HBT welcomes seekers and shmoozers, questioners and believers, of any background. What matters is that you want to connect and to grow.
Avodah, worship, is a key pillar of our congregation. As a Jewish Reconstructionist congregation, we seek to infuse our Shabbat and holiday services with joy and meaning, understanding that each individual seeks God and community in different ways.
Our siddur (prayerbook), Kol Haneshamah, invites you to join in with Hebrew, English and transliteration of major prayers. In addition, the book is full of kavvanot (reflections) and explanations of prayers, artwork and meditations. Our rabbi loves to sing, loves harmonizing, and believes that anyone can lift their voice and join in. We also open up the Torah service to a discussion on many Shabbat mornings. Informality is our backdrop; participation is our goal.
A bar or bat mitzvah service at HBT is an especially joyous occasion and anyone is welcome to the service, whether you are a member of the community, a friend of the family, or a guest. We seek to create an atmosphere of community to embrace each new Jewish adult, while celebrating his or her unique gifts.
On Friday nights, once a month, we welcome Shabbat in song and community. This service emphasizes rest and meditation, using chanting, a story for all ages, and time to connect with others. Most months we provide a pot-luck dinner for gathering and schmoozing over the Shabbat meal.
On High Holy Days, our service is filled with warmth and reverence. The atmosphere encourages personal reflection as well as community bonding. Traditional cantorial chanting, creative poetry, personal sharing and involvement of the congregants at every level are some of the highlights of the holy days. On Rosh Hashanah afternoon, families join together at the informal Tashlich service outdoors at Millenium Park. On Yom Kippur afternoon we offer alternative forms of worship, including yoga, meditation and chanting.
We also support two evening minyans a week, on Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. for those who come to say kaddish and to support one another, as well as to spend a few minutes at the end of the day in prayer and reflection.
Out of respect for the speaker and for other congregants, we respectfully ask that you do not go in or out of the sanctuary during the dvar Torah (a "word" of Torah, or teaching, delivered by a congregant, a bar or bat mitzvah, the Rabbi or an invited guest).
The doors to the sanctuary may be closed while the rabbi or bar/bat mitzvah student is speaking, but you may still listen in the foyer.
Todah rabbah. Thank you for your consideration.