Shabbat

When are services?

Friday night services begin at 6:30pm and last about an hour.

Shabbat morning services begin at 10am and usually conclude between 11:30am and noon.

Services are followed by a lovely kiddush (blessings over wine and challah, plus refreshments).  

What are Shabbat services like?

As a Progressive Synagogue, our services blend creativity and tradition, age old rituals and contemporary elements.  Expect a mix of Hebrew and English (our prayer books have transliteration for non-Hebrew speakers).  We are an egalitarian congregation that loves traditional and contemporay melodies, so men and women sit and sing together.  There is a children's corner with toys and books so families can enjoy services together. Tallitot (prayer shawls worn by Jewish men and women), siddurim (prayer books), chumashim (Hebrew Bibles), and kippot (head coverings) are all available in the synagogue’s foyer.

Are all Shabbat services the same?

While the structure of our services is consistent, we have many "special" Shabbatot, including:

  • Shabbat dinners - Offered every six to eight weeks. These fill up quickly, so be sure to book early if you are staying for the dinner.
  • 'Hands-free' Tefilah - A joy for all ages, our quarterly 'Hands Free' Tefilah service is an engaging, innovative, liberating worship experience that frees participants from the printed page.  Held in the Valerie Jaye Hall on a Friday night, these services utilise our state-of-the-art audio visual resources to project blessings and beautiful photos as a backdrop to our (even more beautiful) children, who lead the service along with Rabbi Nicole. Each quarter we celebrate the children’s birthdays with blessings, singing, and chocolate cake at Kiddush
  • Young Families Shabbat- A joyful way for children under eight and their families to celebrate Shabbat.
  • Bagels & Brachas Family Shabbat -  Once a month, children and their parents enjoy the first 45 minutes (approx) of the Shabbat morning service,  before heading off to an organised craft activity for the children while the parents schmooze over a delicious breakfast. 
  • Teen Torah Tag Team - Every six weeks or so, our NSTE teenagers who form our Teen Torah Tag Team conduct the entire Torah and Haftarah reading for the congregation, while also sharing “words of the wise” (inspiration and encouragement) with our current B’nei Mitzvah students. Their participation is an inspiration!  Teens are welcomed onto the Team immediately following Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Shabbat Groove - A super musical, super groovy Friday evening service.
  • Special guest speakers - We regularly welcome speakers on a variety of themes and topics throughout the year.  This year, we have hosted speakers on the topic of healthy relationships, disability inclusion, the Progressive movement in Israel, Holocaust remembrance, and more.  Our guest speakers have included members of our own shul, as well as representatives of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Centenary of ANZAC Jewish Program, United Israel Appeal, the Israel Study Tour, and government dignitaries.

What should I wear?
NSTE is an informal place. Your presence is more important than your outfit. For Shabbat services, most dress in business casual attire. Members tend to dress a bit more formally when they have been invited for an honour on the bimah (pulpit)or are attending High Holy Day services.  

Is there parking?
Yes!  Parking is easy and on site at NSTE.  However, on special occasions, our carpark fills up rather quickly, so arrive early.  There is always street parking in the neighbourhood. If your mobility is limited, please call the office by Friday morning and we'll reserve a spot for you.

Mobile Phone Usage

Please note that to preserve the calm and sanctity of Shabbat (the Sabbath), we do not allow photography on our campus on Friday evenings and Saturdays. Therefore, all mobile phones and electronic devices must be switched off when inside the synagogue building on Shabbat.  (However, devices required for those with hearing or visual impairment or mobility challenges may be used in all areas of the campus at all times.) 

Upcoming Special Shabbat Services

Friday 13 April - Yom Ha'Shoah Commemoration Shabbat with Guest Speaker Anna Rosenbaum, NSTE member and author of The Safe House Down Under: Jewish Refugees from Czechoslovakia in Australia 1938-1944. Find out more about Yom Ha'Shoah here

Friday 20 April - Yom Ha'Atzmaut service with Israeli-inspired music, followed by Israeli dinner and dancing.  Book today! Guest speakers: The Baral Family, who have recently returned from an extensive holiday tour of the Holy Land.

Friday 27 April - ANZAC Day Service, followed by memorial ceremony with laying of the wreath and the Last Post. Guest speaker: Peter Allen, who will be talking on the topic 'General Sir John Monash: the Centenary of his Knighthood'.

Upcoming shabbat Guest Speakers

Friday 20 April (Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration) - The Baral Family will be speaking about their recent extensive holiday tour of the Holy Land.

Friday 27 April (ANZAC Day Service) - Peter Allen on "General Sir John Monash: the Centenary of his Knighthood"

Friday 25 May (Pride Shabbat) - Kim Gottlieb - Topic TBA

Friday 1 June - Ralph Pliner - Topic TBA (Part of our Speakers Series organised by NSTE's Inclusion and Diversity Task Force)

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Please join our ranks as a shammash

We do our best to make our services run smoothly and help the Rabbi as much as we can. Most times you may not even notice us; we try to be as inconspicuous as we can.

BUT - the number of shammashim are dwindling, and we could really do with more on our roster. The work is easy enough, and it is a good opportunity to get to know more congregants. Training is easy and you will get a more intimate knowledge of the service.

You don’t have to attend every week – the roster means (at the moment) about once a month for the erev service and once every two or three months for the morning service.

It is a good feeling to be doing something worthwhile and assisting our community. Many hands make light work, so if you are interested please let the office know on 9419 7011 and I will get in contact with you.

Thank you,
Della Russell 
 

 

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