Setting an example for our children as they attend services with us, as they learn to be part of our Jewish community, is one of our most important responsibilities as members. It is up to all of us—those who have young children and those who do not—to help integrate and guide our children as they participate in worship and other activities at the Center.
In order to be role models, we need to remind ourselves that the synagogue, as a place of worship, is separate from, different from, other places—just as Shabbat is separate from the rest of the week. We ask that you follow the recommendations below so that we as a community can achieve the focus and quiet needed to fully experience the respite and renewal of Shabbat and holiday services.
- Please supervise your children closely. Safety of the children and awareness of congregational worship are the most important factors to consider.
- Please make sure that your child[ren] will not be roaming around the building (going into the kitchen or the classrooms, or outside) while services are being conducted. They should be sitting with you, unless they are able to follow the service on their own; in that case, they should be nearby.
- During Kiddush, please accompany your young child[ren] onto the bima to protect him/her/them from the lit Shabbat candles, and to keep him/her/them from falling or disrupting the other children.
- Please be sensitive in choosing your seats in case you find it necessary to take your child[ren] out of the sanctuary during the service. It is appropriate to remove crying or noisy children during the Rabbi’s sermon, during the recitation of Kaddish, and during any solemn, quiet portion of a service where child noises would be distracting.
- During the Oneg Shabbat, please supervise your child[ren], who should be within your view—they should not be running up and down the stairs, eating in the classrooms, or playing in the sanctuary or the bathrooms.
Please remember that it is a mitzvah to integrate our children into our worship.
- Recognize that we are fortunate to have a wonderful group of young parents and their children who are part of our community. Appreciate the little ones for the beauty and delight they bring.
- Please be patient when a parent needs to exit with a noisy child.
- Offer to hold someone’s child for a few minutes so that the parent can have a moment of quiet prayer.
Elsewhere in the Building
It is important that everyone treat furniture and other objects with respect. This means being careful when using the rest rooms, and being attentive to detail when cleaning up in the kitchen and the simcha room after an Oneg Shabbat or other special function, and in the classrooms after Sunday School—and reminding the children about these things.
Kindly refrain from placing your feet upon the pews in the sanctuary.
- Just as Shabbat is set off ritually from the rest of the week, the way we dress when we enter the sanctuary should be different from our ordinary work or school attire.
- Men and boys should wear nice khakis or other dress pants and a shirt; a dress shirt, jacket, and tie, while not required, are also appropriate.
- Women and girls should wear clothing that keeps knees, midriff, and shoulders covered (no shorts).
- All men over the age of thirteen, including non-Jewish guests, should wear a kippah (yarmulke, or head covering).
- Adult members, men and women, may wear a tallit (prayer shall); guests who are not Jewish do not wear a tallit.
- Anyone who comes to the bima for an honor should wear a kippah and a tallit.
- No smoking inside or near the building.
- No photographs are permitted during any service.
- Please turn off your cell phone before entering the sanctuary.
- Emergency paging devices should be set on SILENT.
- As part of our security procedures, an usher is at the door during every service; the usher will remind anyone who needs a reminder about proper decorum.
- We have smoke detectors and an alarm system to protect you, our building, and its valuable contents. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in all these matters.
The Board of Trustees of the JCNWJ