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Shabbat Morning Service-Maker Volunteers

On Any Shabbat – Be a Leader, a Reader, a Drasher, or Just Be

Havurah community members, along with Rabbi Benjamin, lead services, read and discuss Torah, and make Shabbat community minyans happen every Saturday morning. This happens thanks to a core of leaders, leyners (Torah portion chanters), and drashers, who have been counted on regularly for years.

This regular core has expanded in the past few years, and there is a wider and growing group who contribute irregularly, now and again, when they are able. There are over 90 community members who have opted into an email list to access a Google docs sign-up sheet maintained by the Spiritual Life Committee. We want this list to grow!

We want to reach out those who can lead a portion of the service or chant a Torah portion now and again to do so. We’d like b'nai mitzvah kids to have the opportunity to feel comfortable on the bima before their day – leading the Torah service or Ma Tovu or Shema – and for parents to join them, and take an Aliyah if they are up for it, so they are more comfortable on the bima, too. 

We want to be sure everyone is aware of how to jump in to contribute and expand the network of people who help make these services happen. Not everyone can lead service or chant Torah but everyone can learn, and there are opportunities for learning during the year. There is certainly a very broad group at Havurah who can drash – drashing is about engaging with the Torah portion of the week and current and/or ancient commentaries, connecting the portion to what is happening in the world or in your life, and talking about it/engaging in it with the rest of us.     

If you are interested in being added to the email list that is used to remind an opt-in group of upcoming service needs and opportunities, email Sam Sirkin at, and he’ll add you to the group email. If you think you might be able and interested in leading, leyning or drashing, sign up. Or if you have questions, contact Sam, Spiritual Life Co-chair Diane Chaplin (, Avodah Lead Susan Brenner ( or Rabbi Benjamin ( 

You can access the Google docs pages here: Havurah Shalom - Leaders & Leyners Sign Up

Shabbat happens every week, thank God. Find ways to slow down and just plain stop on Shabbat (Shabbat means “stopping time”). One great way to do this is to come to Shabbat services whenever you can – you don’t have to lead, leyn or drash. You can just be. Or, if you feel so inspired, ask Susan Brenner about the possibility of reading a poem as part of the service.

In addition, we now have an oneg lunch following services. More reason to come!

Sam Sirkin

Sat, February 22 2020 27 Shevat 5780