AUGUSTA — Temple Beth El will host an innovative Selichot program Saturday to prepare for the High Holidays, beginning with a brief family friendly service at 7 p.m., during which the Torah covers will be changed to white. After services a time for socializing and desserts has been set aside until 8 p.m., when there will be a panel discussion about teshuvah, the Hebrew word for repentance.

The panel will discuss the topic of “Teshuvah from Different Perspectives.” The panel will include Chris Myers Asch, Maureen Drouin and Peter C. Fessenden.

Asch is a historian, writer and teacher. A native of Washington, D.C., he graduated from Duke University and the University of North Carolina. He taught with Teach For America in Mississippi, co-founded the Sunflower County Freedom Project, and wrote “The Senator and the “Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer.” He is at work on “Chocolate City: Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital.”

Drouin is the executive director of Maine Conservation Voters and leads the organization’s electoral, accountability and legislative programs. As a geology and environmental studies major at Bowdoin College, she spent countless hours hiking cliffs, wading through streams, taking geologic measurements and observing the natural beauty of Maine. Before coming to MCV, she advanced conservation at the state, regional and federal levels with several organizations, including National Audubon Society, Sierra Club and the Northern Forest Alliance. she graduated with honors from Bowdoin College and completed a one-year fellowship program with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing.

Fessenden is a standing Chapter 13 trustee for the District of Maine in Brunswick and acts as trustee for all chapter 12 cases filed in Maine. He founded and directed the Maine Legal Services for the Elderly Inc. He sometimes teaches bankruptcy as an adjunct at the University of Maine School of Law and is a law school team coach for the Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. He is a graduate of Antioch College and received his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law.

The service is open to the public and welcomes the entire community.

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