Community You Can Believe In
Overview of Services
- Daily morning and evening minyan
- Friday evening services
- Saturday morning services
- Shabbat Mincha/Afternoon Service
- Shabbat activities for preschool children
- Services and activities for school-aged children
- Shabbat Live!
- Shabbat Under the Stars
- Congregational Study
- Special Adults Services
- Festival Services
- High Holiday Services
Service and Activity Offerings
Morning and evening minyan is held in the Chapel each weekday. The morning minyan is held at 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday. The evening minyan is held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; it begins at 6:00 p.m. on most festivals.
Each minyan includes Kaddish for those in mourning and those observing yahrzeit and incorporates some English readings. We read Torah on Monday and Thursday mornings, as well as on Rosh Chodesh (the new month). At each service we read a list of names of those loved ones for whom yahrzeit is being observed. Our minyans are very welcoming to those who are saying Kaddish or simply want to sit in the comfort of a prayer community.
What is appropriate dress for Shabbat?
Parents and their youngest children are welcome to attend our main services on both Friday night and Shabbat morning. In addition, preschoolers and their parents can join in Shababa once a month on a Friday night and Mazel Tots on periodic Shabbat mornings.
Shababa, 5:45 p.m.: Kids age five and under experience the joy of Shabbat with dancing and singing with Rabbi Garber, followed by a chicken nugget dinner. In summer months, we run in the sprinkler after dinner.
Mazel Tots, 11:00 a.m.: Jennifer Schwartzman leads our youngest friends and their parents in a spirited setting. Share meaningful experiences with prayers and Torah stories, and join us as Jewish traditions and stories come to life through play.
Shabbat programs meet monthly from September through May.
Mini-Minyan is the next step for our Shababa graduates. Kids ages 5-8 join Barbara Checknoff for Friday night prayers and stories. Then they join our Shababa friends for chicken nugget dinner.
Our all new Shabbat Club makes it cool for kids @shul. Created by Beth El parents Jason Kay and Alan Tuvin, SC is for kids in grades 1-5. Songs, prayers, stories, games, snacks (did we say snacks?!!) and more make Shabbat Club the place to be! Attendance incentives help too!
For more information about our children’s programs, please contact Rabbi Ilana Garber at 860-233-9696.
Special Shabbat Services and Activities
Beth El offers different services and activities during the year:
Shabbat Under the Stars: an outdoor service preceded by a bar-b-que. Welcome Shabbat and schmooze with friends at this fun and festive evening, under the stars.
Special Adults’ Service: Once each month Beth El and our JCL (Jewish Association for Community Living) friends join together to explore the morning service through prayer and Torah, story, signs and songs. We follow with a kiddush luncheon.
Shabbat Yoga: Wear yoga clothes (yes, to synagogue!) and bring a mat if you have one. This all-levels class incorporates yoga poses and Hebrew prayers. Open to all (children too, if they can participate in a quiet yoga class). Check Temple Topics or the Shabbat Leaflet for dates.
Women’s Circle: Women join together in prayer, song, study and movement. Check Temple Topics or the Shabbat Leaflet for dates.
Our Festival offerings range from the traditional services on Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot, to Sukkah Dinner/Services, Simchat Torah Live! with a band and Hakafot, and even a Tikkun Ley'l Shavuot each year with guest speakers and teachers. In traditional manner, we read from Kohelet at Sukkot, Shir HaShirim at Pesach, and the Book of Ruth at Shavuot.
Purim keeps us smiling and dancing. Our annual carnival is always a big hit with our families. Two Megillah readings are held on Purim eve. Our Mishpacha program, for families with children (and anyone who wants to have a good time!) , combines reading and shtick. Later in the evening, we offer a full Megillah reading for adults.
In a more reflective mood, Beth El participates in community-wide services for Tisha B'Av that generally take place at night with the reading of Eicha and during the day with a community Mincha service. We also participate in the community-wide Selichot service.
Evening minyan for festivals often begins at 6 p.m. Temple Topics will have specific minyan times for each festival.
What guidelines should you observe during the service?
Beth El Temple is Fragrance Free
We are happy you will be attending our special event at Beth el Temple. Inclusiveness is one of our core values at Beth El. We do everything we can to make our synagogue open and welcoming to all. In response to an increasing number of people who have mild to severe sensitivity to fragrances, we ask you to avoid wearing products with fragrances.