Daily Minyan

We take pride in being a welcoming and engaging congregation in much of what we do but, particularly, at our daily minyanim. The committed core of those attending make it possible to maintain this ritual 365 days per year and twice on weekday mornings, at both 7:00 and 8:00 AM!

Many of our minyannaires begin attending following the loss of a loved one, determined to say the kaddish on as regular a basis as possible. They soon feel the support of the minyan members and many develop a new commitment to become part of that warm and welcoming community, providing that same support to others, and helping to ensure the presence of a minyan.

We encourage anyone who is inclined to be empowered by the uplifting experience of leading the services. Both our clergy and educated members are more than willing to help teach the text and nusach of the various daily services – Mincha, Ma’ariv, Pesukei d’Zimra, and Shacharit – and take the bold step of stepping up to the Amud to serve as a Ba’al / Ba’alat Tefillah. The quivering voices of those men and women who dare to do so for the first time are of nachat to our Kehillah and to themselves, and it is not long before they are requesting the honour to do this without being asked!

On Monday and Thursday mornings, we also regularly take a moment to consider some aspect of the liturgy or weekly portion to further enhance our community experience, in addition to the reading of the Torah. Participation in these endeavours is also strongly encouraged!

Of course, our egalitarian, inclusive, and accessible approach allows all to feel the honour and responsibility of ensuring that the Beth David minyan is as meaningful and enjoyable as possible.

Lest we forget the additional morning social opportunity for a quick or leisurely breakfast following the services!

On Sundays and holiday Mondays, there is one morning service only, at 8:30 AM.

In the evening, Mincha is immediately followed by Ma’ariv. From May through Labour Day, weekday evening services (Sunday – Thursday) are at a consistent 7:00 PM.

To see the full calendar of service times, click here.

Friday Evening

Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv on a Friday evening at Beth David are a special opportunity to slow down and take a moment to prepare for the Shabbat with both traditional and new melodies and in the company of family and friends. Most of the year, services begin at sundown, although from the beginning of May until the Labour Day weekend, we bring in the Shabbat a bit early – a consistent 6:00 PM – in order to encourage families to attend and still be able to enjoy a timely Shabbat se’udah together. On one Friday evening during the summer we also hold a beautiful outdoor service in the neighbourhood park. 

To see the full calendar of  service times, click here.

Shabbat Morning

Shabbat is often regarded as the spiritual culmination of the week and we are fortunate to have many members and non-members showing up weekly to share the Shabbat together. In the middle of the summer or on the coldest and snowiest of winter days, there is always an excited and committed group ready to go at 9:00 AM!

If you are looking for an opportunity to hear and sing familiar Shabbat liturgy, learn new tunes, clearly follow the chanting of Parashat HaShavu’a – the weekly portion - and witness a stimulating sermon on a variety of relevant topics, Beth David is the place to be on a Shabbat morning! Accessible, inclusive, and egalitarian, our weekly Shabbat services are led by Rabbi Philip Scheim, Cantor Marshall Loomer, and Ritual Director Michael Rubin. Whether the attendants are weekly regulars, or guests of a family Simcha, participation of all is greatly encouraged. In addition to the traditional elements in the service, there is also a regular presentation by our wonderful shinshinim – young Israeli emissaries – who share their take on the week’s events in Israel, as well the frequent involvement of our youth in various elements of the service, from chanting parts of the Parashah or Haftarah to leading Ashrei or Adon Olam.

Of course, don’t forget to join us for Kiddush following the service and the opportunity to meet our leadership and members over delicious treats!

Shabbat Evening

The conclusion of the Shabbat is a gem of a minyan experience! Beginning shortly before the conclusion of the Shabbat, the service has a little of everything:

  • Mincha has a unique nusach/chant as well as a look ahead to next week’s Torah portion.
  • Se’udah Shelishit provides a light and tasty final Shabbat repast in an intimate setting complete with brief seasonal study of either the weekly portion or Pirkei Avot, and singing.
  • Ma’ariv and Havdallah offer an opportunity to gracefully conclude our Shabbat and prepare for the new week.

High Holy Days

Main Service

An uplifting and inspiring traditional, egalitarian service with the Lev Shalem Mahzor. 

Led by Rabbi Philip Scheim and Cantor Marchall Loomer at Yeomans Road.

Led by Rabbi David Golinkin and Cantor Alty Moher at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

Havurah Service

The emphasis is on offering the opportunity for those attending to study and explore the text and meaning of the High Holy Day liturgy and the many unique customs for this period in our calendar. Participation from all attendees is a focus of this service with many congregants serving the roles of Gabbai, Torah readers, Haftarah readers, discussion leaders, and more. At the same time, much of the traditional service is maintained, so you will find both the familiar as well as the participatory.

Led by Ritual Director Michael Rubin at Yeomans Road.

