B'nai Sholom

Reform Congregation

Albany, NY

Yom Shlishi, 28 Elul 5777

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We love to have visitors at B’nai Sholom!

 All of our Shabbat and Festival services are open to everyone – Jewish or not. Whether you are looking to join a synagogue, are curious about our synagogue, are seeking a warm community, are exploring Reform Judaism, are just passing through, or are interested in Judaism for whatever reason, we are happy to have you worship with us.

 Our Adult Classes, movies, lectures, and so forth are also open. Some might require pre-registration, possibly with a fee. Check the Bulletin, or Our Adult Education webpage or call the office. Shabbat morning Torah study is free.

 Services for the Days of Awe (the “High Holidays,” Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) require special arrangements made 7-30 days in advance.

 Weekday office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:15-3:00. The office is closed on Tuesdays (Wednesdays in January and February).

 If you’re coming by on a week day to get information, or look in our Judaica shop, it’s always a good idea to call first since our small staff may be running an errand. Just because you get voice mail doesn’t mean no one’s around!

 GROUP VISITS – We especially love to welcome visiting groups from churches, whether adults or teens. It is best that you call before you set a date for your group so that we can make sure the service is in fact a good one for your group. Rabbi Cashman will be pleased to meet with your group after the service to answer questions.

 What to expect in the synagogue

 Expect the service to start promptly at the published time, so plan to arrive shortly beforehand. Please take the correct prayer book from the bookcase in the hall, and take a seat in the sanctuary.

 There are some portions of the service where the congregation rises, and unless someone has a physical issue which makes that hard or painful, all are expected to rise.

 After the service, there’s an Oneg Shabbat (Friday) or a Kiddush (Saturday or festivals), usually pastries and beverages, to which everyone is invited. This is our opportunity to perform the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orhim/to fulfill our Jewish obligation to welcome guests, so we sincerely hope you’ll stay after the service so we can meet each other.

 WHAT TO WEAR - Jewish lore depicts the Sabbath as a Queen, and suggests that we dress on Shabbat as if we were going to meet a queen. “I’ve never met a real queen,” says Rabbi Cashman, “but when I met with Vice President Gore, I wore a suit, and when I performed for the Prime Minister of Israel, I had on a tuxedo.” B’nai Sholom is decidedly less formal, and our congregants appreciate the casual atmosphere of our Shabbat services. “Casual” does not have to mean “sloppy.” At the bottom line, we’d rather have you with us, than not with us.

 Judaism also embraces the concept of tz’niyut, or modesty, meaning that excessively revealing clothing is inappropriate, especially for worship.

 On Purim, costumes are customary, and anyone who doesn’t wear a costume may be subjected to derision!

 We do not require head coverings (kipot, yarmulkes) on men/boys or women, but most males and some females wear them. If it is your practice to wear one, by all means do so.

 We do not require tallitot either, but we do have some available on the bookshelf.