Beth El, Oheb Shalom to host spoken word artist for special Tisha B’Av program

SO-tisha bav robbins-WSOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Congregation Beth El and Oheb Shalom Congregation will commemorate Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the anniversary of a number of disasters in Jewish history, with an evening of spoken word poetry featuring spoken word artist Joseph D. Robbins.

The program will take place at Beth El, 222 Irvington Ave. in South Orange, on Saturday, Aug. 13, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Congregation Beth El and Oheb Shalom Congregation communities will join together for a light dinner before the fast of Tisha B’Av begins. The community at large is also welcome to attend.

A nationally renowned spoken word artist, Robbins will share poetry that reflects the themes of the mournful day, including destruction, loss, Jerusalem, senseless hatred and injustice. The program will be followed by the traditional reading of Eicha, the Book of Lamentations, at 9 p.m., led by Rabbi Jesse Olitzky and Cantor Erica Lippitz. The following afternoon, Sunday, Aug. 14, the community joins together for mincha services at Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Road in South Orange.

Robbins is an award-winning poet and author. Known for his unique writing style and his distinctive voice, Robbins is well known in both the New York City poetry slam scene, and also among Jewish audiences, particularly teen youth groups. Robbins draws on personal experience and a background in storytelling, delivering poignant pieces that elicit passionate responses from audiences of all ages.