Crafting a Worship Service

A Song For ShabbatPrayerbooks open, music compilations at hand, iPhones for downloading audio and video. And a dozen members of the Vassar Temple youth group.

Such was the scene yesterday evening when Vassar Temple teens worked over dinner to craft a worship service.

Working from an outline of the traditional Friday evening liturgy, the teens evaluated each worship element:

Which songs come from the traditional Friday evening Psalms? What melody should we use for Lecha Dodi? Should we sing the V’ahavta in English or Hebrew, and how does that choice influence the Shema that comes right before? Do we want a festive mood or a contemplative one? How long should the service last? What parts do we want to write ourselves? And so on.

Guided by the youth-group president, the teens reviewed 3,000 years of Jewish tradition as viewed through the lens of contemporary American Judaism. The result, a gift to the community, will be a remarkable worship experience on Friday, February 20.

You really don’t want to miss it.

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Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group Goes Ice Skating

The Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group, in an event led by members Rachel and Ali, went ice-skating at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on Sunday. Here are a few photos:

Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group Goes Ice Skating

Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group Goes Ice Skating

Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group Goes Ice Skating

Vassar Temple Jr. Youth Group Goes Ice Skating

Vassar Temple Hosts Community-Wide “Gesher” Bowling Event

Good form!

Good form!

As part of an ongoing effort to bring the various Jewish communities in Poughkeepsie closer, Vassar Temple hosted an afternoon of bowling fun for teens from local synagogues.

Some students bowled in the traditional style, some in more creative ways, and some just watched, as everyone schmoozed and laughed.

(Photographs by Rachel Marcus and Dr. Joel M. Hoffman.)