Week of December 9 - 13, 2013 (6 - 10 Tevet 5774)
Week of December 16 - 20, 2013 (13 - 17 Tevet 5774)
Week of December 23 - 27, 2013 (20 - 24 Tevet 5774)
December 14, 2013 ~ 11 Tevet 5774
December 15, 2013 ~ 12 Tevet 5774
World Wide Wrap
Murray Spiegel and Richard Stein
At Beth El we believe that worship as a community is a central piece of what it means to be a synagogue. Through a variety of prayer opportunities at different times and in varying settings, we seek to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for individuals and families to truly appreciate their connection to G-d and our community. Whether in a more traditional service setting like the Daily Minyan or a family Friday night service, the goals of worship at Beth El are always the same, to elevate the spiritual lives of the participants, and for participants to leave feeling more connected to the community and to G-d. All of our services are fully egalitarian and use the new Sim Shalom siddur.
At Beth El we take our responsibility for daily prayer very seriously. We pride ourselves on being one of the only Conservative congregations that offer the traditional three prayer services (Shacharit, Mincha and Ma'ariv) every day of the year. As such, our Mincha and Ma'ariv services begin close to Shki'a (sunset), and our Friday night services begin a moment or two after the candle-lighting time (but never later than 6pm). Daily minyan is usually held in our Chapel.
The Friday night service is usually a more intimate prayer experience than Shabbat morning and is most often held in our Chapel. The regular Friday night service is based on the traditional liturgy and is infused with spirit by upbeat melodies and the camaraderie of the attendees. In addition to our regular 6pm service, on the first Friday of every month we hold a late service at 8pm called Friday Night Prime. This service includes a discussion with one of the rabbis on a hot topic of the moment. Also, on the third Friday night of every month we host a family service at 7pm with a celebratory feel and an emphasis on learning, participation and a special celebration of birthdays.
Shabbat morning is our primary time for services. We are very proud of our Main Sanctuary service, which is the primary venue for people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of learning to come together in prayer. The service runs from 9-12am, but as Rabbi Krupnick likes to teach, it begins for you whenever you get there. The service features beautiful traditional prayers led by our hazzan (we love to sing), words of Torah shared by our rabbis (we love to learn) and a full Torah reading by our corps of over one hundred (and counting) readers trained by our hazzan. The congregation follows the reading in the Eitz Chaim Chumash. Newcomers to Beth El overwhelmingly tell us that they appreciate our "laid back" and "engaging" style and we are proud to provide such a welcoming setting for all.
We also offer a wide variety of services on Shabbat morning, including Shabbat Pray and Play (4-6 year olds), MY Service (grade school) and Teen Service (7th grade - high school). (You can read more about those services in the "Youth Services" section of this website.) At the end of the various services, all participants are encouraged to join the conclusion of services in the Main Sanctuary. On a "typical" Shabbat we can expect over 400 people to join us. At the close of our Shabbat morning service, our Bimah is flooded with children who lead us in the concluding prayers. Our Shabbat Kiddush is a special time as well. That chance to socialize is also an important part of our overall mission in creating a meaningful Shabbat experience for everyone.
On Saturday evening we gather one last time for the afternoon and evening services. This hour-long service, held in our Chapel and starting about a half hour before sunset, is like a mini-Shabbat morning service. This generally smaller gathering enjoys a short Torah reading, the beautiful davening of our hazzan, and the sharing of some words of Torah from one of our rabbis. The service provides an opportunity to come together to celebrate the last precious minutes of Shabbat and to sing her goodbye by the light of the havdalah candle.