Mercaz -- Youth Services

MERCAZ TEFILLAH

Our Sunday morning Religious School begins in the main Sanctuary for group tefillah with our Cantor, Rabbi, and Director of Education. This is a time for students from every grade, and all of their parents who would like to join in, to use our Mercaz siddur and special songsheets to start the day with our own prayer service.

Our Wednesday afternoon students join in the chapel for the last twenty minutes of the day to join in prayer and song more in keeping with the afternoon and evening service. With the Cantor, Rabbi, and Director of Education, they hone their prayer skills, gain leadership skills, and leave for the day with these wonderful words on their lips.Our Sunday morning Religious School begins in the main Sanctuary for group tefillah with our Cantor, Rabbi, and Director of Education. This is a time for students from every grade, and all of their parents who would like to join in, to use our Mercaz siddur and special songsheets to start the day with our own prayer service.

Our Wednesday afternoon students join in the chapel for the last twenty minutes of the day to join in prayer and song more in keeping with the afternoon and evening service. With the Cantor, Rabbi, and Director of Education, they hone their prayer skills, gain leadership skills, and leave for the day with these wonderful words on their lips.

TOT SHABBAT

Our Tot Shabbat services are held twice monthly. They are an inviting and inclusive way to help our youngest children, ages 0-6, along with a parent or parents, to feel a part of the Shabbat experience in their own way. Whether through prayer, song, stories, dance, play, or sharing a snack, this service brings the joy of Shabbat morning to life for our tots. When the service has completed, parents and grandparents are invited bring their tots into the main Sanctuary to go up to the bimah and participate in leading Kiddush and HaMotzi for the congregation.

SHABABABABA

One Friday night each month, a special service is held for families with children ages 0-6, with siblings welcome. With its own special prayerbook and songs, augmented by stories and games, this engaging service ends with a shared Shabbat dinner. Shababababa is a beautiful and joyful way to bring in Shabbat together.

MINYAN KATAN

As our children grow and change, their Shabbat morning service grows and changes as well. Minyan Katan is just the place for our children aged 6-12 and their parent/s or

grandparent/s to step up to using a Youth Siddur and increase their comfort

level with more of the prayers from our Shabbat morning service. In addition

to these prayers and songs, children hear about, read about, and act out

stories from our texts. Minyan Katan creates an environment where children

can feel comfortable volunteering and participating in services for the first

time. When the service has completed, parents and grandparents are invited bring their tots into the main Sanctuary to go up to the bimah and participate in leading Kiddush and HaMotzi for the congregation.  Minyan Katan is a perfect bridge between Tot Shabbat and Teen Services.

USY SERVICES

USY members bring their broad range of skills into a variety of services. Many of them return to the main Sanctuary to lead services, read Torah, and chant Haftarah. Others share their skills by helping with our Tot Shabbat and Minyan Katan services. At other times, they join as a group for their own member-led services. Occasionally our older students visit our area Hillel to learn what they have to look forward to after graduation when they

become part of the campus Jewish experience.

 

SPECIAL SERVICES

We are proud to offer special services for our youth throughout the year.  At Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, our youngest children, aged 0-6, enjoy participatory services with their parents, enjoying songs, stories, games, basic prayers, play, and yummy round challah with honey. Our children aged 7-12 have their own services, also filled with song, stories, and games, as well as prayers and rituals at their level and, of course, challah with honey. Our older teens join together in a USY service created by their board with help from their Advisor and other adults through the Department of Education and Youth.

MERCAZ SHABBAT

One Shabbat in the spring is designated as Mercaz Shabbat. On this special morning, children from all of our grades are invited to the bimah at different times, one at a time of in groups, to share their skills in leading parts of the service. They always make us proud with their confidence, their comfort on the bimah, and with how much they can do.

SIDDUR AND TIKKUN CEREMONY

As our students in 3rd grade prepare for more intensive study and practice of the prayers in the siddur, Mercaz and Mosaic Law Congregation provide them with their own siddur. These will enable them to grow in their understanding of the service, and to participate with more skill and confidence in Minyan Katan.

 

As our students in the 6th grade approach Bar and Bat Mitzvah, Mercaz and Mosaic Law Congregation present them with a copy of Siddur Lev Shalem to help them learn the Shabbat Service they will lead in the Sanctuary, along with a Tikkun to enable them to learn to read Torah for their special day and into the future.