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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.

Shabbat HaNefesh

Welcome Shabbat with us in our newest Shabbat experience! Nourish your mind, body, and soul with your fellow congregants in this short, musical worship service followed by a delicious Mediterranean dinner. Can't join us for dinner? No problem! Join us for the Mamash Kabbalat Shabbat service. Shabbat HaNefesh is held on the fourth Friday of each month.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Mamash Kabbalat Service, 6:30 PM
  • Shabbat Dinner: After the Mamash Kabbalat Shabbat Service, $18 per person
  • Dessert Oneg

Please note that the registration deadline is the Tuesday before the service. 

Congregational Shabbat Dinner

Join us for our Congregational Shabbat Dinner! Starting on the first Friday in November, this event will be held every first Friday of the month throughout the Religious School year. For only $5 per person, you can get an awesome meal and some fabulous company. Please note that you must register the Thursday prior to the Shabbat dinner at 12 PM.

Baby Shabbat

Join us on the second Saturday of every month for a Shabbat experience designed for families with children ages 0-30 months. Little ones will enjoy a program full of Shabbat songs and Torah stories! Kiddush, motzi, and bagel oneg sponsored by the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood will follow this fun-filled program. This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a family and meet new friends. Siblings are welcome, and this program is open to the community!

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 Leah Shafritz, the service includes blessings and songs, stories and prayers, introducing the children to the sanctuary. Stay after services – Sisterhood provides a delicious, complimentary dinner.

Yoga Minyan

Join Rabbi Laurie Matzkin for a Shabbat yoga class in the BFR, combining mindful movement, creative ritual and reflective study. Makom Yoga provides a refreshing mix of Jewish learning (with themes flowing from the weekly parsha, upcoming holidays, and beyond) with guided meditation, breath work and asana practice. Rabbi Matzkin’s class is gentle and suitable for all levels, with modifications offered to meet individual needs. Come with a beginners mind and an open heart, and get ready to stretch your body into Shabbat!

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 Leah Shafritz 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 Leah Shafritz 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.

Fri, June 9 2023 20 Sivan 5783