Shabbat calls us to bring the highest moral values to our daily labor and to culminate the workweek with (kedushah), holiness, (menuchah), rest and (oneg), joy.
– A Statement of Principles for Reform Judaism (1999)
All of our Shabbat Services are held in person, with options to worship online (links for joining online listed below). Guests are welcome! Find out more about visiting Mount Zion.
Every Shabbat evening service (Friday night) begins at 6:30 pm, followed by an Oneg Shabbat (literally “Joy of Shabbat” and has come to mean dessert, a time to socialize.) During the summer, services begin at 6:00 pm and, weather permitting, are outside on our ZaiKaner-Perwien Terrace. While every Shabbat service is the same Shabbat service, there are some that have unique elements:
Shabbat for the Soul
For all ages!
We move from the formality of the sanctuary to our social hall to create a more intimate service. Our singing is accompanied by violin, guitar, keyboard, and percussion. The evocative music opens our hearts and awakens our spirits.
Shabbat is always for the soul, but there is a particularly soulful atmosphere at “Shabbat for the Soul” services. It is a more contemplative worship style with the congregation sitting in the round. We use a single page handout for the prayers. A slower pace enables us to focus on the meditative effect of the music, the potential for deeper awareness and prayer, and the feeling of community.
Shabbat Evening Services: Featuring a Speaker in Recognition of Jewish Disability and Inclusion Month
For all ages!
Hiddur Mitzvah is the enhancement of a Mitzvah by making it visually beautiful. In our Hiddur Tefillah services, instead of seeing the service in black and white on the pages of a book, our words of prayer are enhanced by beautiful images projected on the wall in Margolis Hall. We take time with the prayers and the music, engaging our senses more fully than usual. We sit in rounded rows, to more fully appreciate the community around us. Our singing is accompanied by violin, guitar, keyboard, and percussion
Live from our ZaiKaner-Perwien Terrace (weather permitting; also on Zoom and live-streaming), at 6 pm on Fridays from the beginning of June through Labor Day, approximately 1-1.25 hours.
For all ages!
Summer services, a congregational favorite, are held outside (weather permitting) on our beautiful terrace, overlooking our stunning Biblical garden. We begin with at 5:30 pm with Kabbalat Panim, a time to greet each other and share food, followed by our musical service accompanied by guitar, keyboard, and percussion. Services are shorter and our rabbi will deliver a brief D’var Torah (sermon). We end as we began, with food and community!
For all ages, but especially households with young children!
First Friday Family Shabbat
A spirited, musical, family-friendly Shabbat service featuring our children’s and teen choirs, guitar, and piano. Our clergy and choirs lead an hour-long service from the Reform movement’s siddur/prayer book, Mishkan T’filah and our rabbi tells a story. Drop-in childcare now available!
Every Shabbat morning begins with Torah study led by our rabbis from 9:00-10;00 am in person and via Zoom. Some attendees stay and others arrive for our Shabbat morning service that begins at 10:00 am.
Torah Study at 9:00 a.m.
In person and via Zoom.
This weekly study group is open to regular attendees and those who are able to drop in once or periodically – people of all ages, knowledge, and background. Through reading and discussion of the weekly parashah/Torah portion, participants will learn the stories of Torah and make them come alive in their own lives.
"Regular" Shabbat Services
Live from our Sanctuary (also on live-streaming), approximately 1.5 hours.
Shabbat mornings at Mount Zion are a joy! Come join any Shabbat for reflection, song, community, and a potluck lunch. Services are led by one of our rabbis and either one of our cantors or a lay leader who serves as the shaliach tzibur, a messenger of our prayers. We use the Reform movement’s siddur/prayer book, Mishkan T’filah. Mishkan T’filah features a two-page spread for each prayer, offering the traditional prayer in Hebrew and English translation as well as interpretive and poetic versions, and is available both with and without transliterations from the Hebrew. One of our rabbis leads a Torah discussion. Following services, all are invited to a potluck Kiddush luncheon with z’mirot (Shabbat table songs). You are welcome to attend without bringing any food!
Some Shabbatot will have special teachings focusing on a specific part of the liturgy; others lift up the meaning and structure of the prayer service as a whole; and our Religious School Shabbatonim (retreats) are briefer with teachings for all ages with special attention to our younger participants. For some specific dates, see below.
Judaism’s Spiritual Vocabulary: Essential Prayers and Skills for Modern Life: On the following Shabbatot, the teaching during the service will focus on learning a specific prayer of the service: Dec 30, Jan 13, Jan 27, Feb 10, Feb 24, Mar 2, Mar 9, Mar 16, Mar 23
Why do we do/say this? On a couple Shabbatot – January 20 and April 12 – the service will be a “learner’s service”, lifting up the meaning and structure of the prayers, and giving you the chance to ask: “Why do we do what we do?” We will welcome upcoming B’nei Mitzvah students and their families to these services.
