“Prayer may not bring water to parched fields,
nor mend a broken bridge,
nor rebuild a ruined city.
But prayer can water an arid soul,
mend a broken heart,
rebuild a weakened will.”
      – Abraham Joshua Heschel

Worship at WAJC/ Congregation Shir Shalom is an important part of our spiritual experience. The services are deep and meaningful yet joyful and inspiring. We meet on the first and third Friday of every month for Kabbalat Shabbat worship, singing and prayer. Please check our calendar for multiple entrees and opportunities for prayer.

Services are open to all, the services are in Hebrew and English. We use a beautiful siddur called Mishkan Tefillah – a resource filled with inspiring poetry and transliterated text. There is no fee for attending services, or for being a member of our congregation; we do ask that you bring something for the Woodstock and Reading Food shelf.

One congregant recently told her daughter that she really enjoyed the service, the recent college graduate was shocked that enjoying services was even an option! Please come and be with us, this is not your grandmother’s shul!

UPDATE (NOW AVAILABLE IN FULL-TEXT VIEWING FOR VIRTUAL SERVICES): The Mishkan T’filah has been repaginated. Please visit the Central Conference of American Rabbis page to view the full-text books so that you can follow along from home during our online virtual services. Thank you CCAR for making this available for us!

Worship Opportunities:

Kabbalat Shabbat:   End your week with friends or family, meet new fellow travelers on a parallel journey. Heschel writes, “There is a realm of time where the goal is not have but to be, not to own but give, not to control but to share, not to subdue, but to be in accord.” Join us, let us receive Shabbat together.

Tot Shabbat:  Services are held on occasional Saturday mornings throughout the year – Children under 7 are encouraged to join us for singing and stories and movement, puppets and joy- experiencing Shabbat with friends and family. We will join together for an Oneg Shabbat after each service, a chance to meet other families and explore Shabbat together.

Family Shabbat:  On occasional Shabbat evenings the service is held focusing on more family oriented worship experience. We often use an alternative children’s siddur. Crafts and theater or musical opportunities open a way for our younger members to learn to love Jewish worship. Come and join us….suspend your grown up thoughts and enter prayer through the eyes of your children or grandchildren, or those of the congregation.

Shabbat Morning Learner’s Services:  In conjunction with our b’nai mitzvah training the rabbi leads learner services throughout the year on Saturday mornings. These services are open to the entire congregation. Novices to Jewish prayer, novices to less traditional modalities of worship or those interested in accessing and better understanding the ways of Jewish prayer are invited to join us.

Festivals:  Join us on a journey of Jewish Time as we celebrate the chagim, the Jewish festivals, each with a unique intellectual, spiritual and ritual exploration. Keep an eye on our facebook page or website, sign up for our eblast (send an email office @ shirshalom.org) to get notifications of our communities exploration of Jewish festivals Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, Shavuot and more.

Virtual MinyanEvery Wednesday morning at 8:30 am. We know that distances and schedules often interfere with our ability to enter into communal prayer. The WAJC / Congregation Shir Shalom community has a dynamic and novel way to join together, remotely by video conference each Wednesday morning. Often this virtual space is used to say kaddish for a loved one, connect children in multiple states or friends of Shir Shalom scattered from Florida to New Hampshire to Vermont to New York. This 30 minute shacharit service provides a support structure and opportunity for thanksgiving, words of petition and of awe. For a full text of the siddur that we use, view our virtual minyan siddur (PDF).

High Holidays:  A full schedule of our worship from Elul through Simchat Torah may be found on our calendar. We use the Mishkan HaNefesh as our guide as we engage in a spiritual journey beginning with Elul, Selichot and Rosh Hashanah, the Days of Awe unfold through Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. Tashlich and children services as well as our annual Yom Kippur hike enrich our worship experience. As for all of our services there is no fee — only gifts of the heart as we delve together into the opportunities for teshuvah and celebration.

Join us. There are multiple entrees for the multiplicity of needs.

“It is a distortion to say that Judaism consists exclusively of performing ritual or moral deeds and to forget that the goal of all performing is in transforming the soul.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

Ken Yehi Ratzon