Our Services

boy holding torah

We hold monthly Shabbat services, High Holy Day services, and holiday services, for example, for Chanukah and Purim. In June 2007, we were the first congregation in Toronto to hold a special Pride service, which we have continued to celebrate every year since then. Our Pride service is usually for Havdalah (on Saturday evening to mark the end of Shabbat).

We usually hold our Shabbat service on the first Saturday of the month. Our primary siddur for Shabbat services is Siddur Eit Ratzon, which blends traditional text with modern interpretations. We also use readings, poems, music and liturgy from a variety of supplemental sources to enhance our worship experience.

For the High Holy Days, we normally offer services for Erev (the evening before) Rosh Hashanah, the first and second day of Rosh Hashanah (in the mornings), Kol Nidrei (the evening before Yom Kippur), Yom Kippur morning and afternoon, and Ne’ila (at the end of Yom Kippur). Some years, we also organize a Tashlich ceremony for our members on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. This is a ritual where we symbolically cast off the sins of the previous year by tossing bread crumbs or pebbles into water.

Our members participate in our services through group aliyot (to be called up to the Torah for a blessing) and in many other ways, including singing, playing music, reading (from the Torah or in English), storytelling, giving sermons, sounding shofar, and providing workshops and presentations. We are always open to new ways of involving members.

Please let us know if you require accommodation to participate fully: shirlibeynuadmin@gmail.com, or 416-465-5488.

All of our services include prayers and music, both ancient and modern, and our service materials are provided in Hebrew and English. We strive to use liturgical texts that reflect our values of diversity and inclusivity. Whenever we can, we opt for egalitarian, gender-inclusive language that allows each member of our community to find their own connection to the prayers.

Many members celebrate important milestones at our services, including B’Mitzvah*, baby namings, aufrufs (a blessing for a couple before their wedding), anniversaries and memorial tributes. We always enjoy a kiddush (a small meal to sanctify Shabbat after services), often sponsored by members to mark important milestones or honour people in their lives.

If you are a member and would like to plan a unique celebration or memorial tribute at one of our services, please get in touch with our Spiritual Leader, Cantor Wunch: cantorwunch@gmail.com. 

*We are choosing to use the gender-neutral term “B’Mitzvah” (of the commandments), instead of the gendered “Bar” or “Bat” Mitzvah (son/daughter of the commandments).