“Let them build Me a Sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.” – Exodus 25:8
Prayer is the attempt to come closer to God by coming together as a community. We build a sanctuary – not a physical space, but a spiritual one in the hopes that God will join us, and together we’ll create a sense of kedushah, or holiness.
As Jews have through the ages, we worship through music, prayers, teachings, and silence.
All of our services are open to everyone. We strive to make children welcome at every service, and also to ensure that our members are able to pray in a warm, spiritual environment. Those who have no experience with prayer, or with Judaism, are always welcome as well. Feel free to ask the Rabbi or Cantor any questions you might have, before or after the service.
Friday Evening Services
Friday Night services are our largest communal time – the greatest number of our congregants come together each week to welcome in Shabbat. Services are usually held at 7:30 PM on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Friday of each month, and at 6:30 PM on the 2nd and 4th. 6:30 services always include a story for the kids – sometimes in services, sometimes on their own.
All services are followed by an Oneg Shabbat, which gives an opportunity to meet and greet. 6:30 services are also followed by a Pot-Luck dinner (vegetarian).
Once a month (usually on the 3rd Friday), we hold special services for our littlest members – aged 0-7 (although, older kids are always welcome). We welcome in Shabbat with a lot of music, a few prayers and a fun story. It’s the perfect way to get your kids used to celebrating Shabbat, and to meet other families. And, a delicious Oneg Shabbat afterwards is a great way to help your kids learn to love Shabbat!
A few times a year, we hold a Kavannah Shabbat (“Kavannah” means “intention,” but it often refers to the spirit and energy that we bring to our prayers). This service is a more intensive, spiritually focussed service which includes niggunim (wordless melodies), chanting and silence, along with our prayers. The chance to focus on our prayers and inner lives, is a welcome change for many.
New Tampa Shabbat
So many of our members come in from New Tampa that we’ve decided to go to them instead! Every couple of months, we move our services to New Tampa at Compton Park in Tampa Palms, located at 16101 Compton Park Drive. It’s a way to serve our families there, as well as to reach out to new members.
For more information about Friday evening services in general, please click here.
Saturday Morning Services
Starting in late August, we’ll be trying an earlier time for our Shabbat services. Except for Cafe Shabbat (see below), services will start at 9:00 AM. Our hope is that by starting (and ending!) earlier, people will have an easier time making services while still having more of the day in front of them.
And, we have lots of ways to make Shabbat even more special for you:
Good coffee, yummy food, a casual atmosphere and good friends—it’s the perfect way to get in the mood for Shabbat, and it happens at our monthly Café Shabbat. Starting at 9:00 am, you’re welcome to sit and relax, read a paper or schmooze, and you can partake of optional activities—from Torah Study to drum circles—to deepen your Shabbat experience. Café Shabbat is held before services on the 1st Saturday of most months.
Making Prayer Real
Learning to pray is hard, but we’re here to help. Making Prayer Real is our semi-monthly workshop on personal prayer and spirituality. Using Rabbi Mike Commins’ book of the same name, we explore our own prayer lives, and try to understand how prayer can work best for us. It’s a powerful, safe way to explore the spiritual side of Judaism.
Usually, Making Prayer Real starts at 8:00 AM on the 2nd Saturday of the month, and is integrated into our 9:00 service on the 4th Saturday. Check our calendar for the schedule.
Once a month we stay for Torah Study and a snack after we pray. Walking through the weekly Torah Portion, verse by verse, gives us endless insights into Judaism, and into our lives. This informal, interactive setting is a great way to explore Judaism! Torah Study starts after services, around 10:00, on the 3rd Saturday of most months.
Please check the calendar or call the Temple office for a recorded message for the upcoming services.