Q. What do I wear?
A. Men, a jacket and tie are most appropriate. A small head covering called a yarmulke or kippah is required. They are available just outside the sanctuary. Women, a dress, skirt and blouse, or pants suit. In general, clothing should be modest. A tallit (prayer shawl) is traditionally worn by all Jewish men. More and more Jewish women are choosing to wear a tallit as well. A tallit should only be worn by a Jewish individual.
Q. What time should I arrive?
A. Shabbat services begin Friday evening at 6:30 pm, Saturday morning at 9:00 am and varying times (depending on sundown) on Saturday afternoon. Please see our service schedule for special days. The Shabbat morning service begins at 9:00 am and usually concludes at Noon. It is not necessary for you to arrive by 9:00 am. The individual with whom you are coming to celebrate will participate in the Torah service which generally begins at about 9:45 am. If you arrive between 9:45 am or 10:00 am, you will be certain not to miss a bar/bat mitzvah. The Rabbi delivers his D'var Torah approximately 11:15 am.
Q. Where should I sit?
A. Guests may sit wherever they are most comfortable.
Q. If arriving late, are there times when a guest should not enter the sanctuary?
A. Do not move about the sanctuary when the congregation is standing or when the Rabbi is delivering his D'var Torah. Please stand in the back until an appropriate break. If you are uncertain, you may always ask one of the greeters.
Q. May I bring young children into the sanctuary?
A. Yes. We are always happy to welcome children. Please leave “noisy” toys at home. Additionally, writing and coloring is not permitted on Shabbat, so please leave coloring books, crayons, markers, etc. at home. If you child gets restless, feel free to step outside the sanctuary with him/her. On most Shabbats we have Gan services at 11:00 am for little ones and Family service for our Religious School aged children.
Q. Are there times when a guest should not leave the service?
A. Don’t leave when the congregation is standing, when the Torah is being taken out or returned to the ark, when the rabbi is speaking, or when the specific ceremony during the service for which you have been invited is taking place.
Q. Will a guest who is not Jewish be expected to do anything other than sit?
A. Guests are expected to stand with the congregation. It is optional for guests to read prayers aloud and sing with the congregation if this would not violate their own religious beliefs. Kneeling is not part of any Jewish service.
Q. Will contributions be collected at the service?
Q. Is it okay to leave early?
Q. Is there usually a reception after the service?
A. Yes. This is called a kiddush. Pastries, and sometimes light lunch foods may be served. It is okay to leave the kiddush at any time.
Q. Is there anything else of which I should be aware?
A. Please do not bring food into the synagogue. Because Shelter Rock Jewish Center adheres to the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut, no outside food or drink may be brought into any part of the synagogue facility. Electronics of any sort are not permitted for use in any part of the synagogue facility during the Sabbath, including cameras, video cameras, video game systems, pagers or cell phones. If you must carry a phone or pager, please keep it on silent mode. If you must take or make a call, we ask that you step outside the synagogue facility.
Adapted from "How to Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People’s Religious Ceremonies", edited by Arthur J. Magida.
Q: How do I sponsor a Kiddush?
A: Contact the office at 516-741-4305 x 10 to arrange a kiddush to honor a loved one, mark a yarzheit or celebrate the community.