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Above: Beth Meyer Synagogue hosted a community interfaith vigil for The Tree of Life - OrL'Simcha Congregation in our Sanctuary.

Prayer cannot bring water to parched fields, or mend a broken bridge, or rebuild a ruined city; but prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, and rebuild a weakened will.

-Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel z’’l  


At Beth Meyer Synagogue, we pray with our whole hearts — in song and in silence, in times of joy and in times of struggle, in the words of our tradition, and in the words that only souls can express. We offer an array of spiritual opportunities to pray together, but the pinnacle is Shabbat when we gather to reflect on our lives, study our holy Torah, and join with others to walk the spiritual path in community.  

Our approach to tefillah (prayer) preserves the traditional framework of the service, which is primarily conducted in Hebrew, while creating access to the prayer experience through artful translations and helpful transliterations. Rabbi Eric and Rabbi Jenny weave spiritual kavanot (intentions, explanations) throughout so that everyone, from seasoned davenners (pray-ers) to new learners, can participate with open hearts and feel nourished. You can wander in and out or stay the whole time, stand and sway or sit in stillness, chant or be silent, keep up with the flow of prayers or find yourself in deep contemplation — relax, and be welcome! 

Sacred music is at the core of every Shabbat experience.  Whether we are chanting a melody from Beth Meyer ‘custom,’ a Carlebach niggun, traditional nusah/cantillation, or a newer neo-Hasidic melody, we aim to bring what is old and new into conversation through songs. Here, our melodies are used to enable everyone to enter prayer, rather than to set the ‘singers’ or prayer leaders apart. These melodies enable us to elevate our words and our spirits to soar. 

New to Shabbat? Ellen Adelman, our lead usher/greeter, is always ready to answer questions and welcome newcomers and visitors — to connect, contact our office. You can also browse our Guide to the Shabbat Morning Prayer Service to become familiar with our practices and customs and the resources that are available to enrich your prayer experience.

Do you have something to celebrate — like the birth of a grandchild, a special anniversary, or a published book? Consider sponsoring a kiddush lunch to share your simhah (happiness) with your community. As Midrash Rabbah teaches us, “The saying goes: ‘The belly carries the feet.’” You can prepare the meal yourself, hire a caterer, or give tzedakah to offset our costs. Reach out to our office for more information. Another option is to request an aliyah (the honor of saying a blessing before and after the Torah reading). Email Rabbi Michael Eisenstein, our Ritual Coordinator, to check availability — we will try our best to make this happen.

OUR Shabbat Prayer Services

Kabbalat Shabbat 

Friday evenings, 8 p.m. 
Chapel and Zoom 

This traditional service is collaboratively lay-led and conducted almost exclusively in Hebrew; however, there are transliterated siddurim available. Kabbalat Shabbat (literally, “welcoming Shabbat”) finishes with an oneg, a small gathering with desserts.

Shabbat B’Yahad (Together)

Select Friday evenings, 6:30 p.m.  
Sanctuary and Livestream 

Shabbat B’Yahad is a short and musical intergenerational service intended to give our whole community a chance to enter Shabbat together with song, spirituality, and soulful stillness. Enjoy a festive, catered Shabbat dinner afterwards at 7:15 p.m. 

Shabbat Morning

Saturday mornings, 9:30 a.m. 
Sanctuary and Livestream 

Led by Rabbi Eric and Rabbi Jenny, this participatory service consists of Shaharit (the morning service), Torah service (Torah reading, Haftarah reading, and a lively discussion of the weekly Torah portion), Musaf (additional prayers), Mourner’s Kaddish, and a closing song. Afterwards, all are welcome to nosh and schmooze at our kiddush luncheon. 

From August-June, we offer complimentary childcare for children ages 2-2nd grade starting at 9:30 a.m. Located in the Main Building basement, our play space is enriched by Shabbat story-telling and sing-alongs.

Shabbat Shorashim (Roots)

Select Saturday mornings, 11 a.m., Beit Am 
Shabbat Shorashim is a morning prayer experience for the youngest members of our community along with their grown-ups. The service is joyful, musical, and participatory, and is led by Cathy Kaplan and Karen Daniel. Each service concludes in the Sanctuary, as we join our regular morning service for the final blessings. Families are then invited to gather on the bimah for Kiddush (grape juice) and Motzi (challah), followed by a kid-friendly Shabbat lunch. 

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Tefillah,” or prayer, is one of the cornerstones of Jewish practice and is central to our purpose at Beth Meyer. This multi-faceted word comes from the Hebrew “to reflect upon oneself.” As much as prayer is a path to communicate with the Divine, it is equally a path to communicate with our own souls.

Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784