Our student rabbis visit Yakima for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and at least nine other Shabbatot (Sabbaths – Friday nights and Saturdays) during the school year, normally once per month from August through the following May. The student rabbi leads our community Passover Seder during one visit. All other weekly services are led by members of the congregation, or visiting rabbis and cantors for special events. We normally use the newest prayerbooks of the Union for Reform Judaism: Mishkan T’filah for weekdays, Shabbat and most Jewish holidays, or Mishkan HaNefesh for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
The student rabbi usually arrives on a Friday and joins the congregation for a vegetarian dinner at 6:30 PM, if the Friday night service will be in Yakima. The Temple provides a main course, and the other food is by pot luck. The Friday night service follows at 7:30 PM, usually including a talk by the student rabbi on the Torah portion of the week or another relevant topic. We hold an Oneg Shabbat (coffee hour) after the evening service.
We gather for Friday night services in Ellensburg once or twice a year.
Our student rabbi begins the Saturday morning service at 10 AM. There may be a formal reading from the Torah scroll, or a group discussion during the service, along with or in place of a sermon by the student rabbi. We welcome people who know Hebrew to read portions of the Torah scroll. The morning service concludes about 11:30 AM or noon, followed by Kiddush. The community provides a potluck lunch after Kiddush.
The student rabbi has a rest period on Shabbat afternoon. He or she may also meet with individual members, such as students preparing for conversion, Bat Mitzvah, or Bar Mitzvah (coming of age – 12 for women and 13 for men) during the afternoon.
The Saturday night host, the person who ensures that our student rabbi gets dinner, will decide whether or not to have a program open to the Temple. The host will also decide whether to open the dinner to a few others or invite Temple members.
On weekends when there will not be a Saturday night program, we’ll occasionally gather for a Sunday brunch with the Temple providing bagels, lox, and cream cheese from 9:00 – 10:30. These gatherings will be publicized on Facebook and the website.
On Sunday mornings, our Religious School meets when there are Jewish children in the community. Religious School is taught mostly by parents, with help from the student rabbi.
The student rabbi returns to Los Angeles late Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon.