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JOIN US FOR SERVICES

Please note:  In-person services are being held on every Saturday morning, beginning at 9:00 am. Check calendar for which dates we will be in the sanctuary on Friday evening. In addition, our Shabbat services are currently streamed on Zoom every week. If you need a link to join our services virtually, please email info@eitzchaim-monroe.org. Kabbalat Shabbat services begin at 7pm on Friday and Saturday morning services begin at 9am. We look forward to seeing you.

Shabbat Services

At Congregation Eitz Chaim, each week we begin the celebration of Shabbat on Friday evening at 6pm with a spiritually uplifting Kabbalat Shabbat service and continue on Saturday morning at 9am with a service that blends rich tradition with the modern egalitarian spirit.  We conclude with an oneg or a kiddush luncheon, a chance to nosh and meet old and new friends.

Once a month and on High Holy Days, we are led by Rabbi Elizabeth Breit, a recipient of the Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership, who is currently a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, in NYC. We love her energy and intelligence; she brings a fresh exuberance to our community. You can read a few of her letters to the congregation HERE.

How We Pray

All Jewish adults are counted enthusiastically in our minyanim and may participate fully in our services. We are egalitarian in our rituals and language, inclusive of language in our liturgy.  Most services are led by experienced lay leaders who volunteer as needed.  We are proud that our members prepare the Torah readings and Haftorah selections weekly, and also offer their thoughts on the parasha. We follow the triennial schedule for Torah reading throughout the year and study from the Etz Hayim Torah and Commentary.

We use the Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals, the most current Conservative prayer book, which contains English translations and commentary. It is our practice to announce page numbers frequently, so that all can follow the service without difficulty.

Shabbat services are Friday evenings at 7:00 pm, followed by an oneg, and Saturday morning starting at 9:00 am, concluding with a delicious kiddish. We hold services for all Jewish holiday throughout the year.

The attire for Shabbat services is generally business casual. A head covering is required if called to the bima, and wearing tallit is encouraged. Use of cellphones and cameras on Shabbat and Holidays is discouraged.

We look forward to seeing you at our Shabbat services!

Gabbai's Bench

At religious services, we encourage participation within each person’s comfort zone and take great pride from member accomplishments, large and small. Everyone is welcome to take their turn at leading a single prayer or an entire service and exercise the mitzvah of being Shliach Tzibur, (representative of the community.) Even if you have no interest in leading, you may wish to become more familiar with the words and tunes to enhance your own personal prayer experience. Our members also teach and contribute to our knowledge of Torah with D'varim Torah. 

In addition to our Shabbat observance, we hold special minyanim as needed by our members for yahrzeits or shiva, offering community support, prayers, and healing.

Please contact the Gabbai or the Rabbi if you would like to form a special minyan for yahrzeit or shiva.

High Holidays

Rosh Hashanah 5781

As the Summer of 2020 started, we began to plan for a unique High Holiday season at Eitz Chaim. Our President along with our Religious Committee chairs past and present attended seminars with other conservative synagogues via Zoom, to discuss how to hold High Holiday services during a pandemic. The first conversations with our new Gladstein fellow, Elizabeth Breit, were about how services would look this year. These meetings were virtual, as Elizabeth was quarantined in Israel and unable to visit Monroe prior to the holidays. We discussed halachic (legal) restrictions to streaming live during the holidays, and practical decisions about best health practices to prevent spreading the coronavirus. We selected the best local venue and a streaming service, then polled the congregation to project how many people would attend services in person this year.

 

Fast forward to today, and we have experienced Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur differently. From a large white tent on the lawn at Rest Haven in Monroe, we streamed services via Zoom for both holidays (and also for Sukkot). Almost 50 people attended services in person, with masks and chairs planted 6’ apart. Another 40 people attended services from the comforts of home. On both days of Rosh Hashanah, the weather was Fall-like. It was cool and crisp inside the tent, but sunny outside. Many attendees donned wool jackets and gloves to keep warm or stepped outside the tent to bask in the sunshine.  At home, congregants embraced a hot cup of coffee for warmth during the services.

 

 

Our spirits were renewed, despite logistical challenges. Services were expertly led by Mark Schulberg and Karen Fischer. We enjoyed the Torah readings by Rina and Jason Schulberg, and the davening led by Michael Schack, Sarah McDonald, and Rabbi Elizabeth Breit. Ben Kamine and Mark Schulberg read Haftorah; Carlton Levine lifted us up with his shofar sound. This was our first opportunity to hear the words of Rabbi Elizabeth Breit, who spoke to us of the importance of physical and emotional health. A special thank you goes out to all of those talented people, along with everyone who helped with the Zoom set-up, and Ben Ostrer who did the page calling for those who attended services remotely.

 

Thu, August 11 2022 14 Av 5782