We have a traditional service, with davening almost exclusively in Hebrew with a lot of congregational singing. Friday evening services include a traditional and complete Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv service and often feature a speaker either from the community or an invited scholar. Shabbat morning we do a full Birkot Ha-shachar, Psukei D'zimra and full Shacharit, Torah, and Musaf services. Our services are accessible and welcoming because of the high level of engagement of our members and clergy. Visitors can participate/blend-in immediately by joining our more intimate Friday evening services (25 - 35) or our larger Saturday morning service (80 - 100).
Our community prayer is warm and inviting because our members do not just attend services, they actively participate and lead. On Shabbat morning, different members lead Shacharit, read Torah and Haftorah, lead Musaf, and even fill in for clergy to give a d’var Torah or lead a discussion on that week’s parsha.
Visitors are welcomed warmly, being offered honors and being welcomed to stay to eat with us at the Oneg (after Friday night services) or at the Kiddush (after Saturday morning services). A highlight of our week is our full Shabbat luncheon that is sponsored by different congregants every week. The large kahal that attends Shabbat morning services regularly stays afterward to eat, schmooze, and bond. We discuss our families, our joys and frustrations, the parsha, politics (synagogue, American and Israeli – nothing is off limits!); anything goes during this weekly ritual that we all treasure. Visitors can readily embrace and enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow community members each week – it is our weekly consistency of warmth, family, and joy that make us who we are.
We have babysitting available every Shabbat morning, but many of our kids prefer to stay in the main service where they are always welcome, waiting eagerly for their weekly “bimah moments” to open and close the Ark doors and lead Adon Olam. More unique than the fact that our post-B’nai Mitzvah teens regularly lead parts of the main Shabbat service is how often teens come to services just because they want to even when they are not leading t’filah.