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Q: How would you characterize the style of worship at Chizuk Amuno? What’s a typical service like?

A: When you walk into a Shabbat or holiday service in the sanctuary at Chizuk Amuno, you’ll notice the distinct marks of a Conservative congregation – egalitarianism and respect for religious tradition. Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg and Rabbi Deborah Wechsler typically lead services. We sing and recite prayers primarily in Hebrew.  Because the rabbis invite participation, you will often see congregants leading prayers and reading Torah.

The rabbis’ Torah teachings, sermons, and other comments – all in English – inform and enrich the experience. Read more about Worship at Chizuk Amuno.

Q: Do you have services for families with young children?

A: Yes! We have weekly and bi-weekly services for families with children ranging from infancy to 4th Grade and students in Grades 5 and 6. These services are held on Shabbat mornings in the intimate setting of Hoffberger Chapel. They typically last about one hour. Click here to learn more.

Q: Do you have a daily minyan?

A: Absolutely. You will find information about our daily minyan and all other prayer services on our services page. Please check our calendar or our Chizuk Amuno Monthly Newsletter for our weekly service schedule.

Q: What is a daily minyan?

A: Daily Minyan is a morning or late afternoon/evening prayer service comprised of a minimum of 10 men and women. In addition to joining for daily prayer, many of our members attend daily minyan to observe a loved one’s yahrzeit (anniversary of death) or celebrate personal moments in a more intimate setting. You will always find a minyan at Chizuk Amuno.

Q: I don’t affiliate with a particular type of Judaism. What does it mean to be part of a Conservative synagogue?

A: While belonging to Chizuk Amuno means belonging to a Conservative synagogue, we are above all else a Jewish community. Our members include families who have been part of this Congregation for generations and young families who are integrating Jewish observance and ritual into their lives for the first time. As a Conservative congregation, we preserve the traditions of Jewish practice. So services are conducted primarily in Hebrew, with traditional singing led by our Hazzan. We also worship in a way that gives men and women equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of religious practice, including the reading and study of Torah.

Q: Can members read Torah from the bimah at Chizuk Amuno?

A: Yes! We encourage Torah reading and offer everyone the opportunity to learn this precious skill. Read our page on Torah Readings and Aliyot for more information.

Q: Are women invited to read Torah?

A: Yes, on all occasions when Torah is read. As an egalitarian congregation, we invite all members to participate. Read our Torah Readings and Aliyot page for more information.

Q: How can I get help if I don't know the prayers? Or if I don't read Hebrew?

A: In addition to classes and special programs that focus on prayer skills and meanings, we provide synagogue mentors who can help you connect to the flow and experience of synagogue prayer. For those who cannot read Hebrew, our prayer books provide transliterations of many prayers.

Q: How can I get tickets for the High Holy Days?

A: High Holy Day tickets are reserved for members of Chizuk Amuno. The number of tickets each member receives depends on the membership level they choose — Aleph or Bet. Tickets for children, widowed parents, and out-of-town guests are available for an additional fee. See the Membership section of this website for more information.

Q: We’d like to enroll our child in one of your schools. Does that mean we have to be members of Chizuk Amuno Congregation?

A: Membership is not required of families who send their children to any of our schools, which include Goldsmith Early Childhood Center (GECC) for preschoolers, Krieger Schechter Day School (KSDS) for children in Kindergarten through Grade 8, the Rosenbloom Religious School (RRS) after-school programs, and the Netivon after-school high school program. Member-families are eligible for tuition discounts, when available.

Families who plan on celebrating a child’s bar or bat mitzvah at Chizuk Amuno must become members three years prior to the event, and the child is required to undertake six years of religious study prior to the occasion. For further details, contact Archer Davis.

Q: When do I need to join if I want my child to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Chizuk Amuno?

A: We require synagogue membership three years prior to celebrating your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We also required that children undertake religious study for six years prior to the event and be enrolled in a religious program up until the big day. We believe your family’s experience in synagogue life is best begun when you first enroll your child in one of our schools. For further details, contact Archer Davis.

Q: Why do you use so much Hebrew in your services?

A: Use of the Hebrew language fosters a connection for each of us with those generations who have uttered these words of prayer or sacred text before us, and those who recite them as we do today in synagogues around the world. When attending Shabbat services you will find the key passages of community song and prayer printed in English transliteration, so that people who are less fluent in reading Hebrew can join in creating an upbeat and joyous spirit for our congregation.

Q: My spouse isn’t Jewish. Would he or she feel comfortable at Chizuk Amuno?

We welcome interfaith couples and families, just as we welcome every other type of family at Chizuk Amuno. Non-Jewish partners pray with us in the sanctuary and the chapel, share in holiday celebrations, and participate in the bar/bat mitzvah of their sons and daughters. As a Conservative synagogue, we live our egalitarian values by embracing the participation of all types of families and partnerships. We also abide by Jewish law in reserving certain honors for Jewish congregants only, such as the honor of being called to the Torah for an aliyah.

The rabbis are available to guide interfaith couples leading up to and after their wedding, though our rabbis do not perform interfaith ceremonies themselves. They are also available to counsel couples around life cycle events and the day-to-day experience of sharing a life together.

Tue, June 25 2024 19 Sivan 5784