Congregation Ahavas Achim welcomes Shabbat every Friday evening with a joyful and musical worship service followed by an oneg (reception) featuring challah, wine or grape juice, and assorted treats. To meet the diverse backgrounds and interests of our members, we offer several different kinds of services which occur on a rotating basis:
Shir Shabbat - This song-filled service is co-led by Rabbi Loewenthal and our musical director, Dr. Elaine (Lainee) Broad Ginsberg. Music by Jeff Klepper and other composers of the Reform Movement is featured, along with Lainee’s flowing piano accompaniment. Some prayers are shortened or skipped to make time for more singing.
Traditional Shabbat Service – A straightforward Friday night service including all the psalms and standard prayers. Most of the prayers are in Hebrew, but the Dvar Torah (sermon) and other comments are in English. Knowledgeable congregants offer to be “guides” sitting next to and assisting those with less Hebrew language facility or less familiarity with the prayers.
Kavanah Shabbat Service – A very contemplative and spiritual service with focus on mystical intention. Instead of a Dvar Torah (sermon), several brief kavanot (statements of intention) along with an opportunity for meditation draw the congregation into the spirit of Shabbat. Uses music from the neo-Hasidic and Jewish Renewal traditions. You don’t need to know the words to participate. This service engages mind, body, and soul through music and movement and delights all.
Short Shabbat Service – Once a month we go for brevity in a service that is accessible to beginners yet still full of tradition. Prayers are often “sampled” rather than sung through, and there is more English language singing and reading than in our other services. Services finish within an hour and there is more time to schmooze afterwards at the oneg.
Shabbat Tisch – “Tisch” means “table” and a few times a year we all sit at a table and enjoy Shabbat dinner together, with songs and celebration. A brief service at 5:30 is an opportunity to say Kaddish with a minyan, for those who need to. Then we go to the Social Hall for a joyous celebration full of food, story, wine, and song.
Most services start at 7:00 p.m. Check the calendar or the Bulletin to find out what kind of service we’re holding this Friday.
Once a month, CAA holds Saturday morning services, with Torah reading. We begin at 9:15 with a morning meditation. Services start at 10:00 and include the Morning Service and the Torah Service. The rabbi and some congregants chant from one of our beautiful Torah scrolls. It’s also an opportunity for upcoming b’nai mitzvah students to practice by leading part of the service. We follow up with a lunch and singing – everyone is invited.
Check the calendar or the Bulletin to see when our next Saturday morning service will be. Call the office if you would like to volunteer to chant Torah.
On Wednesday mornings we gather at 10:00 for a traditional Shacharit (morning) service. Those who wish can practice the mitzvah of tefillin. The rabbi will assist with wrapping tefillin and lend a set to anyone who is curious about trying out this biblical commandment. The service is brief (about 45 minutes) and musical. Those who are interested are welcome to stay for the class that follows.