David Kaplinsky, the son of Barbara and Howard Kaplinsky, returned to New Orleans this morning to prepare for his volunteer service to Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation for the Rosh Hashanah services.
Kaplinsky, a private bar and bat mitzvah instructor in Chicago accepted an offer to read the Torah during the services now that Dr. Ashley Shocket had elected to step down from the duty he performed for the past 30 years.
“I’m always willing to jump in and help out,” he told the CCJN in a phone inteview. “Usually they have it very well booked,” he said. However, he was surprised to hear back from Rabbi Deborah Silver
“‘If you’d like to read, we’d be happy to have you,'” he remembered the rabbi saying.
“‘All of it would be great,'” he recalled her saying.
Previously, Kaplinsky had read several aliyot for his Conservative minyan at Congregation Anshe Emet and for the local Hillel, but this will be his biggest reading by far, he said. Still, he said, he is ready for the challenge.
“It’s a true honor to follow Dr. Ashley after so many years of beautiful High Holiday leyning for Shir Chadash,” Kaplinsky stated. “I was always impressed by his beautiful singing and the heart he put into his reading. I hope I can bring just a piece of that heart and beauty to my leyning.”