Worship comes in many forms at Temple Sholom. No matter your comfort level with Hebrew, familiarity with customs, or whether you have visited with us before – you will find Temple Sholom to be a welcoming Spiritual home. Prayer is participatory, full of song, learning, and openness. We offer traditional prayer services as well as alternative worship environments, understanding that each of us feeds our souls in different ways.
What should I expect at a typical Friday night service?
Fridays tend to be our largest services. Most Fridays we meet at 6:30pm (but check the calendar first in case it is a 2nd Friday or a special service and then we meet at 8pm). Before we get to prayer, we always have a little nosh (something to eat) and greet one another from 6-6:30pm. Services begin promptly and last about an hour. There is an even mix of Hebrew and English in the service, however, if you don’t read Hebrew the prayer book (siddur) has transliteration so everyone can follow along. There is typically lots of singing and everyone tends to join in. The Rabbi is great at explaining the order of the service and prayers, particularly if she knows that someone new is in the room. There is usually a short sermon or a text study. Following Friday services, unless there is a meal onsite for the community, most of the Friday night service attendees go out to dinner together. We call it “Shul n’ Fuel” – nothing too fancy and everyone is invited. So, if you come for a Friday night service prepared yourself to be invited for dinner afterwards!
What is a Saturday morning service like?
Saturdays are very low key and great for the service attendee who prefers a smaller group. The service is comprised of traditional Sabbath morning liturgy, a Torah reading, reading from the prophets, and usually an animated text study based on the portion of the week. This group loves to study and discuss! The service has a significant amount of Hebrew and singing, though the prayer book (siddur) has transliteration so everyone can feel comfortable following along. It tends to be a bit more traditional in prayer but is still very welcoming and open for the beginner. It is a highly participatory, easy-going, intellectual service and study session that meets from 10:30am-12pm every Saturday.
How about holidays?
Holidays are very community oriented at Temple Sholom. On Simchat Torah you might find us dancing, cooking together, and making art. While on Chanukah you might see scavenger hunts and fun community-wide dinners. On Tu B’Shevat we plant trees and enjoy the best and most sophisticated potluck of the year. On Purim every single family in our community receives a handmade mishloach manot (special Purim treat bag) with handmade hamantaschen (cookies) and treats, all hand delivered to your door! On Passover you might see three different Seders happening for women, for freedom and for our community. Holiday celebrations are always participatory, welcoming, engaging and everyone is always welcome. Check the “calendar” to see upcoming holiday celebrations.
Can I bring my children?
Children are always, always welcome. There is an area in our worship space for young children who pray by play with books, drawing supplies, and quiet toys. We encourage families of all ages to bring their children – we see noise as signs of life and joy and welcome their presence. Additionally, we have unique programming and education for children of all ages. See “family education” for more information.
What should I wear?
Whatever you have on. Seriously. We are a casual and welcoming place. Some men prefer to wear slacks and women might prefer to wear something other than jeans, however, we assure you that we want you to wear what you feel comfortable wearing. During the High Holy Day season, people tend to dress up but on an average Friday night, and certainly on a Saturday without a b’nai mitzvah, people wear what they want.
During the service, you will see that we have the following available for you if you choose to wear these ritual garments:
- A Tallit (also known as a prayer shawl). This is a ritual garment for Jews who choose to wrap themselves in mitzvoth (good deeds). The fringes on the prayer shawl are symbolic of the 613 commandments. A tallit is worn during Saturday morning worship or whenever the Torah is read. Both men and women may choose to wear a tallit but it is not obligatory.
- A kippah (also known as a yarmulke or skullcap). Many people choose to wear a kippah when in a Jewish prayer setting. Men and women wear the kippah in the Reform Jewish world as a symbol of humility and respect. It is worn on the head and completely optional.
I haven’t been to a Jewish space for worship before, is there anything special I should know?
Yes! You are welcome and we want to include you. It helps if you email or call us before hand so we know to look for you and the Rabbi knows to explain more things in the service. On the Sabbath people greet one another by saying, “Shabbat Shalom” (translation: May you have a peaceful/restful Sabbath). If you are nervous about attending, consider streaming one of our Shabbat services from the privacy of your home so that you have a feel of our community. However, even the best stream cannot replace the feeling of warmth and welcoming you will have within our walls – so please – don’t hesitate and come on in! If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 513-791-1330.