Holidays & Prayer Services
For each Jewish holiday throughout the year, we produce a special program that includes a variety of participatory activities. Depending on the calendar, holiday programs may take place during the school day or may be held outside of school hours. The programs usually include a “wheel” of activity stations that teach an aspect of the holiday through an interactive learning experiences.
SHMA Prayer Services
Prayer Services are an important part of our SHMA Program, because they teach about the nature of prayer and help students make personal connections to the ancient words. They also offer practical application of their Hebrew reading skills. Services provide an opportunity for students in all grades to gather and form their own community. Perhaps most important, Services reinforce the Jewish rhythms of time: daily, weekly and yearly.
Our Services are abbreviated versions of each Service, demonstrating the structure, themes and melodies of any Conservative Service they will experience.
Weekday Minchah (Afternoon) or Maariv (Evening). Wednesday afternoon sessions begin with all students gathering in the Chapel for an afternoon or evening Service, depending on the calendar.
Weekday Shacharit. Sunday mornings begin with a Weekday Shacharit Service, in which the Siddur (Prayer Book) is projected on a screen so that students can better focus on the words and ideas. A laser pointer helps guide the prayers and emphasize themes and ideas.
Once each month, the Sunday morning session is moved to Saturday morning (9:00 AM – approximately 11:30 AM) for the SHMA Shabbat Experience. In this session, students spend the first hour on Shabbat friendly activities reinforcing the themes and customs of Shabbat. Then we invite parents to join us for a one hour Family Learning Service, (10:15 – 11:15 AM), an abbreviated Shabbat Service that brings us together to worship and learn about the Service and the prayers. At 11:15 AM, we join the main Sanctuary Service so the kids can lead the closing hymns. An optional Kiddush lunch follows Services.