As we strive to become the kind of place where every Jew can find something to refresh their soul on Shabbat, we have created new opportunities to connect with God, Torah and yourself. During the first two hours of Shabbat, we have a combination of either a study opportunity or a different parallel service. Every Shabbat will open with an opportunity to hang out and say “Shabbat Shalom” to friends and family over cold brew coffee or hot tea, made available from 9:15 am and throughout the morning. Then it’s your choice.
- a) Join us for our Shabbat Service held in the Sanctuary OR
- b) Come study with us during our Torah Conversations held from 9:30 to 10:15 am. See descriptions below.
Afterward, you can either join the Special Service of the week from 10:15-11:15 am (descriptions below) or join the traditional Torah service with the Rabbi’s interactive guidance.
We will all join together for the sermon at 11:15 am, followed by an exciting Musaf service.
By Kiddush luncheon, we hope you are hungry for food and good conversation, as sharing time together is an essential piece of Shabbat, ‘the day for delight.’
Torah Conversations: Every Shabbat 9:30-10:15 am
“Torah Conversations” is a new initiative formed here at Beth-El to encourage small group, interactive study of various Jewish topics each Shabbat. It began on Aug. 17. Each class addresses a topic in a five to ten week curriculum and encourages study, through an interactive exchange of ideas. Expect to see this list expand and change over the year. If the current class doesn’t match your interests, don’t worry. There will be other opportunities. Participants are asked to sign up so the facilitator knows how many to expect.
Our 10-week series called “Praying WITH: Finding a Personal Connection to Jewish Prayers” is held on Shabbat mornings and began on Aug. 17. It occurs 9:30 am-10:15 am and is facilitated by our Rebbitzen Bethany Slater. Using study materials from Project Zug, this course invites participants to look anew at the prayer book and to investigate the Shabbat and weekday prayers with an eye toward personal meaning. As we get ready to spend the High Holidays standing opposite our prayer book, this class is a great opportunity to learn skills for unlocking these prayers. Participants are asked to register for the class and to come as consistently as possible. Sign up here.
“The Balancing Act: Being a Jewish Parent” is another Torah Conversation that will happen once a month over the course of the year and will be facilitated by Dalia Abrams. From 9:30-10:15 am, we will reflect together about parenting, its joys and challenges, and learn skills rooted in Jewish values to grow our parenting tool box and build a nurturing family environment. You can expect a warm, safe and genuine atmosphere. Children are welcome to come with their parents. Child care available if you prefer.
Special Services: Every Shabbat 10:15-11:15 am
For the last few years, Nan Unkenholz has provided another access point to Saturday morning services, with Yoga Nidra. Last year, Sarah Metzger led a Family Service that many enjoyed. And for several years now, Shira Goldberg has led an engaging Tot Shabbat for the littlest ones. Building off of the richness of these services we are expanding the options on Saturday mornings. We will be running concurrent services every Shabbat. From 10:15-11:15 am, you can participate in one of the following:
Tardema: Meditative Rest Is a Time for Calm Reflection
On the first Shabbat of every month, Nan Unkenholz will lead a Jewish guided meditation. Many choose to bring yoga mats and lay on the floor during this practice but you may also sit in a chair if that is more comfortable for you.
Shir Chadash: A Joyful Shabbat Service for All Ages and Tot Shabbat
Once a month, Sarah Metzger will lead services which will include upbeat songs played with a guitar. If you loved your summer camp prayer experiences, this is for you. Children are warmly invited to come to sing along or play in the environment along with a responsible adult. These special services will coincide with a Family Shabbat that includes L’Dor v’Dor Shabbat School lessons and Tot Shabbat (led by Shira Goldberg and Bethany Slater) from 11 am-noon.
Shalem: Cultivating Wholeness
Once each month (typically the third Saturday), Sharron Mendel Swain will lead this mindful service on wholeness. What better time than just before the High Holidays to embark on our own healing journey with monthly Shalem (meaning, wholeness) services? Each month Sharron will open up space for us to reflect using poetry, stories, songs and prayer.
Sept. 21: Forgiving Others: Timed to take place right before the Days of Awe, this session will give participants the opportunity to practice asking for (and offering) forgiveness. We’ll practice with humor, kindness and joy, with things and people that are totally safe. Whether or not you choose to take this out and do it in real life, you’ll definitely come away with a new experience of how liberating forgiveness can feel, on both sides of the equation.
Yom Kippur Afternoon: Let’s face it, sometimes the holidays are hard. Whether you’re dealing with an illness, a heartbreak, a loss, or a disappointment, you are invited to come to take part in this special service. This will be a time to come together in community, to find comfort in poetry, our personal lamentations, silence and songs. There is healing power in connecting with others when things are tough, and in sharing dreams and aspirations for the coming year.
Keruv: For Drawing Near
Each month (typically the fourth Saturday), Bethany Slater will lead us through the Shacharit service, engaging the prayers with thoughtful reflection in both Hebrew and in English and with song and silence. The goal is to connect to the emotional and spiritual arc of Shacharit. This service is good for beginners or for advanced daveners.