Join Us For Prayer
The observance of Shabbat is a central focus of congregational life at Bet Ha’am, and we offer a variety of worship experiences and Shabbat programs. To keep our congregation safe, we are currently offering services online. Please email the office to get the Zoom registration link.
We are grateful that our congregants have responded so positively to online services. We have heard from congregants and friends no longer in Portland who can join us from wherever they now live. We have heard from people who were originally skeptical but have found that we maintain a worshipful feeing and a strong sense of communal connection.
When it is safe, we will return to holding in-person services every Friday night and Saturday morning, as well as on Jewish holidays. All Bet Ha’am services and events are open to the entire community. You don’t have to be a member to attend. Everyone is welcome regardless of religious background, Jewish knowledge, or age.
We are grateful to the CCAR for providing virtual versions of our prayer books here. If you would prefer to have a real book, you may order one from the CCAR press (large print also available) or Amazon. Please be sure to order Mishkan T’filah for Shabbat, Transliterated (NOT for Shabbat, Weekdays, and Festivals) so that you’ll have the right page numbers.
The Union of Reform Judaism offers a helpful guide of what to expect during many reform Jewish services.
At Friday night and Saturday morning worship services, you will be invited to unmute yourself before MiShebeirach (prayer for healing) and Kaddish (prayer for mourning) to share the name of the person you are remembering.
Shabbat Evening Services (Friday)
Friday Evening Shabbat Services are held most weeks at 7:30 PM. Our services are a little later in the evening so that you can light the Shabbat candles and enjoy a dinner at home before coming to services.
On second Friday of most months, we hold a Family Shabbat Service. The evening begins with a pizza dinner (by donation) at 5:30 PM; the service is 6:00-7:00 PM. This service is presented with “visual t’filah“–the prayer book is projected onto a big screen. The service is geared toward families with children 12 years old and under, but all are welcome.
A monthly Tot Shabbat Service (for families with children up to age 5) is held on the fourth Friday of most months, 5:30–6:00 PM. There is a short service, a story, and an activity followed by a pizza dinner.
Contemplative Worship Service
Judaism offers many pathways to God. There are opportunities for encounter with God in nature, in the interactions we have with one another, through worship and study, and through contemplative meditation that helps us to leave behind the world of doing and the world of work to enter the world of peace. Meditation in a Jewish context is not an end in and of itself. It is a pathway towards encounter with God. It has its roots throughout our history, from Isaac meditating in the field (Gen. 24:63) to the prophets who focused their minds to deliver God’s message to ancient and modern Jewish meditation practices.
In this contemplative worship service, compiled by Bet Ha’am lay leader Jane Sloven and led by Jane along with fellow congregant Sharon Newman, we offer an opportunity for you to delve deeper into your own spiritual practice and open the pathways to God that are available to you. By making this available here, we hope that you will access it anytime you need to re-center yourself or reopen those pathways to God.
Shabbat Morning (Saturday)
Shabbat morning begins with Torah Study, 9:00-10:00 AM, We draw from classical and modern commentaries to study the weekly portion and, as a group, explore the meaning of the text in our lives today.
Saturday Morning Worship is 10:30 AM-12:30 PM. The service is filled with song, changing, and meaningful English text, and usually includes a reading of the weekly Torah portion and a drash (teaching or sermon) on the portion or some other timely topic. Our Saturday service often include celebration of young people (and sometimes adults) becoming bar or bat mitzvah. The entire congregation is welcome and encouraged to join in Shabbat worship when our youth and adults are called to the Torah.
Once we are back in our sanctuary, we encourage families with children 5 years old or younger to join us on Saturday mornings at the "PrayGround," a Jewish-themed play space in the sanctuary. In this way, the youngest members of our community can begin to fall in love with Shabbat.
Wednesday Shacharit (Morning) Service
Join us every Wednesday for a Shacharit (morning) prayer service at 7:30 AM. If you are coming to recite Kaddish and desire a full minyan (a quorum of ten worshipers), please contact the office in advance.