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Congregational Life

If it’s your custom to attend Friday night services, here’s how you can seek out a Reform congregation when you’re on the road, whether for business or pleasure.

As Jews throughout the world prepare to gather for the High Holidays, Reform Jewish communities want to ensure that everyone who enters our synagogues – at this season and throughout the year – has a meaningful, fulfilling worship experience. 

Our scroll – Blatna scroll #877 – originally belonged to the Jewish community of Blatna, which once might have included as many as 100 people. By the mid-1930s, thanks to migration – both across the Atlantic and to larger towns in the region – Blatna numbered only eight Jewish families. When the Nazis rounded up the town's Jews in November 1942, those families were sent to Terezin. We know the names of 26 of those who perished.

If you find yourself a newcomer – either to a particular community, or to the Jewish community as a whole – consider these suggestions to make your adjustment easier.

As my recovery continues, I often reflect on how I managed to find the strength--the resilience--to rebuild my life. I believe the answer lies in three interventions, each informed by Judaism: directed prayer on my behalf, attentive visits, and practical support.

While the promise of fun may be the first motivator to join, the long-term effects of the youth group experience drive NFTY’s teens to stay involved in Jewish communal life long after high school has ended. Read on to find out if NFTY is right for your teen.

Do you know as much about synagogues as you think you do? Take the quiz.

Perhaps you’ve been to Shabbat services, and found them mystifying, or you've been invited to a bar mitzvah service and have no idea what to do. Here are some ways to get something out of the experience as a beginner.

In Reform congregations, Shabbat services are customarily held on Friday night and Saturday morning. Service times may vary from week to week depending on the community and the occasion. Most congregations have websites, or you might ask the congregation if to add your name to the temple bulletin mailing list, which usually includes a schedule of all services and events.

Members of our movement are continually confronted, knowingly or not, with the need to answer two questions: Why be Jewish? And Why be a Reform Jew?


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