The Alternative Service

Last Shabbat - Oct. 17 - we had our first alternative service. You may be wondering why we are offering such services. I have always felt that we need to provide as many opportunities on shabbat for as many Jews as possible to walk through the shul doors. Some Jews are looking for a "regular" service. Some Jews are looking to socialize. Some Jews want yoga or music or exercise or mediation. Most importantly though we have no idea what most Jews want. We need to reach out to them in a variety ways to show that we want them to consider making us a part of their lives. The more variety that reflects where the Jews are at, maybe the more likely it will be for them to give us a try.

But the alternative service is just geared to the unaffiliated, it's aimed at our shul members. Shabbat is an important mitzvah that has provided inspiration, spirituality, and meaning for thousands of years. I want everyone in shul to have some kind of shabbat experience. Not everyone attends the shabbat morning service, so by providing something else maybe more members will add shul to their Saturday schedules.

The drumming circle we had was fascinating. About 100 people were there, several of whom never or very infrequently attend on shabbat morning. Mark Suresh Schalnger did an excellent job of teaching and having everyone drum together. It was different and successful.

I look forward to reporting on future events.