I can recall many beautiful moments from the prayer experiences of my early years. As a child, my family and I would head to synagogue, about once a month, and join with the congregation in prayer and song. These sacred memories are still dear to my heart today.
I recall the rabbi inviting my friends and me to open the ark for Aleinu L’Shabeiach: we would race forward to try to be the first one to grab a door and be helpful!
I recall my parents sitting on my left and right, pointing to the words in the prayer book: as an eager reader, I practiced sounding out words and trying to keep up with the pace of the congregation.
I recall the community clapping in unison during everyone’s favorite Mi Chamocha (and the rabbi never getting the rhythm quite right).
Finally, I recall feeling a great sense of joy, purpose, and pride: Joy in singing with my family and friends; purpose in knowing that my voice added to the sound of the community; pride in my Jewish identity and feeling more encouraged in my Hebrew each Shabbat.
Worshipping as a family creates these sacred memories. It is a powerful opportunity to bond: child to parent, child to grandparent, and child to child. Not only will your children and grandchildren bond with you, but they will also create lasting memories with their peers.
When kids have the chance to participate in prayer with their peers, it becomes the cool thing to do! They’ll smile at one another throughout the service, whisper to friends, and they will develop a deep sense of community with those present.
Mark your calendar today and join us for Friday with Family: Intergenerational Family Shabbat on April 20th and May 11th. Gather the parents, grandparents, and children, and join us for a wonderful evening. We’ll begin promptly at 6:30 and conclude by 7:15, having created sacred memories together.
Please note, on these dates our traditional service will still occur in the sanctuary at its usual time, 7:30.