From the Worship Committee
The Religious Practices Committee is dedicated to overseeing that weekly and holiday services meet the congregation’s spiritual needs, and function as smoothly as possible. We try to make everyone feel welcome and special.
There are special times on the bima at almost every service. Once a month the Rabbi blesses all celebrating a birthday that month and is given a one-of-a-kind gift. Come for your birthday blessing and receive yours! Also, every five years each married couple is honored with an anniversary blessing on the bima. It is a beautiful moment when the anniversary blessing is read and the nachas and joy is shared.
What You Can Expect at Services...
Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur are among the holiest in the Jewish year. There are hundreds and hundreds of people in the building and the atmosphere is filled with friendship, renewal, learning, prayer, repentance and reflection. There are many services which you are most welcome to attend even if you are not a member of Beth Miriam during these days and you will be most welcomed on these important days. There will be special High Holiday pages as the holidays approach with a full schedule and description of each service and program.
Every Shabbat is different but you can expect a service that is understandable and spiritual. You will not be lost during the service as pages are announced and everything is transliterated (Hebrew in English characters) as well as in Hebrew and translated.
The services are filled with music, as well. Any given Shabbat you may hear keyboard, guitar, perhaps a flute, vocals, choirs and even bongos, tamborines and saxophone. We have even had an accordion and a tuba on the bima! We encourage singing and love when the congregation 'sings a new song to the Lord.' Come sing with us!
Beth Miriam has a full Visual Tefillah system for the occasion use of a unique kind of Shabbat service when the congregation uses the liturgy displayed on a screen instead of a prayerbook. It is a unique and wonderfully creative way of worshiping.
Hannukah, Purim, and other minor Festivals are celebrated at Beth Miriam each in its own unique way. Purim has the reading of the Megillah and the Purim spiel and carnival. Hannukah has its own song session and family dinner and celebration. Tu Bishvat is an in-school activity, and so forth. Check the calendar for the times and dates of all the events.
At each Festival, there will be an experience of some variety based on the Festival's theme. The date will likely be the evening of the last day of the Festival or, in the case of Simchat Torah, the closest Sunday or Wednesday, and may include some kind of text study, some activity related to the Festival, music, and the Yiskor Service. On Passover we have been doing a catered first Seder open to the public.