Customs of Our Synagogue

The Kippah

The Kippah or Yarmulke (head covering) is worn by Jews when we pray, study, or eat. It is an expression of humility, respect, and awareness of God’s presence. Men, even those who are not Jewish, keep their heads covered when in the synagogue and during the Kiddush luncheon. 

Different customs regarding head coverings are observed by women. Women and non-binary participants are also invited to wear a kippah if they so desire.

The Tallit

The Tallit (prayer shawl) is a fringed garment worn by both Jewish men and women over the age of bar or bat mitzvah on Shabbat mornings, as commanded in the 15th chapter of the Book of Numbers: “Bid them make fringes on the four corners of their garments throughout their generations.” 

The purpose of the prayer shawl is to serve as a reminder of the commandments, which are symbolized by the knots in the corner fringes.

Shabbat Observances and Services

Shabbat is observed from Friday night at sundown to the appearance of three stars on Saturday night. It is a day of communal prayer, study, and celebration. 

In order to protect the sanctity of this important day, we observe some prohibitions against activities like smoking, writing, taking pictures, using phones, and spending or exchanging money. We ask you to respect the sanctity of the Shabbat by not engaging in any of these activities while in the synagogue building or on its grounds during Shabbat.

In order to hold a public prayer service, a minyan (quorum) of 10 Jewish adults above the age of 13 is required. In the absence of a minyan, it is not possible to recite the Kaddish, say the Baruchu or the Kedushah, or read from the Torah.

Next to the entrance to the sanctuary, there is a bookshelf with prayer books used during our services. For Friday evening services, we pray from the blue Siddur Hadash. For Saturday morning services, we pray from the blue Siddur Hadash and use the red Eitz Chayim Chumash (Five Books of Moses) during the Torah service. For weekday minyan (either evening or morning), we pray from the blue and gray Siddur Sim Shalom.

Children Are Welcome!

Children are a beloved part of our community and are welcome in our services. We also offer a play area at the back of the sanctuary with Shabbat-appropriate toys and a playroom off the lobby. 

The Shabbat prohibition against writing extends to drawing and coloring, and we request that parents help their children respect this while in the synagogue on Shabbat.