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FAQs


Will I be welcome?
Yes! Congregation Kol Ami is a congregation for all our people. We are a vibrant, inclusive, participatory, egalitarian synagogue that values the rich traditions of our heritage. We are a mix of Jews from many places and Jewish experiences, and our unique strength comes from our diverse backgrounds. We welcome all races, religions, interfaith families, children, individuals with special needs, and LGBTQ individuals.


Do I have to be a member to come to Shabbat services?
No! We’re looking forward to getting to know you! Please make sure to introduce yourself to our clergy, board members, or staff.


What denomination is your synagogue?
We affiliate with both the Conservative and Reform movements.


What should I wear to Shabbat services?
Business casual is most common. Don’t let attire prevent you from joining us. Come as you are!

Men and women of all ages and faiths are welcome to wear a kippah/yarmulke (head covering) on their head. Jewish men and women of Bar/Bat Mitzvah age are welcome wear a tallit (the four cornered garment used for morning prayer). 


What else should I know about attending Shabbat services?
On Shabbat, cell phones should be turned off. Electronic gadgets should not be used in the building and please refrain from writing on Shabbat.


What are the two books used during services?
The prayerbook (Siddur in Hebrew) is a red book entitled Siddur Lev Shalem (Conservative) or a blue book entitled Mishkan T’filah (Reform). Remember that Hebrew is written from right to left so the book opens “backwards.” Reading Hebrew can take years to learn because it has a totally different alphabet and vowel structure. Luckily many of the pages in our prayer book have transliteration, where the Hebrew words are written using the English alphabet.

The big maroon book is called a Chumash. Chumash comes from the Hebrew word Chamesh, meaning five for the Five Books of Moses. This book contains the text of the Torah plus the Haftarot, associated reading from the book of Prophets.

Many of our melodies repeat and are quite catchy, so try to use the books, follow along, and feel free to join in whenever you are ready.


What is a Kiddush?
A Kiddush is what everyone waits for—when services conclude we exit the chapel or sanctuary and enjoy some food and schmoozing. Kiddush refers to the specific blessing over the wine. Before you eat or drink at our Kiddush, make sure that the prayers over the wine and challah have been said. 


Do you keep Kosher?
Yes, we do. In order to meet the needs of our diverse community, we maintain three kitchens: a Kosher dairy kitchen, a Mosher meat kitchen, and a Kosher-style kitchen in our youth lounge. View our Youth Lounge Dairy Potluck Policy.

Please don’t bring any food into the synagogue without the Rabbi’s approval.

For more information on Kosher foods, please visit My Jewish Learning.

Sun, September 20 2020 2 Tishrei 5781