Part of the Union's Shabbat Initiative, this is a detailed, step-by-step guide to setting up your congregation’s Shabbat Morning Task Force. Each Task Force’s purpose is to recommend to its own congregation and our Movement how Shabbat morning worship might be reimagined and enhanced.
Participants are guided in a program of Shabbat immersion, studying about Shabbat and actively observing it alongside a small group of fellow congregants, with support given by the synagogue and the Union.
Responsibility for congregational worship and ritual observance should be guided by a strong clergy-lay partnership because providing for and sustaining Jewish life is at the core of every congregation’s responsibilities to its members. These workshops are the venue in which your congregation should begin its work on the Shabbat Initiative.
Six study sessions that may be used separately or together in a variety of ways: as the study component for the Shabbat Shachrit Task Force, with the Shabbat Initiative Chavurah Program, as a congregational adult study program, or as part of a course of personal learning.
The Shabbat Initiative
Excerpted from Rabbi Yoffie's Biennial sermon, December 15, 2007
"There is a magical quality to Shabbat at Biennial. When we ask our delegates what was their most powerful experience during their five days here, the great majority say Shabbat. We treasure these twenty-four hours together, because, for once, we celebrate Shabbat as it is meant to bea respite from errand running and clattering commerce, a day when we pay attention to the holy and the pull of Jewish time."