Ritual Practices

Jewish Law

We follow Jewish law as interpreted by our rabbi:

  • Men and women participate equally in ritual life, leading services from the bimah and serving in leadership capacities on the Board of Trustees and throughout our extensive network of committees.
  • Women count in minyanim at all occasions when Temple Israel congregants gather for prayer.
  • We welcoming interfaith and other non-traditional families. Non-Jewish family members can participate in lifecycle events, such as the bnei mitzvah of children, with special readings and blessings taken from Jewish tradition.
  • Kippot (head coverings) and tallitot (prayer shawls) are required for Jewish men at Shabbat and holiday services and encouraged for women.
  • Men and women may lay tefillin (phylacteries) during Sunday morning minyan.
  • The use of cell phones and other electronic devices on Shabbat and designated festivals are prohibited except for emergencies

Torah Service

  • Triennial Torah reading cycle – We are on a triennial Torah-reading cycle, meaning that each week we read a third of the traditional parashah (portion) from the Humash (Five Books of Moses), following the divisions authorized by the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.
  • Honors – The Shabbat Torah reading is punctuated by seven aliyot, the first of which is assigned to a kohen/et (descendant of the priestly class), the second to a levite (descendant of Aaron), and the remainder to members of the congregation or guests of Israelite status. Two lay leaders generally maintain the order of the service, alerting the congregation to the place in the reading and calling people up for honors that include aliyot, lifting and wrapping the sefer Torah, and chanting Torah passages and haftarah.
  • Congregational participation – In addition to our rabbi, congregants lead services and chant Torah and haftorah portions. Sisterhood and Men’s Club Shabbats highlight our talented congregants during these congregant-led services.

Nationwide Ritual Programs

We proudly participate in many nationwide ritual programs sponsored by the Conservative movement and other organizations, including:

  • Sisterhood Shabbat
  • Men’s Club Shabbat
  • Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs’ World Wide Wrap
  • Yellow Candle Program commemorating Holocaust victims

Other Ritual-Related Events

The annual religious ritual cycle is enriched through programs that enhance the holidays. These include:

  • Delivering honey for Rosh Hashanah and mishloach manot at Purim to our congregants
  • Selichot and Tikkun Leil Shavuot services
  • Dinner in the sukkah during Sukkot
  • Honoring of a hatan/kallat Torah and Bereshit for Simchat Torah
  • Hannukah latkes and Purim hamantaschen
  • Communal seder on the second night of Passover
  • Yom Ha’Atzma’ut BBQ