Germantown Jewish Center is a very active and busy place on Saturday mornings. We have three adult prayer communities (Charry Service, Minyan Dorshei Derekh, and Minyan Masorti), which “daven” (pray) separately but share certain fundamental principles and synagogue-wide services.
- All three of our prayer and study communities are fully egalitarian and highly participatory
- Supervised Child Care is available on Shabbat and Holidays (during the school year) for infants to five-year-olds from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon for children of all three prayer communities.
- Children’s Services take place weekly during the school year from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon for children ages 6-13. There are three different services for different age group.
- The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Mechina (“Preparatory”) group meets periodically at 10:00am and visits all three prayer communities as part of their education.
- All three prayer communities come together for joint services on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday mornings in the Magil Chapel, and each Friday night at 6:00 pm in the Magil Chapel, Maslow Auditorium, or Charry Sanctuary. Occasional joint services on Shabbat and Holidays take place throughout the year as do communal Shabbat lunches.
History of the Lay-led Minyanim
The original Germantown Minyan was started after the High Holidays in 1974 as the vision of Rabbi Elias Charry, z”l, who saw that diverse davening styles were a building block for GJC’s future.
The Germantown Minyan began with an average attendance of 12 in its first year. There are now two minyanim, and attendance at both minyanim now averages nearly 150 on a given Shabbat or Chag. The minyanim at GJC have become a magnet for Jews in Philadelphia who are interested in lay-led davening and a community for celebrating Shabbat and Chaggim.
Minyan Masorti was created as a spin-off from the Germantown Minyan on Shabbat Yitro in 1980, due to a desire for an egalitarian davening that followed a traditional Matbeah t’filih, including a full kriah and a repetition of the Shacharit Amidah, full P’seukei D’zimrah, and no English prayer.
Originally meeting in classroom 206 at GJC, it was first called the “206 Minyan” and davened together for all Shabbatot and holidays except for the High Holidays, when they would join with the Germantown Minyan. Dorshei Derekh is the renamed direct descendant of the Germantown Minyan.
Kol D’mamah – Monthly Contemplative Service
This Shabbat morning service allows you to connect to the divine through music, breath & learning. A rotating group of volunteers leads this monthly hour-long minyan that includes chant, hand percussion, meditation and contemplative teachings. Check calendar for exact dates.