Shabbat Services

Shabbat is the most joyous day of the week, set aside for spiritual replenishment, contemplation and the appreciation of God’s creation. We remember that God ceased work on the seventh day and that we too must cease our mundane efforts. We gather in our homes with family and friends and in our synagogues with our community. We observeShabbat with acts that enhance the day’s holiness and refrain from acts that diminish it.

Our Shabbat service includes silent meditation, quiet chanting, communal singing and study. Read through the prayers, whether in Hebrew or in English translation, at your own pace. Linger over them. Notice the sounds, the images, the beauty of the words, the melodies. Allow yourself to meditate upon them. Don’t expect to be moved by every prayer, and don’t worry about keeping up. You are likely to respond to different prayers in different ways at different moments in your life.

On many Shabbat mornings, the congregation celebrates a bar or bat mitzvah. This milestone marks the occasion when a Jewish child is expected to begin to observe all themitzvot (Jewish ethical and religious obligations). The child participates by being called to the Torah, reading from it, chanting the haftarah, and leading other parts of the service.  Members of the child’s family may also participate.



Erev Shabbat (Friday evening)

Shabbat Aliyah

Shabbatot, September 6, October 4, November 1, January 3, February 7, March 6, April 3, May 1, and June 5 / From 6:15 to 7:15 pm

Cantor Jamie Gloth

Join with members of our community to welcome Shabbat with Shabbat Aliyah, our monthly Kabbalat Shabbat service held on the first Friday of every month. You don’t have to be familiar with the prayers or be able to read Hebrew. You just have to love to sing! We will be singing tunes that are catchy and spirited. Come with your family and friends and be a part of a beautiful musical experience. A great way to begin Shabbat, our service will conclude with a tasty Oneg Shabbat.

Shabbat Morning


The Shabbat Morning Service

Every Shabbat morning

Our morning service begins at 9:15 am with early morning prayers called Birkhot HaShahar, followed by P’sukei DeZimra. By reminding us what we have to be thankful for, these selections prepare us for communal worship.

Together we recite the Sh’ma, the Biblical text which confronts us with the reality of God and our obligation to love God. Led by our Shaliach or Shlichat Tzibbur (prayer leader), we then recite the Amidah, a standing prayer which, on Shabbat, concentrates on the essential holiness of the seventh day.

We ceremonially and reverently remove the Torah (a scroll containing the Five Books of Moses) from the ark, march in a processional so the entire congregation can see it up close and reach out to kiss it, and then chant portions from it. After the Torah reading, a haftarah (a related selection from the Prophets) is recited in its own unique musical mode, and then we return the Torah to the ark.  On certain shabbatot, we also celebrate  a bar or bat mitzvah or other communal events.

We conclude our service with the Musaf Amidah (an additional standing prayer) and closing hymns. 

Please join us for kiddush at the conclusion of the services. And please introduce yourself to the Rabbi, Cantor, President, ushers, and members of the congregation.   

Shabbat Meditation

Shabbatot, September 7, October 5, November 2, December 7, January 4, February 1, March 7, April 4, May 2, and June 6 / From 9:15 to 10:15 am

Naomi Litrownik, LICSW

Creating sacred space in our lives encourages us to be more fully present (i.e., able to say, “Hineni,” or “Here I am” with full consciousness). What better time to engage in this creative and contemplative practice than on a Shabbat morning? Join fellow congregants and let yourself enjoy the peacefulness of Shabbat. This monthly meditation is open to all, regardless of experience, and concludes in time to join the main service at the beginning of the Torah service. For further information contact Naomi.

Poses d’Zimra: Shabbat Morning Yoga

Shabbatot, October 12, November 16, January 11, February 29, March 21, April 11 and May 16 / From 9:15 to 10:15 am

Deborah Wollner

Start your Shabbat morning with a gentle vinyasa flow practice, and enhance your observance with the beautiful voice of Deborah Wollner, certified yoga instructor and Zamir Chorale member. Each monthly yoga session will integrate prayer and spiritual reflection, and is open to all tween, teen, and adult members of our community, regardless of yoga or davening experience (tweens should be accompanied by a participating adult). Either bring your own yoga mat or borrow one at the synagogue. Wear comfortable clothing conducive for moving on the floor. Feel free to bring a wardrobe change and afterward join the Torah service in the main sanctuary. For more information, contact Sharon Katz.