Family Service

Led by dynamic and experienced educators, the minyan is designed to help families experience these often overwhelming days together. The goal is to provide some basic understanding of the structure of the service, through the use of games, quizzes, songs, and many other interactive and creative programs. Our Shinshinim add their energy and unique Israeli spin to ensure a meaningful and enjoyable High Holy Day experience that the whole family can share.

Led By Naomi Nemirov and Sharon Swartz at Yeomans Road

Youth Programming

Exciting programming and activities bring the High Holy Days to your children in age appropriate groups. From the Infant room (requiring advanced registration) to the Teen lounge, there is a room for every age.

Led by young adults at Yeomans Road and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

Major Festivals

Sukkot

Sukkot, “the season of our joy”, follows the solemnity of the High Holy Days with a more festive, fun atmosphere. The sukkah, our symbolic home for the week of the Festival, brings us back to our natural environment, and reminds us of our ancestral wilderness wanderings, and the fall harvest. Beth David offers a beautiful sukkah for communal use, but families are encouraged to build their own as well.

Services include the recitation of Hallel, incorporating the Arba Minim, the Four Species (lulav and etrog), that are also held during the Hoshanot procession at the end of the Yom Tov services on the first two days of the holiday, and following Hallel during the Intermediate Days of Hol HaMoed.

To learn how to build a sukkah, click here.

To learn about the lulav and etrog, click here.

Shemini Atzeret
Simhat Torah

The culmination of the Sukkot Festival takes the form of distinct holidays. 

Shemini Azeret (The Eighth Day of Assembly), brings Sukkot to its formal conclusion, including prayers for rain (Geshem) and Yizkor.

Following Shemini Atzeret, we celebrate Simhat Torah, as we complete the final portion of Deuteronomy and turn back to the beginning of Torah, the opening verses of Genesis. Simhat Torah is accompanied by dancing, singing, and celebration, marking our connection with Torah and the conclusion of a sacred festive month.

Pesah

Six months after the Fall Festivals, we enter springtime, and its centerpiece Festival, Pesah. Extensive preparation, as we switch from Hametz to Matzah, and scour our homes in preparation for the holiday, typifies a physical and spiritual transformation. The Seder nights, and our return to the Haggadah make Passover a unique, precious family time. Like Sukkot, Pesah begins and ends with two Festival days, and Hol HaMoed, the Intermediate Days, are observed in-between. In addition to the Hallel, the prayer for Dew (Tal) is chanted on the First Day.

For a variety of Pesah resources, click here.

Shavuot

Perhaps the most neglected of the three Pilgrimage Festivals is Shavuot, (meaning “weeks,” exactly seven weeks after the beginning of Pesah, corresponding with the ancient barley offering. Lacking an intrinsic symbol in the Torah, unlike Sukkot and Pesah, the sages connected Shavuot with Matan Torah, the Giving of Torah to the people of Israel. Thus Shavuot is celebrated with enhanced Torah study opportunities, often including all-night Tikkunim, or Torah study seminars.  A wide-spread Shavuot tradition involves the eating of dairy foods.

Minor Festivals

Hanukkah

The beloved winter Festival of Lights takes us back to the ancient Hasmonean (Maccabean) victory against the Syrian/Greek empire that sought to eradicate Jewish practice. The lighting of the Menorah over eight days calls to mind the reputed miracle of the one-valid oil cruse found in the desecrated holy Temple burned for eight days in the process of rededicating the Temple to sacred service. Historians explain the eight days a delayed observance of Sukkot, following the Maccabean victory and the elimination of idolatry from the Temple.

Beth David, like most Jewish families, hosts a joyous Hanukkah party, featuring the seasonal fried favorites such as latkes and sufganiyot (fried in oil, of course, commemorating the oil miracle of the Hanukkah story).

To learn more about Hanukkah, click here.

Purim

Our celebration of the heroism of Mordecai and Esther in defeating the wickedness of Haman (a descendant of our ancestral arch-enemy Amalek), is celebrated by reading the Megillah of Esther (with Beth David setting records for the largest number of Megillah readers, most recently, over 60 readers of all ages!); by celebratory meals, gifts of food to friends, and gifts to the poor. 

To learn more about Purim, click here.

Modern Holidays

Beth David places great importance on the commemorative days that came to be in the last seventy years.

Yom HaShoah, remembers the Holocaust, through a public reading of Megillat HaShoah, produced by our congregation in conjunction with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, and read world-wide.

We celebrate Israel, first, remembering Israel’s fallen soldiers on Yom HaZikaron, and the very next day, celebrating the existence and the vitality of the modern State of Israel on Yom HaAtzmaut. We also mark Yom Yerushalayim, celebrating the reunification of our eternal capital, Jerusalem, in 1967.

To learn more about Yom HaShoah and Megillat HaShoah, click here.

To learn more about Yom HaAtzmaut, click here.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 27 Iyyar 5777