2024 Temple Aliyah Shabbaton



Please join us for a weekend featuring Master Storytellers & Musicians

Rabbi Mark Novak and Renée Brachfeld.

They are a dynamic husband & wife performing duo who draw their material from the warmth and richness
of the Jewish tradition. 

The weekend features a Friday night Shabbat Dinner, a Storytelling Workshop, an evening of Musical Merriment and Magical Storytelling on Saturday evening, and a Sunday program for kids!

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 1 Kabbalat Shabbat, Shabbat Dinner, and Storytelling Workshop

5:30 pm – First Seating

6:15 pm – Kabbalat Shabbat Services

7: 15 pm – Second Seating

8:00 pm – “We are the Stories we Tell” a Community Building Experience Workshop with Renée

Join Renée for a gentle and fun introduction to the art of personal storytelling. Through guided exercises and partner work, Renee creates a safe and supportive environment for you to begin to tell your own stories. Babysitting will be provided.

RSVP by Monday, February 26 at 5:00 PM


$30/ Adult

$18/ Child (6-12 yrs.)

$6/ Under 5 yrs.

$80 Max/Family (ONLY INCLUDES 2 ADULTS )

Saturday, March 2 – Shabbat Morning Services, Kiddush Luncheon, and a Kiddush Conversation with Rabbi Mark Novak, 9:15 am

Please join us for Shabbat Services followed by a delicious Kiddush Luncheon. After Kiddush, join Rabbi Novak for a Kiddush Conversation: The Path of Blessings – a deep dive into each of the 6 words that begin every Bracha – Baruch Atah Adonai EloheinuMelechHaOlam.



Saturday Evening, March 2 – An Evening of Musical Merriment and Magical Storytelling, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
The fun continues for ADULTS ONLY on Saturday night with a rollicking, thought provoking, joyful performance, brimming with folk tales, music, song and contemporary stories drawn from Hebrew, Yiddish, Sephardic and American Jewish sources. (And some amazing juggling feats)!!

Join us for a Havdalah service at 7:00 pm followed by the concert at 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served after the concert.

Cost: $18/ ticket. 



Sunday, March 3 – A program for ALL Temple Aliyah School Aged Children grades K-7
(Mercaz, Day-school & all other children).

Mercaz Aliyah Students Tefillah – 9:30 am to 10:00 am

All School-aged Children Tzedakah/ Art Project in Social Hall – 10:00 am to 10:45 am

Storytelling & Concert Performance in Sanctuary – 10:45 am to 11:45 am*

*Parents are invited to enjoy refreshments during the performance.



Master storytellers Renée Brachfeld and Rabbi Mark Novak have been presented as Scholars/Artists in Residence at over 160 synagogues across the US and Canada, leading services, presenting workshops, and performing for both adult and family audiences.

They are co-founders of The MultiFaith Storytelling Institute. They have shared their vision of sacred storytelling at the Wisconsin Chaplaincy Association annual retreat and a full week’s course at The Vancouver Theological Seminary.

 In addition they have been featured presenters at LimmudFest in England, Limmud NY, Ruach HaAretz, Routes,                            and the Seattle International Storytelling Festival.

Reb Mark is founder and spiritual guide of MOSh: Minyan Oneg Shabbat, the only exclusively online Zoomagogue. He received Simcha (Rabbinical Ordination) in 2012 from Reb Zalman Shachter-Shalomi Z”L and ALEPH. Mark is a professional musician, storyteller, hazzan, songwriter, liturgist, avid gardener and Washington Nationals baseball fan.

Mark began his music career as a child, singing in a professional Jewish choir, and appearing on Broadway in the musical Oliver. From 1977-1986 he was the music director of Living Stage Theater Company at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Renée has been a professional storyteller (and juggler!) since 1987.   

In addition to performing she teaches various workshops, including her current passion for building community through storytelling.

Renee has led workshops for the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, and for the Unity Walk in Washington DC. She also leads extended retreats and week-long classes. Her work has been featured on NPR, and has been published in Peninah Schram’s Chosen Tales, and Goldie Milgram’s Mitzvah Stories. 

During the pandemic, Renee taught baking workshops online for synagogues around the country. She is an avid runner and equestrian and she’d be happy to tell you all about the Ride & Tie races.