Kavanot *NEW*

Shabbatot, October 19, November 23, January 18, February 8, April 18, and June 20 / From 9 to 10 am

Rabbi Carl Perkins

Prayer is a uniquely human activity — and yet it doesn’t always come easy to humans. Sometimes, we sense that we want to pray, but we don’t know how to focus ourselves and channel our feelings, yearnings or concerns. The rabbis identified “kavanat ha-lev,” “a focused heart,” as the ideal state for prayer. For the most part, they didn’t require it — for how could one be held to account for not being sufficiently focused? But the rabbis did encourage people to prepare for prayer by meditating, chanting, and reflecting on the meaning of prayers, and through other spiritual practices. Once a month, we will gather for “Kavanot” (intentions) to share practices that can help us better to focus ourselves during worship. These will include chanting, singing wordless melodies (nigunim), exploring the meaning of key words, and sharing reflections on how we can better express ourselves through prayer.

Torah on Two Feet

Shabbatot, October 26, November 9, December 14, January 11, January 25, February 22, March 14, April 25, May 9, and June 13 / From 9 to 10 am

Rabbi Leslie Gordon

Dig deep into the weekly Torah portion and enhance your Shabbat morning experience! Join us as we explore the weekly Torah reading from literary, spiritual and psychological perspectives. We meet one or two Shabbat mornings per month, finishing our study in time to join the Torah service in the main sanctuary. No Hebrew required. Come for any or all sessions.

Shabbat Dvar Torah

Every Shabbat, about 11 am

Rabbi Carl Perkins and occasional guests

At the heart of our Shabbat morning service is Torah study. Each week, Rabbi Perkins or an occasional guest presents a dvar torah, which explores themes from the weekly Torah portion and connects them to our daily lives. The dvar torah, which is presented immediately after the Torah is returned to the Ark on Shabbat morning, is intended to help us address contemporary issues by interpreting the words, themes, and stories from our most sacred text. Come on Shabbat morning to hear the dvar torah — and/or feel free to stay for the entire service. Either way, you will nourish your soul and stimulate your mind.

Post Kiddush


Shabbatot, September 28, November 23, December 28, January 25, February 29, April 25, and June 27 / After Kiddush, from 12:30 to 1:15 pm (approximately)

Cantor Jamie Gloth

Join Cantor Gloth after Kiddush in singing some of your favorite melodies and Friday night and Shabbat morning prayers. You may also learn an occasional brand new melody! This is a chance to be part of an accessible, low-key group of people who just enjoy singing.

Kiddush Conversations

Shabbatot, October 26, November 9, December 7, January 4, February 8, March 7, March 21, April 4, May 30, and June 13 After Kiddush, from 12:30 to 1:15 pm (approximately)

Conversations led by members of Temple Aliyah

Our congregation is filled with fascinating people with fascinating stories to share. At Kiddush Conversations, Temple Aliyah members draw upon their areas of expertise, life experience, or interest to lead a Conversation. These Conversations provide us with opportunities to learn from and about each other in a relaxed environment. Enhance your enjoyment of Shabbat by engaging with members in our dynamic community, and join the Conversation!

The full description of all of this year' Kiddush conversations can be found on this page.

Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Ancestors)

Shabbatot between Pesach and Shavuot, April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, and 23 / From 12:30 to 1:15 pm (approximately)

Rabbi Carl Perkins

The great Jewish sage Hillel once said, “Don’t separate yourself from the community.” He also said, “Do not judge a fellow human being until you have stood in his or her place.” Clearly, Hillel cared about the role that community can play in our lives. To delve into the meaning behind Hillel’s words of wisdom, we turn to the Talmudic tractate called “Avot” (“Fathers,” “Ancestors,” or “Leaders”). Join our annual exploration of this classic work as we delve into Pirkei Avot’s thought-provoking ethical aphorisms on the Shabbatot between Pesach and Shavuot. Please note that while we will read the text in both Hebrew and English, no Hebrew is necessary to participate in or contribute to this informal seminar.


Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!

Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.

Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.    

Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!

Join Us

Did you know...?

Donations made to Temple Aliyah are now listed every month, on a special donations received page. This replaces the prior listing in the "Shofar," which for the past few years has only come out annually. There you can find donations for December, 2018-August, 2019 and for the month of September, 2019, and they will be added to that page on a monthly basis.

Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!

Shabbat and Weekday Services


Shabbat Morning Services  9:15 am
Sunday Morning Minyan* 9:00 am
Monday Morning Minyan   7:00 am
Weekday Evening Minyan 7:30 pm

* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education.  Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.

Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you.