Soul-Stirringest Church Service 

Temple Beth Abraham

Oakland is home to some of the best gospel churches anywhere, from Allen Temple Baptist in East Oakland to Olivet Institutional Missionary on the west side. There's no doubt that the weekly sounds emanating from those houses of worship would stir any soul. But there's something new in Oaktown, and it's coming from a conservative Jewish synagogue, no less. Synagogues have never been known as houses of music. In fact, Jews traditionally have been a little, ahem, sedate when it comes to mixing chords with the Lord. But not at Temple Beth Abraham, at least not since Rabbi Mark Bloom came to town. Bloom is blowing a hole in tradition with his fourteen-member rock 'n' roll big band, replete with backup singers. And his congregants, old and young alike, are literally dancing in the aisles. Bloom's occasional Rock 'n' Roll Shabbat Friday night service routinely draws several hundred worshippers to the domed red-brick temple along I-580. "It's perhaps the most intergenerational event we have," says the young guitar-playing, rock-singing rabbi, who patterns his events after a similar service in Los Angeles and has become a local fan favorite, especially among the younger set.

Readers' Pick:
219 E 15th St., Oakland, 510-649-9999


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in People & Places

Most Popular Stories

  • Oakland Organic Gardener Wins Battle Against Roundup

    Diane Williams fought for two years to stop Oakland Unified from spraying the likely carcinogenic herbicide. And, finally, she was vindicated.
  • 40 in 40

    For our 40th anniversary, we compiled a list of 40 of the Express' memorable in-depth reports and the topics we've loved writing about the most.
  • Where's That Byline?

    Ever wonder what happened to former Express writers, editors, artists, and contributors? We compiled a (non-comprehensive) list of 40 former EBXers.
  • Oakland and Berkeley Homeless Sweeps May be Unconstitutional

    Homeless advocates say the recent federal appellate court ruling in Martin v. Boise could stop East Bay cities from imposing camping bans and other anti-homeless laws.
  • Express Columns, RIP

    We asked current and former EBXers to list off some of their favorite columns over the years.

Special Reports

Fall Arts 2018

Our Picks for the Best Events of the Fall Arts Season

The Queer & Trans Issue 2018

Stories about creating safe spaces in the Queer and Trans community.

© 2018 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation