Charry Service

We drive 30 minutes to get to GJC and pass many other synagogues along our route. We really like the energy of the Friday night service and the warmth and informality of the Saturday morning service. You don’t have to dress to the 9s and if you want to try something new–like read Torah for the first time–it’s not at all intimidating.–Barb Menin

Who We Are

The Charry Service provides a traditional, egalitarian service with a focus on learning. Both women and men participate equally in our service, and we encourage and provide opportunities for participants to learn the language (Hebrew) and the skills (chants and tunes) that allow them to lead the prayers and to read from the sacred texts that make up the core of our service. Our Rabbis and other guest teachers open up new perspectives on these texts and encourage discussion during our extended study period after the Torah is read.

  • We use Siddur Sim Shalom, the prayerbook of the Conservative movement, to which we add inclusive language to welcome both women and men into the prayer experience.
  • Our Shabbat prayers begin with Shacharit (the morning service) and continue with the Torah reading. We take time for an extended period of study before finishing with Musaf (the concluding service).
  • Our reading from the Torah follows the shorter, triennial cycle, completing the reading of the Torah every three years.
  • Our study each week may focus on that week’s Torah reading, our place in the Jewish year, or broader topics affecting our world. In all cases, participation and discussion are encouraged so that we can learn from each other.
  • Children are welcome at the service, and we invite children to take age-appropriate roles in the service as they, too, learn along with us.

What We Do

Shabbat and Holidays

  • Shabbat & Holiday mornings services begin at10:00 AMand end around12:15 PM. After services, a Kiddush (reception with light refreshments) allows time for us to connect with each other, to celebrate happy occasions, and to continue our discussions from the service. The Charry Service is usually held in the Charry Sanctuary, named for Rabbi Elias Charry, rabbi of the congregation from 1942-1983. In the summer, our service is often held in the Magil Chapel.
  • Children’s services for those who would like them run from11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. During the school year, several different services appropriate for different age groups run simultaneously, while in the summer the children come together for a mixed-age service.
  • Bar and Bat Mitzvah Mechinah (preparation) group meets periodically during the school year, allowing our pre-teens to bond with each other and to explore the Bar & Bat Mitzvah experience together.
  • Child care for those who would like it is also available during the school year for children up to five years of age from10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
  • Joint services with other GJC prayer communities take place occasionally to celebrate happy occasions or to welcome a scholar-in-residence. In addition, the whole community joins together for prayer at our weekday services (on Sunday,Mondayand Thursday mornings) and at our Friday night services at6:00 PMeach week.

Special Programs and Classes

  • Adult Education classes on prayerbook Hebrew, chanting from the Torah, and other synagogue skills are offered frequently so that our members can actively participate in our services.
  • Children often take special roles in the Charry Service for special programs like Ginat Shabbat in the Charry and the Tanach ceremony. In addition, our children come into the service to lead parts of the service that they have learned or to use the skills they have acquired in our Religious School or in our community’s Jewish day schools. We also hold special GJC Celebrates! holiday services that bring many children and families together in rejoicing.
  • Special services and events organized by our Social Action Committee, Women’s Club, Men’s Club and Hazak chapter are a regular feature of our service, often involving guest scholars and teachers.

Getting Involved

We encourage both new and long-time members to take leadership roles in the Charry Service. Here are just some of the ways you could participate:

  • Welcome fellow congregants by volunteering as an usher or greeter.
  • Celebrate a happy occasion with the community by taking an aliyah to the Torah and/or sponsoring a Kiddush.
  • Offer a teaching or special reading.
  • Lead part of the prayer service.
  • Chant part of the Torah reading or haftarah.

How to Contact Us

Please feel free to contact Natalie Lyalin, Rabbinic Assistant at 215-844-1507, x16 or if you have any questions or would like to participate.