You’re probably curious. You might be nervous. We hope you’re eager!
If you’ve never been to a synagogue service before and don’t know much about Judaism, keep reading. Visiting one of our services is easier than you think. First and foremost, you ARE welcome here, and we are delighted to have you. Here are some of the basics if you’re thinking about visiting Temple Beth Shalom.
Our prayer services are Friday evening and Saturday morning. View our calendar to see what services and programs are happening when.
- Learn more about our Shabbat services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings to see where you’d like to start.
- Learn about religious education opportunities on Sundays: for younger kids, for older kids, and for adults.
There are no rules about who can attend services at Temple Beth Shalom. You can come if you’re Jewish. You can come if you’re not Jewish. We are always happy to welcome you, even if this is an entirely new experience for you.
Your children are more than welcome, as well. During the school year, we have a Friday night service specifically for young children. In addition, we provide occasional childcare for children through 2nd grade. Check our calendar to see when childcare is offered, and contact the office to discuss any special childcare needs.
Visiting for the First Time
When you come into the Temple for the first time, you should see one of our Board Greeters, a friendly face who will greet you, introduce themselves, and help you with anything you need. Don’t be afraid to say you’re new at this. The greeter will let you know what to do next.
Inside the chapel or sanctuary, the rooms where the services are held, you can sit anywhere you like. Feel free to sit near others who can help you follow along with the service in the prayer book. We also hope you’ll stay for the social gatherings after the service. On Friday nights, there is a dessert gathering called an oneg. On Saturdays, there is a luncheon called a Kiddush. Please come!
“Shabbat Shalom” means “Sabbath peace,” and you’ll probably hear it a lot! If someone says it to you, you can say it right back, or simply say “Thank you.”
Read “Your First Visit to a Synagogue”“Your First Visit to a Synagogue” is an FAQ sheet answering many of the frequently asked questions about visiting Jewish services. It offers friendly, easy-to-understand explanations about kippot (the head coverings) and tallitot (the prayer shawls), readings and prayer books, when to stand and sit, and all the other details you might be wondering about. It’s a fun and informative read designed to set your mind at ease about visiting.
We look forward to meeting you!
Basic Etiquette Guidelines
There aren’t many rules about what you can’t and can’t do when attending services, but do keep in mind some basic courtesies:
- Set your phone to vibrate, or turn it off before you enter the chapel or sanctuary.
- Please don’t take pictures during services.
- The style of dress is generally ‘business casual’ to dressy. Wear clothing that demonstrates respect, rather than something informal.
- Services are filled with sitting and standing! Follow along with other worshippers, or listen for the Rabbi’s instructions to know what to do when.
If you have additional questions or want to know more about Judaism, we encourage you to get in touch with our Rabbi, the Membership Committee, or the main office. Visit our Contact page, send an email to the Membership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Temple office at 509-747-3304.