Shabbat worship is the cornerstone of the spiritual life of B’nai Israel.
Each week we strive to create warm, welcoming, participatory worship services that help us to connect with Judaism, deepen our learning and experience the spiritual renewal, peace, joy and sense of celebration that Shabbat can bring.
- Many B’nai Israel members attend regularly and establish a sense that people know and care about each other.
- Members and visitors are warmly greeted before services. On Friday nights there is pre-Oneg Shabbat at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday mornings, a bagel breakfast follows the 8:00 a.m. service.
- People of all ages and family configurations are made to feel welcome, and congregants of all ages value the presence of children and young people.
- The new Reform siddur (prayer book) Mishkan T’filah engages those schooled in Hebrew as well as those who prefer to utilize transliteration when praying in Hebrew. English readings add a measure of reflection and connection.
- Music is central to the worship experience, and harmony fills the room with the sound of voices lifted up in song.
- There is intellectual stimulation at services – a chance to gain new insights into Torah, Jewish tradition or contemporary Jewish issues.
- Lay people frequently assist in leading parts of a service, read Torah and Haftara, give d’rashot and lead minyanim.
- Festival and High Holy Day services are as participatory and engaging as Shabbat services.
- Our worship helps us to experience and appreciate the presence of God, and gives us a heightened awareness of the blessings in our lives.