The Friday evening service is the perfect way to make the transition between the working week and Shabbat. People arrive at the service as individuals rushing from school, work and home but come together as a community as soon as the music, prayer and spirit of Shabbat begins to wash over them. The service on a Friday night only lasts an hour. It is usually led by Rabbi Miriam Berger together with Cantor Zöe Jacobs. If we are celebrating with a Bar or Bat Mitzvah they also participate in leading the Friday night service.
The Shabbat morning service has a different feel to that of the Friday evening and often contains a life cycle event as part of it. B’nei Mitzvah, baby blessings and aufrufs as well as people celebrating significant birthdays or anniversaries punctuate our services and make them times of communal recognition. The first 45 minutes of the service is liturgical and song based as we pray Shacharit (the morning service). This is followed by the Torah reading and sermon which has more of an educational focus. The Kiddush at the end of the service gives people the opportunity to talk to each other and enjoy being part of a community.
Havdallah marks the end of Shabbat and once a month during the winter we celebrate this moment in the week communally. The ceremony is short – around 15 minutes - but we get together for hot chocolate or mulled wine, stories and songs and we end Shabbat with the joy we started it with, in the hope that its spark will stay with us during the week ahead.
We, as Jews, often call ourselves "Yisra'el" - those who struggle with God, yet Midrashsuggests that the same word when vocalised differently can also be read "Yashir El" - God will sing. We are instruments of prayer, with a unique ability to sing praises to God's name. If you like to sing in harmony and rounds, this is the place for you! We get together monthly, learn multiple-part harmonies and melodies, and warm-up for the Shabbat morning service together. Shira music is learnt by ear (not by reading music) and no Hebrew skills are required. Shira runs from 9.15am-10.15am on select Shabbat mornings.
To see and hear what else is happening musically at FRS, click here
This monthly study session before the service at 9.15am on a Saturday morning gives you the chance to grapple with the Torah reading for that week. It is often led by members of the community as well as the clergy team and gives a greater depth to the Torah service which follows.
Come and sing and/or play your way into Shabbat with a relaxing Oneg Shabbat. 'Oneg' literally means 'joy'; we express our joy by a shared dinner, followed by singing and stories. All generations are welcome at an FRS Oneg Shabbat.
All our Friday evening and Shabbat morning services, as well as all festival services, are now streamed live on the internet. Whether you are unwell, can’t get out, living away from FRS or on holiday abroad, an FRS service is as close as a click away! Follow the link below and you will be able to enjoy and participate in our services even if you aren’t physically in Finchley.
We received many positive comments after the High Holy Days this last year, thanking us for creating such an innovation: This is one email we received from one of our satisfied members:
“I can't express just how meaningful the live streaming made Yom Kippur for me and my mum. The feed was absolutely brilliant and we really felt a part of the service, even though we were unable to be there for as much (or any - in mum's case) as we would have liked. To be able to hear the final shofarot blow, and do havdalah from afar, with my mum, in the kitchen, against a backdrop of children singing themselves to sleep through a baby monitor was surreal to say the least, but very poignant and special nonetheless - so thank you.”
The quality of the feed will depend on your internet connection speed but we hope you will feel part of the community wherever you are watching from.
A Beginner's Guide to the Synagogue
Learn about the Synagogue, its different names and what you will see and use during the service.