbye to Shabbat and welcome in the new week. Irv showed off his guitar skills while playing alongside Rick, his longtime friend. Kind words were shared by the Livits, Weiss, Frankl, and Rivera families about what made this moment and this Shabbat so special. Havdalah bags were given out to each family with spiced teas, glow sticks, and mini grape juices so everyone could participate in the ceremony. Rick Recht shared some songs and prayers and read “Thank You God For Me”, a book he wrote many years ago for PJ Library when his son Kobi, now 15, was born. The evening finished out with a campfire, a s’mor making station and a turn in the family photo booth.
On Sunday morning the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada and PJ Library hosted a teacher enrichment program for Jewish educators. The special workshop held at the JCC campus brought over twenty community members together. Recht facilitated his internationally known “Song Leader Boot Camp” workshop, focusing on leadership and being the best version of ourselves every day. Much laughter and even a few tears filled the room and some became overwhelmed with emotion and the powerful feeling of community. This time together provided renewal for these hard working professionals which included camp counselors in training, nurses, Cantors, CCSD, religious school, and and preschool teachers. PJ Library’s Marissa Spivak said that she was thrilled that the JCC and PJ Library could bring this program to Las Vegas.
The partnering continued as Midbar Kodesh Temple’s Cantor Daniel Gale took the stage to welcome Rick Recht in concert and to welcome a house filled with children, parents, grandparents, family and friends. Several community Cantors and their families and congregants also participated, as again, ruach filled the room. Preschoolers, religious school students and teens took the stage to sing with Rick, accompanied by his friend Irv Weinberger and pianist and Temple Beth Sholom’s DJ Sinai.
Midbar Kodesh Temple’s Club Kehillah, PJ Library and the David L. Simon Foundation will partner again on Sunday, Februray 12 with a Garden Party in honor of Tu B’shevat. Free to all, a light luncheon, art stations and a planting activity are planned. RSVPs for the event can be called into Midbar Kodesh Temple at 702.454.4848 and the Jewish Community Center at 702.794.0090.