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Shul Etiquette

At Congregation Shaaray Shalom, we pride ourselves in spirited Conservative egalitarian prayer and song. You’ll find a refreshing attitude which favors broad congregational involvement in our services. Still, we have rules of etiquette we ask participants in our services to follow:

KIPPOT ARE REQUIRED FOR MEN: Jewish men going up to the bimah to participate in a ritual must wear both a kippah and tallit. Married Jewish women must wear a head covering.  

We strongly encourage Jewish men to wear a kippah or appropriate head covering whenever they are anywhere in the building – our sacred space as a congregational community.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Shabbat is the sacred center of our week as Jews. Please show the proper respect for this sanctity and the sanctity of our prayer services by, as best you can, dressing yourselves and your children with this in mind.

PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES AND BEEPERS BEFORE ENTERING THE SYNAGOGUE BUILDING ON SHABBAT AND HOLIDAYS: If you are a physician on-call, please use the vibrate mode. In the spirit of shemirat Shabbat (observing the Sabbath), unless it is an emergency, please do not place cell phone calls or use other electronic devices in the building on these sacred days. The use of any photography equipment is strictly prohibited.

HOLD YOUR CONVERSATIONS TO A MINIMUM: We are here to pray, and conversation distracts our kavanah – our concentration – on prayer and more importantly, it distracts the cantor. It is particularly important that we refrain from talking during the heart of our prayer services – the prayers before and after the Shema, the private and public recitations of the Shacharit and Musaf Amidah, the Torah and Haftorah readings and the D’var Torah.

DO NOT ENTER OR LEAVE THE SANCTUARY DURING A D’VAR TORAH (SERMON), OR WHEN THE ARON KODESH (HOLY ARK) IS OPEN: Traffic flow and conversation during a D’var Torah can be distracting to the rabbi or whoever is teaching the congregation that day. We want to maintain proper respect for the Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls) and the heightened sanctity of those moments when the ark is open. Of course, we recognize the immediate needs of parents with young children.

ENJOY THE COMPANY OF YOUR CHILDREN IN SERVICES: Please use your best discretion as to when it is appropriate to remove your children from services. We welcome the sounds and songs of infants, toddlers and young children in our services, but there are times when the needs of the congregation necessitate removing your children from the sanctuary. 

COME OFTEN! JEWISH PRAYER IS A COMMUNAL EXPERIENCE: Help us by coming often and participating frequently. Our congregation depends on you! 

HIGH HOLIDAYS/YOM TOVIM: The rules above apply also to the two days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, days 1 and 2 of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, days 1, 2, 7 and 8 of Pesach and the two days of Shavuot.