Weekly Shabbat Youth Programming
Shabbat youth groups at Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue are intended to provide a supervised and structured environment to allow children to deepen their love of shabbat, shul and kehillah (community) through prayer, song, parsha and holiday-related activities, learning experiences, and fun.
Tot Shabbat (ages 3 and under)
10:30 AM in Downstairs Play Area
Children and their parents are invited to get excited about Shabbat! Facilitated by parent volunteers, this is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to engage in basic liturgy and Shabbat songs in a warm and comfortable environment. Each child has the chance to hold and kiss a tot-sized Torah. Song sheets are available to assist parents and newcomers. Tot Shabbat concludes with kiddush, brachot and a healthy snack. Children in Tot Shabbat must be accompanied by an adult.
Shabbat Club (Pre-K and K)
10:30 AM in Sisterhood Room
Shabbat Club, for children in Pre-K & Kindergarten (approximately ages 3 1/2, 4and 5) expands on what children have learned in Tot Shabbat, encouraging them to sing and participate even more on their own. Led by parent volunteers, with a heavier emphasis on the Tefillah part of the service, Shabbat Club also explores the weekly parsha through games, activities and songs. Children who are comfortable in the Shabbat Club environment may participate independently but parents are welcome to attend and participate as needed. Shabbat Club concludes with kiddush, brachot and a healthy snack.
JMinyan (1st and 2nd grade)
10:30 AM in the Chapel
This service is geared for those who have mastered the Shabbat Club experience and are ready to both follow along and lead a longer Tefillah service, facilitated by our talented teen/young adult group leaders. JMinyan's tefillot are conducted using a children's siddur. Following Tefillah, children participate in parsha-related games or stories and have the opportunity to earn rewards and prizes. JMinyan concludes with kiddush, brachot and a healthy snack.
Shabbat U (3rd-4th grade)
10:30 AM in the Hebrew Library/Main Sanctuary (see schedule)
Shabbat U, as its name suggests, is a "higher educational" experience for children in 3rd and 4th grade to gain a greater fluency and appreciation for the Shabbat morning tefillah while having the opportunity to relax, learn and play with their peers. Twice a month, Shabbat U gathers during the Torah/Haftorah service for a fun and educational activity before joining the congregation for Musaf. On other weeks, Shabbat U participants are encouraged to be in the main sanctuary, without a structured group meeting but with relevant and age-appropriate activities and reading material available to aid these children (and their parents!) in the davening experience. During their time in the main sanctuary each week, Shabbat U participants are encouraged to daven with their parents or to sit with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld or Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman. On weeks that Shabbat U does not gather for a structured activity, those 3rd & 4th graders who wish to mentor younger children by assisting Shabbat Group Leaders in Tot Shabbat & Shabbat Club may do so with prior approval (see Sarah Shapiro for details). Following Adon Olam each week, Shabbat U will enjoy supervised snack and free time in the Shabbat U Lounge.