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Friday Night FAQs

What is Shabbat?

Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, 25 hours of rest and peacefulness spanning from Friday at sundown ‘til Saturday at nightfall – each and every week. It is a time for contemplation, renewal and celebration with loved ones and community.

Why Friday night?   

Friday night (aka “Erev Shabbat”, ­ Shabbat Eve) is the beginning of Shabbat; in the Jewish calendar the daily cycle begins at nightfall. We gather on Friday evening to greet the incoming Sabbath. Sometimes this service is called “Kabbalat Shabbat,” which means “receiving the Sabbath.” In kabbalistic tradition, the Sabbath is often pictured as a bride; part­way through the service, the congregation will frequently be cued to rise, face the entry doors, and bow, as if greeting Her presence.

Do I have to be a member to come to services?

No! All are welcome.  

I’m not Jewish. Can I still come?

Yes! You are always welcome at Nevei Kodesh, no matter your religious background or affiliation.

Is there a fee?

No. Sometimes before candle­lighting we hand out two special earthenware bowls to collect donations. These funds are used to provide immediate assistance to folks who come to our doors for support. Donations to help offset the cost of services (musicians, facility, after-service refreshments, etc.) are always welcome.

What are the services like?  

Our services are musical, informal, spiritual and welcoming. Some are contemplative, and some more lively. Some of our members love to get up and dance—others not so much. All expression is welcome, and we consider our Sanctuary an “emotionally safe zone”: ­ a space in which it is safe to feel.

How long does the service last?  

About two hours. After the service all are invited to come downstairs to the community room for a little nosh: ­ some food, some wine, some tea and conversation.

Do I have to know Hebrew?

Not at all. We offer English transliterations and translations for any Hebrew songs or prayers we will be singing, using an easy-­to­-follow photocopied hand­out. Our liturgy is musical, participatory, and “la la la” always works!

What should I wear?

Be comfortable. Most of our community does not get dressed up for services, although some like to. Some people like to wear white to services, or an item that is precious to them, signifying the holiness of the sacred day of Shabbat.  Wear whatever makes you feel like yourself.

What time do services begin?

7pm, unless noted otherwise. Family Style Shabbats, which are a monthly inter­generational community potluck, begin at 6pm. Please check the calendar on our website.

Are children welcome?  

Yes, children are always welcome at services. We also provide free childcare in a room nearby, and children are welcome to come and go. In addition, there is a choir loft at the back of the Sanctuary, where children can draw, read or play quietly if they prefer.  

What’s “Family ­Style Shabbat”?

About once a month, we have special inter­generational Family Friday services at 6pm – a vegetarian/dairy potluck, complete with the table­side rituals of Shabbat: candle-lighting, blessings and song. Musical support is provided by our in-­house Hasidic/Jew­grass singalong band, and it’s easy to make new friends. No experience necessary – everything is explained, and all the words are provided. Folks of all ages and stages welcome; you don’t need young kids to come. The beauty is in the entire spectrum!

What about babies and toddlers?

Once a month on Saturday mornings from October to May, our ShabbaTots program (aimed at 0­-5 year olds and their parents and siblings) meets at 9:30 for a fun hands-on program, with additional take­away resources for parents. Click Here for more information.

What’s a Kirtan?

Kirtan is a Sanskrit word meaning devotional chant. In these services we try to build an ecstatic energy through singing in community, that then allows us to go deeper into prayer. Words are in Biblical Hebrew and sometimes in English. Music is provided by master ­guitarist Eyal Rivlin, supported by harmonium, flutes, bass, hand ­drums, and sometimes other instruments... as well as by several dozen voices!

What about “Classic Renewal”?

These services pay more detailed adherence to the traditional liturgy of Friday night, and usually the Rabbi will give a 20 ­minute teaching, or d’var Torah. Music is provided by master­ pianist Sheldon Sands, along with support by some combination of double bass, voices, trumpet, flutes and percussion. Again, all are invited to sing, and usually to dance, too.


How do I get there?

We are at 1925 Glenwood Drive in north Boulder. The parking lot is behind the building, off of 19th St at Grape Ave. Please enter via the main doors, at the corner of Glenwood and 19th.

What do I do when I first get there?

Please come in—you’ll be greeted by a member, invited to make a nametag to help more people greet you, and helped to find a seat.

If I enjoy the service, how can I get more involved?

Talk to people! Please talk to one of our greeters or one of the people walking around with nametags that say “board members” ­ or indeed to anyone else. Stay after the service for the Oneg Shabbat - Light refreshments and socializing downstairs in our Community Room. We are a friendly bunch, and there are newcomers at every service, so don’t feel afraid. We also invite you to fill out a guest card, and/or to take a welcome card with someone’s number, so that we can stay in contact. Pick up the flyers & brochures at the greeters’ table: ­ These provide details of current classes, social action projects and upcoming events.

More questions?

Please contact Dena or Shifra in our office at 303-443-4567 or email us. We look forward to hearing from you.

We hope to see you soon!


Tue, September 17 2019 17 Elul 5779