Shabbat Experiment

From Rabbi Tulik - The "Shabbat Experiment"

At the URJ Biennial, one of the major themes speakers and presenters talked about was “transformation”. How can synagogues adapt to the changing terrain of Jewish life in America? How can synagogue communities best practice audacious hospitality, welcoming everyone into the fold? What will it take for synagogues to stay relevant for years to come? This is certainly a question we ask at TBK. One thing is for sure - we can’t do it by simply maintaining the status quo. And yet, for many, our existing programs and offerings are fulfilling and meaningful. On the one hand, what we have is working for many of our community members. But we all know there are many potential community members who may be looking for other engagement opportunities.

So, we are very excited about the Shabbat Experiment - an opportunity to explore different ways of celebrating Shabbat. From now until summer, one Shabbat a month, we will have a second Shabbat service at 7:30pm. Our 6:00 pm service will continue as it is, but the Shabbat Experiment service that follows will be something different. We hope that it will draw new faces and open new doors for people looking for a new way in.

As this is an experiment, we haven’t hammered out all the details for each session yet. But we hope to experiment with the spaces we use for prayer, the tools we use (prayer books, music, etc.), and even the whole structure of the service. We might focus on one prayer or one story or one song. We might look at how we use our bodies to pray. The intention behind the experiment is to honor and celebrate different ways to find a connection to our ancient tradition of Shabbat.

Do you have ideas about how we might experiment with our Shabbat engagement? Please share them! The Shabbat Experiment will take place at 7:30 pm on the following Fridays: -

  • January 31
  • February 21
  • April 3
  • May 1

We encourage you to join us for one or all of these nights and of course share your feedback so we can continue to be a transforming community where more and more people find meaningful engagement opportunities. 


Parashat Vaera
January 25, 2020

In this Torah portion, God tells Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Israelites. Pharaoh refuses, and God unleashes plagues on the Egyptians. Pharaoh promises to free the Israelites, but God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. The portion ends with the plague of hail stopping and Pharaoh changing his mind once again.