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New Approaches to Our Shabbat Schedule

New Approaches to Our Shabbat Schedule


By Liz Paige, Director of Ethics & Community


Each week, we celebrate Shabbat, a traditional day of rest and reflection, to appreciate all that we have learned, created, and accomplished as well as focus on our values together as a Kehilah (community).


Over the last two years, we held Shabbat in classrooms. There, we rediscovered the beauty of celebrating in small, intimate groups, which gave all students the opportunity to express their gratitude and share their reflections.


Still, we missed the opportunities to come together in larger community groups to celebrate Shabbat. So this year, we are going to have a little of both and hold small and large Shabbat celebrations!


How Will Shabbat Look in 2022/23?

Kindergarten - 5th Grade

K-5 will be on a rotating schedule, celebrating Shabbat in their classrooms or in the Gathering Space. Check the Community Calendar to view your students’ Shabbat schedule. Parents/caregivers and grandparents/grandfriends are welcome to join our Shabbat programs in the Gathering Space!


Middle School

Like last year, Grades 6-8 will gather in Kehilah Crews to participate in the traditional Shabbat rituals and blessings. Afterwards, Middle School students will gather in the MAC for a program focused on our values, current events, or a monthly Tikkun Olam: One Story At a Time speaker. Speaker events begin at 2:30 PM, while other programs based on values or current events begin at 3:00 PM.


All-School Shabbat - Come Hear the Shofar Blast on September 23!

Our next All-School Shabbat will be held on Friday, September 23, to celebrate Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). If you would like to join us to hear the shofar blown, join us in the MAC at 2:00 PM. It is a truly remarkable sound that wakes us up to recognize the passage of time and the opportunities the New Year holds for us!


About Our Shabbat Program

McGillis Shabbat always includes the three traditional Hebrew blessings: blessing the Shabbat candles, blessing juice, and blessing the challah (braided bread made for Shabbat). In these blessings, we give thanks for the creation of the world and all its beauty while recognizing the creative spark in each of us, the sweetness of the fruit of the vine and all sweet things in our life, and for the bread and those who nourish us individually and as a community.


Our Shabbat program also includes stories, songs, videos, and speakers who teach us universal lessons to be gleaned from Jewish, American, and other traditions' holidays, as well as current events.


We look forward to welcoming you to our McGillis Shabbat!


Learn More About Jewish Traditions at McGillis