What is Congregational Shabbat? by Cantor Andrew Bernard

Congregational Shabbat is an energetic, highly participatory, multi-generational Shabbat morning series of activities, food, and worship designed to engage the great diversity of our Temple Beth El community.

Beginning nine years ago, we adjusted the b’nei mitzvah calendar so that we could devote one Shabbat morning each month during the academic year (October through May) to fulfilling the threefold mission of a synagogue: to be a house of study, a house of communal gathering and celebration, and a house of prayer.sanctuary-congregational-shabbat-oct-2014-web

At 9:00am there is adult learning, Tot Shabbat worship and activities, Sheva (our 7th grade Religious School program), and other specialized programs that serve our congregants. Simultaneously, our Teen Band and Teen Vocal Ensemble rehearse in preparation for worship.

Between study and prayer, we eat…of course! Oh, and schmooze…of course!

At 11:00am, our Congregational Shabbat worship begins. Members of our congregation chant Torah and Haftarah, deliver the D’var Torah, and take up the liturgical honors of the service. Our Teen Band and Teen Vocal Ensemble bring beauty and energy through their music. And we have the opportunity to thank and celebrate congregants from across the spectrum who make Temple Beth El the vibrant and warm community we love and enjoy. The liturgy, led by our clergy team, brings the Sanctuary to life!

People attending Congregational Shabbat for the first time are swept away by the energy and sense of community that the morning brings. Never been? Come for part of the morning or settle in for the full experience, and join us for this lively and unique Shabbat celebration.teen-vocal-teen-band-congregational-shabbat-web