Friday Evening Shabbat Services
Join us for Shabbat evening services, held every Friday evening at 6:30 pm, except for the first Friday of each month, when services begin at 6:00 pm. The following distinctive Kabbalat Shabbat services are scheduled each month from October through June:
"First Friday at 6": An Intergenerational Musical Shabbat Service and Potluck
We celebrate the first Friday each month with a one-hour, intergenerational, family-friendly musical service for all ages at 6:00 pm, followed by a communal Shabbat potluck dinner.
Second Friday: "Shabbat Unplugged" Acoustic Service (6:30pm)
On the second Friday of each month at 6:30 pm, Hazzan Ayelet leads "Shabbat Unplugged," an intimate and musically acoustic celebration of Shabbat; the long exhale at the end of the week.
Third Friday: "Shirat HaLev" (Song of the Heart) Service (6:30pm)
On the third Friday evening of each month, we gather for a special contemplative, musical celebration of Shabbat featuring seating in the round, percussion accompaniment, and very spirited communal singing of the Shabbat prayers and blessings. Shirat HaLev is a wonderful way to release the stresses of another New York City week, and connect with one’s self and the West End Synagogue community.
Fifth Friday: haMinyan (8:00pm)
haMinyan is West End's lay-led, often experimental and always interesting Kabbalat Shabbat service. It occurs at 8 PM on the 5th Friday of the month when a 5th Friday occurs. On those dates, there will be no earlier service.
On Saturday mornings from 9-10 a.m., our Rabbi leads a group exploration of the weekly Torah portion, incorporating traditional rabbinic, Hasidic, and contemporary interpretations, as well as the insights of participants. We seek to discover points of resonance between our lives and the Torah narrative, and lessons which might guide us in our daily lives and inform our efforts to repair the world. All are welcome; no prior background or knowledge required. Note that on the fourth Shabbat morning of the month, Torah study takes place during the service, usually at aa 11 a.m. (see Shabbat Chadash, below)
Shabbat Morning Services
Shabbat morning services begin each Saturday morning at 10 a.m., following Torah study. They include contemporary English readings and poems, explanations and suggested kavanot (intentions) for aspects of the service, and a sermon and discussion on the weekly Torah portion. Services are followed by a full congregational Kiddush luncheon at 12:30 p.m. for socializing and camaraderie. All are welcome to drop in for all or part of the service or Kiddush luncheon. (Free childcare is offered each Shabbat morning from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
Every Saturday morning at 11:15 AM we have services for 5-10 year olds and their parents, featuring songs from Saturday morning liturgy, and a visit from Hazzan Ayelet teaching the Parashah of the week from the Torah.
Shabbat Chadash ("New Shabbat") (fourth Saturday morning of each month)
Shabbat Chadash ("New Shabbat") takes place in general on the fourth Saturday morning of each month. It features a slightly abbreviated, more focused service from 10-11 a.m., followed by an extended all-congregation study session on that Shabbat's parashah (Torah portion). which will identify actions by which we might embody the lessons derived from the portion. Note that there is NO 9 a.m. Torah study on Shabbat Chadash Saturday mornings.
Additional Shabbat Programming:
HaMatmid Tanakh Shabbat Afternoon Bible Study (meets twice monthly)
On the first and third Shabbat afternoons of each month, West End members meet at 1:30 p.m. to explore the books of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh). No prior background is necessary, and all are welcome.
Mesillat Yesharim, The Path of the Upright (meets twice monthly)
On the 2nd Saturday and 4th Saturday of the month, West End members meet at 1:30 p.m. for study of this classic text on ethics by Moses Hayyim Luzzatto, using the new JPS edition translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and including new commentary. Led by Susan Schorr.
The "Way of Creation" Havdalah Program (the second Saturday of each month, unless otherwise announced**)
Beginning February 11th @ 6pm* and continuing on the Second Saturday of each month**
*Future start times TBA based on twilight.
The workshop will be led by activist-artist and WES member Joshua (Greenberg) Wight, inspired by his own work with Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" guide to creativity, which he will be adapting to Jewish themes and Reconstructionist concepts and values.
Each session will begin with a short mindfulness exercise to share the final moments of Shabbat's perfect rest together before making Havdalah as a group to mark the distinction for renewing our work as G-d's partners in Creation/Creating/Creativity. The kavanah, or guiding intention, of this work is that the path to Tikkun Olam, fixing the world, is through Refuah HaNefesh, the individual healing of the Self and our relationships in community, by creative actions of re/connection.The Program and Workshop are open to the public. Please bring a fresh notebook and a comfortable pen to the first session. Note that regular involvement from the first session is recommended, but drop-in participants will be welcomed.
**The March session will be held on the Third Saturday of that month (March 18th).