And now in brief! On a couple Shabbatot, we welcome one of our Religious School grades and their families to join us. These services will be briefer with teachings for all ages with special attention to our younger participants: – October 28 (4th grade), November 18 (3rd grade), December 16 (5th grade)
Shabbat Services with B’nei Mitzvah
When a child becomes B’nei Mitzvah, they symbolically leave childhood and join synagogue life as an adult. The ceremony itself is the celebration of a beginning, as the child starts to take responsibility for their own Jewish identity. B’nei Mitzvah services take place in the context of our regular Shabbat worship with the Rabbi, Cantor, and community. Our B’nei Mitzvah help lead our congregation from Mount Zion’s own Shabbat morning prayer book. They also chant from the Torah scroll, chant verses from the Haftarah, and deliver a D’var Torah (sermon). Much of the music is accompanied by piano. Afterward the entire congregation is invited to a Kiddush luncheon. See our calendar to find out if there is a B’nei Mitzvah.
Live from our chapel, at 10:30 am on the second Saturday of each month; service is approximately 30 minutes followed by “schmoozing” and a craft/activity for the kids
For kids aged 0-6 and their adults and siblings!
We begin with a lively Shabbat morning service led by one of our clergy and a songleader, using the children’s siddur (prayer book), Gates of Wonder. Afterwards everyone is invited to stay for kiddush, motzi, and a nut-free, vegetarian potluck lunch, followed by schmoozing and activities! Lap children, toddlers, preschoolers, and older siblings are all welcome. Tot Shabbat is a wonderful way to meet and socialize with other families in a Jewish setting. Our program and service is inclusive of all family compositions. Learn more about Tot Shabbat.
What can I expect during services?
To see a brief description of the rubrics of a Shabbat evening prayer service, you can read our Service Guide, which explains the what and why of Jewish prayer.
How should I dress?
We honor the separateness and sanctity of Shabbat by wearing appropriate attire. Worship attendees dress in various ways; however, you may feel more comfortable in business casual attire.
What Prayer Book does MZ use?
We use the Reform Movement’s new siddur/prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, for all Shabbat evening and festival services. This innovative prayer book features a two page spread for each prayer, offering the traditional prayer in Hebrew and English translation as well as interpretive and poetic versions. It is available in two versions – one with transliterations from the Hebrew and one without.
How can I participate?
Our services are enhanced when our members participate in meaningful ways. For example, you can:
- familiarize yourself with the prayers and melodies
- join one of our choirs
- supplement our worship with instrumental music
- chant Torah or Haftarah
Contact Cantor Strauss-Klein with questions on how to get involved.
How can I chant Torah?
Here at Mount Zion we have a core group of individuals, our “Trope Troupe,” who regularly chant from our sacred texts for Shabbat and Festival worship. Trope Troupe provides our congregants with opportunities to “Take hold of Torah” and to partake in our ancient and moving tradition.
Please contact Cantor Strauss-Klein if you are interested in chanting or would like more information about Trope Troupe.
What are the Shabbat blessings?
What about kids at Shabbat services?
Children are welcome at services!
Children of all ages are always welcome at Mount Zion’s services. We believe that having children in the sanctuary allows them to experience group prayer, learn the tunes and texts of our prayers, and feel the joy of being part of a community. We have a library of children’s books and activity bags filled with fun fidgets that we encourage families to use in the sanctuary if desired. Children are welcome to be kids and make noises, but there are times when watching the service on our closed-circuit TV in the chapel will feel more comfortable.
We hold Tot Shabbat at 10:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month. We begin with a lively Shabbat morning service led by one of our clergy and a songleader using the children’s siddur (prayer book), Gates of Wonder. Lap children, toddlers and preschoolers are all welcome! Older siblings may also participate. Our program and service is inclusive of all family compositions.
After the service, everyone is invited to stay for kiddush, motzi, a healthy, nut-free vegetarian potluck lunch (but please come even if you are not able to bring a dish to share!) and an activity. This informal time gives families an opportunity to schmooze.
Is there childcare?
Below was our practice before Covid. At this stage, we do not have childcare.
Mount Zion offers complimentary childcare in a safe, child-friendly environment on Friday evenings during Shabbat services, as well as Sunday mornings when there is Religious School (9:30 am-12:15 pm). Reservations are not necessary. However, we suggest that parents or guardians of infants or children with special needs notify Mount Zion in advance. Feel free to drop by room 102 and check out our wonderful facility and staff!