Shir Hadash Services are unique. They incorporate contemporary, traditional and original melodies, dramatic skits, modern and interpretive dance, and even some dancing in the aisles. We worship, sing, meditate, study, discuss and celebrate the joy of being Jewish. You don’t have to know how to read Hebrew.
Our prayer book includes Hebrew, Transliteration, English translation, and even commentary for every prayer. Even if the music is unfamiliar, you are welcome to hum, tap, and clap along.
Our services offer quiet moments of reflection. We pause for silent prayers. We pray for the healing of loved ones and we recall those who have died, yet whose memories live on within us. We pray and commit ourselves to making the world better for all. Services offer opportunities to acknowledge members of the congregation. Young or old receive monthly birthday blessings. Couples with anniversaries are honored for their commitment to one another. Proud parents watch their children present what they have learned in Religious School.
At each service, there is time to learn as Rabbi Weiner-Kaplow explains the essence of the prayers so that all can better understand what is being said or sung. All of our services conclude with pot-luck oneg, featuring great desserts, schmoozing and meeting new and old friends.
First and Third Fridays
The first and third Fridays of each month feature creative worship, study and community engagement. Each service is unique. Services can include discussion or an interactive program focused on a lesson from the week’s Torah portion.
At times, our singers, dancers, or actors will share a beautiful and artistic approach to Shabbat worship. Sometimes Rabbi Weiner-Kaplow reads from the Torah and offers an exciting way of reading from the scroll in Hebrew with a running English translation and his own creative commentary. At other times, religious school classes will assist in leading this service. Services run from 7:30 until about 9 p.m. Children are always welcome in the service.
On the second Friday of each month we encourage one member family to host the rabbi and a few Shir Hadash families for a “pot-luck” Shabbat dinner and evening of study and community. If you would like to host a dinner, please call the Shir Hadash office (847) 498-8218.
We hold no gatherings on the fourth Friday of each month. We encourage Shir Hadash households to join together and share a Shabbat meal along with study and children’s activities in each other’s homes.
When there is a fifth Friday of the month, Shir Hadash holds a Learner’s Service. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask Rabbi Weiner-Kaplow questions about the meanings of the prayers, the flow of the service, the themes of the weekly Torah portion, and virtually anything about Judaism and Jewish civilization that comes to mind. Services run from 7:30 p.m. until about 9 p.m. Children are always welcome in the service.
“Hava Nashira” Services
A few times a year, we hold “Hava Nashira/Let’s All Sing” Friday Shabbat services. Words are often not enough to tap into the spiritual joy of prayer. That’s when singing and musical instrument add the extra dimension to let the spirit soar! All those present become a huge choir singing from start to finish. Through the music, all share in the spirit of Shabbat and are swept away by a special connection to our Jewish heritage and spirituality. Clapping, holding hands, tapping feet, swaying, and even dancing to the joyous melodies are all part of the prayer and celebration.
Shabbat morning services are scheduled when we are celebrating a bar/bat mitzvah service. Please know that all Shabbat morning b’nai mitzvah services are open to the community be it a bar/bat mitzvah service held at a hotel or one of our regular locations. All are most welcome to attend. Check our worship calendar for times and locations of all Shabbat morning services.
Shabbat Morning Torah Study & Healing Services
On selected Shabbat mornings, calendar permitting, we hold Shabbat morning Torah Study & Healing Services not connected with a bar/bat mitzvah service. These informal and relaxed gatherings present a unique time for fellowship, prayer, reflection, torah reading, and discussion. Special time is taken to offer special prayers of healing and recovery for friends and family members. We wrap up the morning with a pot-luck Kiddush, a few “L’chaim” toasts, and, occasionally, serve a Shabbat lunch feast.
We take great pride in our celebration and observance or our Jewish festivals. During Sukkot, we build a sukkah and enjoy decorating it and eating inside. For Simchat Torah, we dance with our Torah scrolls and then unroll an entire scroll all the way around the room before we read the ending and beginning sections. Our “Chanukah: Lights and Miracles” service is a joyful celebration of song and story. Purim brings out the ‘wild and crazy’ in all of us as we dress up in costume and retell the Purim Story in spoof and shpiel. Our “Pausing in the Wilderness” service is a highlight of the year as it ushers in the themes of the Passover wanderings from Egyptian slavery to freedom in the Promised Land. Next, we settle down for solemn reflection on Yom Hashoa v’Hagvurah – Holocaust Memorial Day, only to rejoice in Israel’s Independence a few weeks later.
The High Holidays are our “annual convention”–a gathering of our entire Shir Hadash community to meet, study, reflect, pray and affirm our readiness to repair our lives and our community in the coming year. High Holiday services are held at the Our Lady of the Brook Worship Center in Northbrook and at Shir Hadash Synagogue in Wheeling. Our services are moving, exciting, meaningful and very participatory. Members of our creative artist community add music, drama and dance to our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur experience.