Shabbat Services

Temple Emanu-El offers innovative Shabbat Services to appeal to our Congregants of all ages.

Whether you enjoy observing Shabbat on a Friday night with your Congregational family or a more casual, interactive Saturday morning minyan, you can find a worship experience you will enjoy.

We also frequently offer special Shabbat services:

NOTE: During the summer months (June-August) all Friday night services begin at 6:30 pm in our central patio, where you can enjoy the lovely atmosphere of a California summer evening as the sun sets.

Erev Shabbat

On the second and third Friday evenings of each month, services are held at 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Different special activities are often incorporated, such as “Ask the Rabbi,” a sermon and discussion, a musical program, or a guest speaker.

Erev Shabbat Family Service

The first Friday of the month during the school year (September through May), services begin at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary. For these services we use the “Mishkan T’filah,” siddur (prayerbook) which the Hebrew students are using to learn the Shabbat Service prayers. Once Religious School is in session, Hebrew classes (Aleph through Dalet) help lead the service, and Jewish Studies classes participate with a song or presentation. We’re proud of our students and their participation and leadership in our worship. Most Family Services are preceded by a congregational Shabbatluck potluck dinner.

Kabbalat Shabbat

On the fourth Friday of each month (and the fifth Friday, if there is one), services are held at 6:30 PM. The liturgy includes all that is needed to welcome Shabbat, but without any additional pieces. This earlier time enables worshippers to come directly from work, or to get home for Shabbat dinner at a reasonable time.

Tot Shabbat

Tot Shabbat Friday night services are tailored to meet the needs of our families with young children (preschool through kindergarten – of course, older and younger siblings are invited as well). The service is held in the sanctuary on the third Friday of each month, starting at 6:00 PM. During the summer, Tot Shabbat is combined with the 6:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat service on the patio. Led by Rabbi Dana Magat and Cantor Amanda Edmondson, the service includes blessings and songs, stories and prayers, introducing the children to the sanctuary. Stay after services – Sisterhood provides a delicious, complimentary dinner.

Shabbat Minyan (Saturday morning)

Our informal, organic Saturday Minyan service is held every Saturday at 9:00 am in the Benefactor’s Room. Minyan is usually lay-led and participants enjoy a lively discussion of the weekly Parasha (Torah Portion). Once a month, the Sisterhood sponsors “Minyan, Tea and Torah” or “Mincha, Tea and Torah”, with a Shabbat service and Torah discussion led by Cantor Amanda Edmondson. These services replace the regular Shabbat Minyan. Refreshments are provided. Several times during the year, a Yoga Shabbat replaces the regular minyan. Check the Temple calendar for dates and times, or contact the Temple office for more information.

Special Shabbat Services

Shabbat in Nature

We celebrate Shabbat in Nature three times per year with a Shabbat morning service led by Rabbi Dana Magat and Cantor Amanda Edmondson in a nearby park setting. Depending upon the location, the day may also include a potluck lunch, Torah discussion, singing, hiking and other outdoor activities. Shabbat in Nature is sponsored by the Ritual Committee. In recent years the winter Shabbat in Nature has been co-sponsored with the Religious School. It is held at a more urban setting and includes nature-related education along with family activities, such as visiting Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. Once a year we enjoy the Shabbat in Nature Campout for a fuller Shabbat experience. Contact the Temple office for more information.

Rock Shabbat

An innovative and joyous worship experience with musicians (piano, percussion, guitars, trombone, etc.) and singers joining Cantor Amanda Edmondson and Rabbi Dana Magat. Congregational singing is definitely encouraged, as is dancing in the aisles.

Sisterhood Shabbat

Members of Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood participate in leading an Erev Shabbat service once a year. Our women come together to lead Friday night service, chanting their favorite Hebrew blessings, and sharing special poems and readings.

Brotherhood Shabbat

Brotherhood, the men’s auxiliary at Temple Emanu-El also leads a Shabbat service one or times during the year. They have adapted a liturgy created by the Men of Reform Judaism, the national organization, adding their own selection of readings.

Scout Shabbat

Temple Emanu-El’s connection with the Scouting movement remains strong, and once a year, usually in February, scouts from the Congregation and around the South Bay are invited to attend a Shabbat service, coming in uniform.