Friday Evening: We welcome Erev Shabbat with a brief (45 minute) restorative,  song-filled and family-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service on Fridays at 6:15 PM, timed to allow participants to get home for Shabbat dinner. In warm seasons, weather permitting, we greet Shabbat outdoors on our patio. 

Every month or two we have our popular  “Shabbat Kulanu” potluck meals following the service, with more singing!.  “Kulanu,” meaning “all of us” in Hebrew, captures the feeling of togetherness that we experience on Friday night when we join as a community to pray, eat, and schmooze.

Saturday Morning: Shabbat morning services, which begin at 9:45 AM, are the heart of who we are – egalitarian, participatory, thoughtful, and joyful. We blend traditional Hebrew prayer with modern understandings and approaches. Our bimah, where the Torah is read, is at floor-level, with congregants seated in a semi-circle around it. Our service is intimate and accessible both physically, and spiritually.  

In the Reconstructionist spirit, the service is a joint effort of clergy and members. Rabbi Bronstein and Cantor Schiller lead the opening prayers (shacharit and the amidah). The Torah service is conducted almost entirely by members who serve as the gabbais, Torah and Haftarah readers and darshans, with Rabbi Bronstein providing context for the weekly parashah (Torah portion). Congregant volunteers sign up in advance to read the Torah and Haftarah and serve as darshanim giving an explication of that week’s Torah portion. The service is designed so that everyone, regardless of their level of Jewish knowledge or experience, can participate and enjoy the spirituality. 

Read more about taking part

Our Shabbat services depend upon congregant participation. Our greeters are members of the Board of Trustees and School Board. Volunteers chant the Torah and Haftarah and deliver the weekly d’var torah (sermon). Volunteers also serve as gabbais (Torah reading “secretaries”). Periodically the ritual committee sponsors a “gabbai college” for congregants interested in participating in this way.

One way of participating is by taking an “aliyah” (a Torah blessing honor). We encourage any Jewish adult to ask for an aliyah, whether for a special reason or for no reason at all. Our ritual committee is available for those who need a refresher course on aliyah protocol.
View Bir’chot Hatorah (Aliyah Blessings) here
Listen to Bir’chot Hatorah (Aliyah Blessings) here

Our Sunday morning Shacharit service is also a time for congregant participation. The service is short and peaceful, and a marvelous way to start the day and the new week. At the same time, we are providing a minyan for fellow congregants who are saying kaddish.

Families: Families are always encouraged to attend the main service. We provide a rug, children’s books, and toys in the sanctuary. Children are invited to follow the Torah procession, as well as to help lead the blessings over the grape juice and challah at the end of the main service in the Sanctuary. We also provide free babysitting and concurrent children’s programming which many of our young people choose to attend. Read about Family Programming.

Visitors: We welcome visitors to all our services. Our Shabbat morning greeters will be delighted to make you feel at home if you identify yourself as a visitor or a new member.  If you would like to have someone host you at a service, please email Ann Crane, a member of our Membership Outreach committee, and she will gladly arrange for someone to be your host.

The Role of Music

Babysitting 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Children are always welcome to join us at Shabbat services in the sanctuary but if being in the sanctuary becomes difficult for very young children, we offer babysitting every Shabbat morning for children ages two to six, at no charge. This is a safe and warm space for young children to be while their parents are engaged in prayer.

Shabbat No’ar (Youth Shabbat): 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM for ages 7-teens

This youth service meets on various dates throughout the year and provides an opportunity for children to take on leadership roles, including leading prayers, reading Torah, and sharing their learning about the weekly Torah portion. Read more

Pre-service Meditation: Some congregants prepare for Shabbat by gathering an hour before services for a Jewish meditation session, held on various dates throughout the year. View calendar.

Community Kiddush Lunch: Directly after services, you are warmly invited to join the entire congregation and all other guests to a communal Kiddush, featuring a light dairy lunch, coffee, and sweets and ample time to meet new friends and old. At Kiddush, we have a small table and chairs set up for kids to sit at and enjoy food and drink together with other children.

Acharei (“After”) Kiddush Programs: Several times a year, the BAS program committee arranges after (“acharei”) Kiddush talks by congregants or guests on a topic of interest.

Family Havdalahs: are also scheduled a few times a year, featuring snacks, singing, and stories for all ages, and concluding at dark with Havdalah, the brief and enchanting ceremony ushering out the Sabbath.  Read more