OUR BET T'FILLAH
Temple Beth Israel is a Bet T'fillah, a house of worship. Our worship welcomes the regular worshiper as well as the spiritual seeker; those who love to sing and those who enjoy listening; those who read Hebrew and those who do not. We encourage active participation, ongoing learning and spiritual exploration - for each of us as individuals and collectively as a praying community.
All Temple members are welcome at every Shabbat service, including those occasions when a B’nai Mitzvah is celebrated. At Temple Beth Israel these simchas represent important events for the entire Temple community, and all members are encouraged to share in them. Of course, Temple Beth Israel also conducts special services to celebrate the Jewish holidays apart from Shabbat. Our yom tov celebrations, thoughtfully planned by our Rabbi and Ritual committee, provide for meaningful and memorable observance of these special occasions.
SHABBAT WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
We gather as a community to pray each Shabbat - Friday evenings at 8:15 p.m. including a Torah service and followed by an Oneg Shabbat; and Shabbat mornings at 10:30 a.m. including Torah service and D'var Torah and followed by a Kiddush.
Throughout the year we have Shabbat Zimrah, a very special Shabbat worship service that features choral music by Koleynu, our adult volunteer choir. We gather as a community to pray and sing for joy in this music-centered service at 8:15p.m. including a Torah service and followed by an Oneg Shabbat.
On the first Friday of each month we hold our Kabbalat Shabbat service. Before welcoming Shabbat we start with a “nosh” (Likrat Shabbat) at 5:30 p.m., followed by a brief and joyous music-centered service from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. featuring a Klezmer-style music ensemble, worshipers of all ages, and a casual, convivial atmosphere. Because the service ends by 7:00 p.m. many members bring their children and invite friends to their homes for Shabbat dinner afterward.
A Friday evening Shabbat experience for families with very young children (0-5 years) meets at 6:00 p.m. usually on the third Friday of the month. It includes age-appropriate worship, Shabbat dinner, and Israeli Dancing.
A Shabbat morning family worship experience for families of children in 1st through 5th grades meets at 9:00 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month. It includes a worship service, Torah reading and discussion with Rabbi, learning activity and snack.
SHABBAT AT THE BEACH--
During the summer we gather for Shabbat at the Beach on two Friday nights (weather permitting of course). We sing and pray together at Lighthouse Beach in Evanston and then enjoy a picnic dinner and pot-luck dessert. Check our calendar of events for the exact dates.
OTHER WORSHIP EXPERIENCES
Members gather in the Lorge Sanctuary at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday for a 30-minute worship service before beginning their daily routines.
We gather as a congregation to welcome the New Year on Rosh Hashana and to observe Yom Kippur services at Evanston Township High School. Music Director Marla Aviva Bentley and a High Holy Day choir of Temple members and professional singers provide the musical accompaniment for our worship. Our evening services begin at 8:15 p.m.; morning worship begins at 10:00 a.m. On Yom Kippur our services continue throughout the day with midday study and a musical interlude, followed by the afternoon service, Yizkor and Ne'ilah. Second day Rosh Hashana services take place at Temple Beth Israel.
For families with children age 10 and younger, we hold age-appropriate first day Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Evanston Township High School. Parents accompany their children to this service and then are free to attend the adult service while their youngsters participate in holiday activities planned and supervised by Lori Sagarin, Director of Congregational Learning. A special "Tots" service for children age three and under begins at 9:00 a.m.
Evening services for Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Seventh Day Pesach and Shavuot begin at 7:30 p.m. Simchat Torah evening worship includes lively singing and dancing with our Torahs. Sukkot and Seventh Day Pesach and Shavuot evening worship include special readings and other elements planned each year by Temple members and professional staff. Morning festival services for Sukkot, Simchat Torah, First and Seventh Day Pesach and Shavuot begin at 10:30 a.m. Simchat Torah, Seventh Day Pesach and Shavuot services include Yizkor. Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Seventh Day Pesach and Shavuot are followed by luncheon.
Each year we host a festive congregational Seder, led by Rabbi Weinberg, for our members who wish to read the haggadah and share the festive holiday meal with their Temple Beth Israel family.
MINOR FESTIVALS & OBSERVANCES--
We celebrate and commemorate other significant dates on the Jewish calendar including Selichot, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Ha'Shoah, Yom Ha'Aztmaut, Yom Ha'Zikaron, and Tisha B'Av with services planned cooperatively by members of the congregation and guided by Rabbi Michael Weinberg.
JOIN THE RITUAL COMMITTEE
Jewish worship and observance are at the core of our Congregation’s life. The Ritual Committee is charged with guiding our religious life and encouraging its continuing evolution and enrichment. We seek to enhance our own internal connections to Judaism through our observance and worship experience. We welcome your participation!