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Daily Services

Our community prides itself on our daily morning minyan. As one of the pillars of Jewish communal life, Avodah – service to God, service of the heart, service for the community, we pull together to support a minyan year-round.

Beside a spiritual experience, our morning minyan is a communal institution. We will travel to Shiva houses and support community minyanim as needed.

Services are held in our small sanctuary at the back entrance of the building, up the ramp. On weekdays, the morning minyan meets at 6:45AM; on Sundays and National Holidays, 8AM. This service is open to men and women.  Our shul is unique in Morris County, holding a regularly scheduled morning minyan.

While a minyan requires 10 bar-mitzvah aged men, communal prayer demands men and women. We encourage active participation from men and women alike in our prayer services. A women’s section accommodates women who want to pray or are observing a yahrzeit and wish to recite Kaddish for a loved one.

Currently, we do not hold regular Afternoon/Evening Minyan, but we will coordinate minyanim when needed for a Shiva House or Yahrzeit. Please speak with the Rabbi when such a minyan is needed.

Shabbat

In Rabbinic Tradition, Shabbat is treated as a piece of the world to come. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels that sense of heavenly peace and welcome and love on Shabbat. You need not be a member to attend services.

On Friday night, during daylight savings, we meet at Sundown; for the rest of the year, we meet at 630 PM. Friday Night and Shabbat Day Services are held in the Main Sanctuary. Following the Talmudic tradition, women and men sit separately. However, distinct from Talmudic practice, we do not seat in a balcony. Rather, men’s and women’s sections are side by side, with a mechitza divider down the middle of the room. For a newcomer, you would not be able to identify which side is the men’s and which is the women’s. This is by design. As an open Orthodox, community-minded congregation, we want to engage as many people, as often as possible, in communal and ritual life. 

Similarly, while we encourage halachic Shabbat observance and practices, we understand the great diversity inherent in them.  Our parking lot is open on Shabbat. We believe that so much more is to be gained by engagement and connection than by exclusion.  Inside our building and in prayer space, we ask for respect and participation. We ask that you leave cell phones outside the building and speak with God, in prayer, inside the building.

We want children to feel like the synagogue is their spiritual home too. During Shabbat services, we provide Childcare every Shabbat. Children will play, pray, and do projects. Every month, we provide children with specific, pedagogic synagogue-based experiences.  Educators in our community volunteer to provide a unique Shabbat experience for children.  We invite all children – boys and girls – every Shabbat to lead the closing service for the community.

After services every week, we host a kiddush and refreshments. Our kiddush committee welcomes sponsored kiddushes for special events. Every other month, or so, we host a Shared Kiddush to honor and celebrate community member's and loved one's milestone occasions.

Shabbat afternoon services meet in the small sanctuary approximately an hour before Shabbat ends. In between afternoon and evening services, we eat the 3rd meal, sing songs and study ethical or mystical texts to bring us inspiration as Shabbat is soon to depart.

It is a value in Jewish community life to host guests in our homes. We encourage an environment where invitations are the norm. Communal connections are built, friendships are made and loneliness is alleviated when we open our homes to each other. To that end, if you would like to host guests in your home for a Shabbat meal or if you would like to visit our community for Shabbat and you need home hospitality, please be in touch with the Rabbi or our Chessed committee.

Festivals & High Holidays

Services for holidays usually begin at 9:30 a.m. High Holidays have a special schedule each year.

During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, seating is expanded into the synagogue social hall to accommodate the larger number of attendees. The main sanctuary is reserved for separate seating and the social hall is for “family seating.” During High Holidays, the bimah is moved from the front of the sanctuary to the center of both rooms to provide all of our attendees access to the services and the Torah reading

We are committed to providing a safe and spiritually enriching High Holidays for all of our members, family and guests. During the CoVid period, we offer a variety of services options so everyone can find their place of comfort in our welcoming and “Haimisch” Shul.  We have indoor services (Sanctuary) and outdoor services (under our large tent) with appropriate safety protocols.  There is a place for everyone at the Mount Freedom Jewish Center.

Some of our members are medically vulnerable and we need to be very careful for them and all members of our MTFJC community. We have been respectful of each other’s needs throughout the year and we continue this theme through the High Holidays. 

Both Indoor and Outdoor services have separate Men’s and Women’s sections as well as a mixed seating area.  We have a space for everyone.

We recently established a very successful project to provide a Holiday Gift Bag for everyone in our “Shul Family” and hope that it continues a "new" tradition. 
 
You can see that there is much to consider and choose for the High Holidays.  We want to make this a safe, special, meaningful and warm Holiday for everyone.   

Wed, February 21 2024 12 Adar I 5784