The synagogue has a service every Friday evening. But the Aberdeen congregation rarely hosts a Saturday morning service.
Today, though, a service is possible because the city is playing host to 13 members of a Jewish environmental organization called Hazon.
For the second year in a row, Hazon's cross-country bicycle trip includes a stop in Aberdeen. The last time B’nai Isaac had a Saturday service was when Hazon members were here a year ago.
The Saturday service is more complex than the Friday service, and includes the reading of the Torah, which is the body of Jewish religious literature. Five members of Hazon will lead different parts of today's service, which begins at 9:30 a.m.
Members of the B’nai Isaac congregation will enjoy today's gathering. “We don't have anybody here that can properly conduct the service,” said Bea Premack of Aberdeen.
This year's Hazon group totals four staff members and nine riders. They left Seattle on June 16 and will roll into Washington, D.C., on Aug. 15.
All three of Hazon's cross-country bike rides have included stops in Aberdeen. The first was in 2000. Hazon is based in New York City.
“Aberdeen has been a very special place in the history of this ride,” said Garth Silberstein, a New York City resident who is one of Hazon's staff members.
Nigel Savage, the founder and head of Hazon, was part of the trip to Aberdeen in 2000. When the cross-country rides are scheduled, Savage says the riders will naturally spend a Shabbat, or Sabbath, in Aberdeen, Silberstein said.
Although just three trips have been coast to coast, the organization also has regional bike rides, and in Israel.
Silberstein is one of the Hazon members who will lead today's service. He recently completed his first year of Rabbinical school at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York.
Premack, one of the members of B’nai Isaac, is invigorated by Hazon's visit.
“It's just an exciting thing for our little community to have this," she said.
The Aberdonians find the bicyclists spirited and fun. “Each one of them has such an an interesting story of who they are and why they're here,” Premack said.
The riders also like Aberdeen.
“What a beautiful town,” Ilan Levine said as he rolled up Friday afternoon to the suites at Presentation College, where the travelers are staying. Levine, a native of Columbus, Ohio, had toured Aberdeen on his bicycle before arriving at PC.
Why did the bicyclists come back again this year?
“Because they have a good time here. And we have a synagogue,” Premack said.
Two of the Hazon members — Silberstein and Adrienne Winton — were part of last year's trip to Aberdeen.