Shabbat is the centerpiece of our week.
Led by our clergy, with congregational participation, Shabbat services provide us with a way to connect with ourselves, with the community, and with God.
Congregation Habonim is proudly, and intentionally, an intergenerational community, and as such we are committed to creating a meaningful, prayerful environment for all who attend.
We believe that the most vibrant tefillah is created by the full participation of the community, and therefore we encourage all who attend to BE PRESENT in any way that is meaningful to each individual: through singing or humming along, through heartfelt prayer or meditation, by welcoming guests and assisting them in finding the correct page, by kvelling (Yiddish word meaning the expression of express great pleasure combined with pride) along with those who celebrate lifecycle events, and by offering comfort to those who have in need. We also encourage everyone over Bar/Bat Mitzvah age to learn to read Torah or Haftara, to give a Dvar Torah (a teaching on the weekly torah portion), and to lead parts of the service. Please contact Cantor Halev if you would like to participate in services or if you wish to learn any of these skills.
Unless otherwise noted, our Shabbat services for the congregation take place on Fridays at 6:30 pm and on Saturdays at 9:30 am.
Following Shabbat morning services, our entire community gathers to eat lunch together. A delicious catered meal is provided each week (If you are interested in sponsoring a Kiddush please contact Adina Rifkin.) After lunch and Birkat Hamazon, the Shabbat Beit Midrash meets. The Shabbat Beit Midrash is a participatory study session led by our clergy, a member of our congregation, or a distinguished guest teacher. You can see a list of our upcoming Beit Midrash sessions on our Adult Education page.
We also offer a variety of services for children and families:
- First Friday Evenings of each month - January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, and June 2, 2017
- 5:00 pm - Tot Shabbat (ages 5 & under, with parents/caregivers) - this is an opportunity for our youngest children to socialize in a community and to engage with other Jewish families. This is also an excellent opportunity for our non-member families to get to know us and to become familiar with our family and children's programming.
- 5:30 pm - Light dinner with Tot Shabbat attendees + our Gan-Aleph-Bet (Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade) students and families
- 6:00 pm - Family Kabbalat Shabbat service - this is a time for the family, along with the entire congregation, to celebrate Shabbat together with music and dancing in a family-style atmosphere.
- Shabbat morning programming for children and families:
- For children ages 5 and under, we offer Torah Tots, a Shabbat morning experience for the entire family that includes, music, movement and interactive activities. The Torah Tots service meets each Shabbat from 11:00 am - 12:00 noon, followed by Kiddush lunch with the congregation, and is led by members of the Congregation Habonim faculty. Children attending our Torah Tots service must be accompanied by parents or caregivers, and older siblings and other family members are also welcome.
- For children ages 6-10 or in our Religious School's Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades, Congregation Katan is a Shabbat morning experience that gives children the opportunity for movement, prayer and singing. As the year progresses children will have the opportunity to lead the service as they learn the different prayers and experience an age-appropriate Shabbat service followed by a Kiddush lunch. Congregation Katan meets from 10:45 am - 12:00 noon, on the following dates in 2017: January 7, February 11, March 4, April 1, May 13.
- For children in grades 3, 4 and 5, Junior Congregation is a slightly more advanced version of Congregation Katan. Students lead significant portions of the service, such as the Barchu, the Shema and its accompanying passages, and the Amidah, and engage in discussion about the week's Torah portion. Junior Congregation meets from 10:45 am - 12:00 noon, on the following dates in 2017: January 7, February 11, March 4, April 1, and May 13.
We also hold other Shabbat-related events throughout the year, both for the Religious School community and for the entire congregation and general public, such as Havdalah celebrations, Friday evening dinners, and more.
For information about Religious School and Family programming, contact Rina Cohen Schwarz. For general information about services and about Congregation Habonim, contact Kenny Altman. We look forward to seeing you!