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.
Using the prayerbook Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim published by Reconstructionist Press, our Friday evening services follow a traditional framework with modifications to address the diverse backgrounds, needs, interests, and abilities of our congregation. We are committed to offering services that are participatory and spiritually engaging. To accomplish this, we offer prayers and readings in a mix of Hebrew and English, abbreviate or eliminate certain psalms and prayers, and frequently invite those in attendance to lead English readings. In addition, students preparing for b'nai mitzvah will often play an active role in leading services alongside Rabbi Dan and our musical director, Dr. Elaine (Lainee) Broad Ginsberg, who lead the services together or solo, depending on the week.
Rabbi Dan and Lainee include music by a wide range of composers. Though they will occasionally introduce new music, their emphasis is on choosing music that is at once familiar, accessible, and prayerful. Lainee provides flowing piano accompaniment, sometimes with one or more of our very talented members on flute, guitar, bass, saxophone, or violin.
If you are unfamiliar with the Friday night service or lack facility with Hebrew, please let Rabbi Dan, Lainee, or an usher know so that we can pair you up with a more knowledgeable congregant who can sit with you and guide you through the service.
Most services start at 7:00 p.m. and last about one hour.
On the Second Saturday of each month, CAA holds a Shabbat morning service beginning at 9:30. Everyone is invited! These services, like our Friday night services, are participatory and accessible. Following the service in Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, our Second Saturday Service include selections from the morning blessings, verses of praise, the morning service, and the Torah Service. When a minyan (a group of ten Jewish adults) is present, the Rabbi and congregants chant three or more aliyot from one of our beautiful Torah scrolls. Without a minyan, the congregation will read and discuss the Torah portion in English. Our Shabbat morning services provide an additional opportunity for upcoming b’nai mitzvah students to gain experience in leading parts of the service.
Check the calendar or the Bulletin to see when our next Saturday morning service will be.
If you would like to volunteer to chant Torah, please sign up for a reading on our Google Sheet HERE. Please let Rabbi Dan if you'd like a recording of the reading and/or an image of the reading from the Torah. For more information or for assistance, contact Rabbi Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (603) 460-5410.
On the fourth Saturday of each month, starting at 10:30 a.m., the congregation gathers for mindfulness meditation, a discussion of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Ancestors), and lunch. The meditation is led by experienced members of the congregation. Beforehand, attendees are also welcome to join the weekly Torah study from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Each week, except for the Second Saturday or when we have holiday services or b'nai mitzvah celebrations, Rabbi Dan leads congregants and guests in reading and discussing the weekly Torah portion in English. Discussions follow the "triennial cycle" of readings, a universal practice in liberal Judaism by which congregations read a designated third of the Torah portion each week. In any give year, we may be reading the first, second, or third triennial reading. No prior knowledge is necessary. Participants are invited to bring their own insights and life experiences to the discussion. Though Rabbi Dan provides printed commentaries for the group to read together, he also invites participants to offer commentary or background information from whatever sources they have access to, including online sources. The conversation is always lively and unpredictable. When Rabbi Dan is away for any reason, knowledgeable congregants will fill lead Torah study in his absence.