We drive 30 minutes to get to GJC and pass many other synagogues along our route. We really like the energy of the Friday night service and the warmth and informality of the Saturday morning service. You don't have to dress to the 9s and if you want to try something new--like read Torah for the first time--it's not at all intimidating. Barb Menin
Who We Are
The Charry Sanctuary service is one of three adult prayer and study communities at GJC (see also Minyan Dorshei Derekh and Minyan Masorti). Ours is a traditional and egalitarian service. By traditional, we mean that our service is based on centuries-old prayers and psalms that are integrated with more contemporary readings, in a style grows out of the Conservative movement with which our synagogue is affiliated. By egalitarian, we mean that women and men participate equally in all aspects of the service and that congregants are encouraged to take active roles in the service by leading prayer and reading from the Torah and Haftarah.
Ours is perhaps the most formal of the three prayer communities and the following list of features may help to convey its distinctive style:
- Our service is generally led by one of our rabbis, who teach throughout the service.
- Most of our service is conducted in Hebrew, the language of Judaism's most sacred texts and of the modern state of Israel.
- We use Siddur Sim Shalom, the prayerbook of the Conservative movement.
- Our service begins with Shacharit (the Shabbat morning service) and continues with the Torah service and Musaf (the additional service for Shabbat).
- Our reading from the Torah follows the shorter Triennial cycle (completing the reading of the Torah every three years).
- The D'var Torah (Torah learning) based on the week's reading or our place in the Jewish year is typically given by the rabbi and often invites congregational response and discussion.
- Children are welcome at the service, and our youngest members are encouraged to join us at the bimah at the service's conclusion for kiddush and motzi (the blessings over wine and challah).
What We Do
Shabbat and Holidays
- Shabbat and Holiday Mornings begin with services from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.
- At the conclusion of services a kiddush allows time for socializing, discussion, and sharing celebratory moments in our lives.
- Our services are usually held in the Charry Sanctuary, named for Elias Charry, rabbi of the congregation from 1942 to 1983. In the summer and at some other times, services are held in the Magil Chapel.
Special Programs and Classes
- Adult Education classes on prayerbook Hebrew and synagogue skills are designed to facilitate active participation in the Charry Service.
- Family Shabbat Services, arranged through our Education Department, offer a chance for families to learn and pray together.
We encourage prospective members, new members, and long-time service regulars to participate actively by taking leadership roles in the Sanctuary service and in the communal life of Germantown Jewish Centre. Opportunities for involvement in the service include:
- Leading part of the service, chanting Torah or Haftarah, offering a special reading or teaching.
- Celebrating a joyous or memorial occasion with the community by sponsoring a kiddush and taking an aliyah to the Torah.
- Welcoming newcomers by volunteering as an usher/greeter.
See Membership for more information about joining GJC.
How to Contact Us
Please feel free to contact the GJC office (215-844-1507, x14 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rabbi Zeff (215-844-1507, x18 or email@example.com) if you have any questions or would like to participate.