Communities Collaborate on Shavuot Programs

Traditionally, following the Erev Shavuot holiday meal, people would go to synagogue for an evening service followed by an “all-night” Torah study session. This practice is known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot. This year, Erev Shavuot falls on Saturday, May 19, and a couple of wonderful Greater MetroWest collaborations are happening to provide community members to participate in this meaningful experience.

In Morristown, eight synagogues and a day school are coming together to offer Tikkun Leil Shavuot at Temple B’nai Or. Other participating organizations include Temple Beth Am in Parsippany, Temple Shalom in Succasunna, Morristown Jewish Center, Congregation B’nai Israel in Basking Ridge, Congregation Beth Torah in Florham Park, Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit, and Gottesman RTW Academy. This community-wide evening of music and learning is sponsored by the Gary Aidekman Family Foundation and costs just $18 per person.

Festivities include a delicious dairy dinner, a concert by the Israeli all-girl band BANOT, and a variety of interesting learning sessions taught primarily by clergy, and will culminate with Havdalah and dessert. Just a few of the nine workshop offerings you can choose from upon registration include a discussion about the effect that new prayer melodies have on communal prayer services; a hands-on experience introducing you to the amazing world of baking your own bread; a discussion about how The Book of Ruth can teach us about compassion, kindness, and human agency; an exploration of the Jewish facet of Leonard Bernstein’s life and work; flower arranging; yoga; and much more.

The event begins at 6:45 p.m. Temple B’nai Or is located at 60 Overlook Rd. in Morristown. To purchase tickets, click here.

In Montclair, Congregation Shomrei Emunah is hosting the annual long-standing tradition of Community Shavuot Tikkun in collaboration with Bnai Keshet, Temple Ner Tamid, and Temple Sholom of West Essex. This event, at 67 Park St. in Montclair is free and open to the public, and includes dairy-based refreshments. The evening begins at 7:30 with a service and children’s program, followed by social time, a musical service, a keynote talk by Rabbi Jonathan Slater, breakout sessions for both adults and teens, a midnight reading of the Ten Commandments, and a culminating study session with Rabbi Slater beginning at 12:30 a.m.

The keynote talk by Rabbi Slater is entitled “Listening for God’s Word:” It could be that we listen to be able to correct the Torah reader. Or, to connect with Tradition. Or, even to learn what Torah has to teach. But, our weekly reading of Torah is meant to be a reenactment of Sinai, especially on this auspicious holiday. So, if then we heard God's voice, shouldn't we be listening for it now, too?

For more details about the event and Rabbi Slater, click here.

In Summit, though not quite a Shavuot program but still a collaboration, Shabbat in Harmony is a joint project of Congregation Ohr Shalom, Temple Sinai, and Congregation Beth HaTikvah, held at Ohr Shalom on May 18 at 7:30 p.m. The service is a celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday and will be led by clergy and choirs of all three synagogues. The featured speaker is Federation President Scott Krieger. All are welcome.