Shabbat and Daily Minyan

Shabbat

At Beth El, we honor the commandment to sanctify Shabbat with moving and uplifting services on both Friday night and Saturday morning. We offer a variety of services, providing choices designed to accommodate differing styles of worship, a range of knowledge of Hebrew and sacred texts and varying levels of participation. The common denominator is joyous celebration of Shabbat through song and prayer.

Two of Beth El’s guiding values are empowering our members and merging tradition with the creative spirit. We are privileged to have a variety of lay-led minyanim that contribute to the diversity and empowerment of our synagogue community.

Our Etz Hayim Chumash provides expanded commentaries, historical maps and other items enhancing understanding and interest. We provide devices to assist the hearing impaired in participating in the service.  We also offer those who cannot attend services in person to listen by calling a special telephone number or streaming over the Internet. We also provide siddurim containing transliteration of all key prayers, making our Shabbat service more accessible to congregants who cannot read Hebrew.

Friday Night Services

Our traditional Friday evening services are held in Swoff chapel starting at 6:30 pm.

Friday night is a time for community, song, and joyful noise. Join us on the first Friday of the month from September to June for this exciting service filled with music that stirs the soul and welcomes Shabbat with joy and warmth. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with Nitzanim, a musical service for families with young children. From 6:30-7:00 pm, join us for a Happy Half-Hour during which families and young adults are invited to schmooze with us while enjoying drinks (both adult and kid friendly!) and appetizers. Free babysitting is available during happy hour.

The Friday Night Kol Haneshamah service is a lively and interactive lay-led service that blends tradition and creativity, and features the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach and contemporary Jewish artists, as well as melodies that are heard at innovative congregations in the United States and in Israel, such as Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and Romemu in New York, and Shira Chadasha and Nava Tehila in Jerusalem. The service includes musical instruments.

The creative team of Kol Haneshama also offers Selichot and High Holiday prayer experiences.

Saturday Morning

Join us each Shabbat at 9:15 am, in the Bender Sanctuary or Swoff Chapel for a service led by one or both of our rabbis and by our hazzan. The Torah reading follows the triennial cycle according to the Conservative movement.

This service is the home for life cycle events including aufrufs, namings, and b’nai mitzvah. The service generally ends around noon and is followed by a kiddush, which provides an opportunity to meet friends and engage with the community.

We have a Visitor’s Guide to the Shabbat Service for those visiting Beth El for the first time, which provides insight into the inner meaning of services at Beth El.

This lay-run minyan has been meeting since 1984, and begins at 7:30 am on Shabbat mornings in the Swoff Chapel. The service ends at about 9:00 am and is followed by a kiddush. For more information, contact Peter Novick at 301-493-8428.

The Worship and Study Minyan holds a spirited monthly lay-led Shabbat service. Our hallmarks are study, song and the informality, spirituality, and intimacy and of a small group. Our minyan blends tradition with the flexibility to explore, re-think and occasionally re-invent our approach. We invite all ages, levels of interest and experience to participate in our community. We welcome and support anyone interested to join and learn more or do more: by coming up for an aliyah, reading a prayer in Hebrew or English, chanting Torah, or joining in a dynamic, and sometimes skeptical discussion of the weekly Torah portion.

  • There may be a talk with lively, back-and-forth discussion, or we may divide into small groups to consider a particular text or commentary. The d’var Torah is a distinguishing feature of our service – an opportunity to engage with the text and each other in understanding the Torah today.
  • Song and Prayer. Our prayers emphasize singing together. We also value an understanding of what we are saying. Our service may vary month to month – based on who is leading, or if we learn new melodies, pause on one prayer, or move along to reach our Torah discussion.
  • We appreciate the moments of inspiration found in our small setting. Our intimate size provides a warm community and the opportunity for those small moments of spirituality found in song, study and participation.
  • Personal journeys. Many people have found we are a comfortable place to question, learn, and make friends. It is an accepting space to learn or to practice skills such as chanting Torah, reading a prayer or just following along with the service.

We welcome children of all ages. Young children may play and come forward for a “children’s Aliyah”. Older children help lead prayers they know, teenagers may read Torah. Upcoming b’nai mitzvah may especially enjoy the opportunity to fulfill their pre-bar or bat mitzvah requirements by joining us.

Details: First Shabbat of the month, at 9:50 am. Service finishes to join all other groups at kiddush. We are an integral part of Beth El. Email WSMinyanBE@gmail.com or contact Beth El for more information.

Minyan Chaverim is one of Beth El’s lay led Shabbat morning services.  This traditional service is smaller, less formal, and more intimate.   It typically features opportunities to follow along, sing, and pray together.  We have an interactive Torah reading where brief discussions are common.  We encourage and facilitate meaningful participation at all levels.  The service is family friendly, welcoming tots, teens, and even adults.

A pot luck lunch hosted at a nearby home of congregants around 1:00 pm follows the service and congregational Shabbat kiddush.  The pot luck offers opportunities to schmooze with other attendees (and for kids and teens to play or hang out together).

If you are interested in having an honor/aliyah at the service, please contact us on Shabbat or in advance.  Any questions are welcome.  Contact Mitchell Solkowitz via phone or at minyanchaverim@bethelmc.org or visit Minyan Chaverim’s Facebook page.


Daily Minyan

The twice daily minyan is one of Beth El’s core offerings for members, their families, friends and visitors. We encourage participation, whether it’s to fulfill a sacred obligation, a peaceful way to start or conclude the day, or to recite Kaddish and reflect on the life of a person dear to you.

The daily minyan also serves as an incubator for enduring friendships. Those reciting Kaddish or Yahrzeit often form strong bonds that yield new relationships that likely would not have occurred but for the minyan experience. The breakfast following the morning minyan helps cement this sense of community. The morning minyan lasts about 30 minutes except when reading Torah when it takes an additional ten minutes.

Minyan “captains” help ensure leadership and help guarantee that we gather the requisite ten people to proceed with the service. The evening minyan lasts about twenty minutes.

Each Tuesday morning, there is a Talmud study class immediately following minyan and breakfast.

The daily minyanim take place in the Swoff Chapel.

Daily Minyan Times

Morning minyan is held at 7:30 am during the week, except on some secular holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, President’s Day, July 4th) when it is held at 9:00 am. Breakfast is provided.

On Sunday mornings, minyan is at 9:00 am.

Sunday through Thursday nights, evening minyan is at 8:00 pm, except when the Rabbi Samuel Scolnic Adult Institute is in session, when minyan begins at 8:20 pm.

Join us Daily and on Shabbat

Central our mission, services are held twice daily for members, friends and visitors. Attend in person or via our enhanced live stream; join regularly and forge bonds with other regular participants.

Visit our live streaming page