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Shabbat: What To Expect At A Synagogue

Available in on-screen reading friendly (PDF) and printer-friendly, downloadable (PDF) versions.

For more booklets, visit our Booklets for People in Interfaith Relationships page.

The Sabbath is an every week holiday from work. This was a revolutionary concept in the ancient world where only the rich and powerful had any leisure time. Today in the frantic pace of the modern world it takes determination and discipline to accept this gift of leisure. Joining with a community will make the addition of this new habit easier.

But trying new things can be intimidating, especially when they are novel or foreign. What if the language is strange? What if there are different garb, rituals and customs? Recognizing that going to synagogue for the first time can be a challenge, we offer you our booklet, What To Expect At A Synagogue.

In it, you will find an overview of what Shabbat is, and how it is celebrated in synagogues. Language is explained, the prayer services are broken down, and many common questions are answered.

This is the perfect place to start for those who have questions or trepidation about going to synagogue for the first time.

This handy guide to Shabbat at the Synagogue can also be used to encourage guests and to guide them through the rhythm and rituals of Shabbat worship at a synagogue. Think of giving it…

  • out in new member packets;
  • to guests invited for a pre-wedding blessing, baby naming, or a bar/bat mitzvah;
  • to visiting church groups.
  • to parents, as an easy reintroduction when they come to Shabbat with their child’s religious school class.


18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact


Author: 18Doors