Sing a song of Shabbat


Subject: Sing a Song of Shabbat

Target: All segments of the congregation interested in the worship liturgy

Time Frame: One school year

Congregation: Temple Emanuel

Contributor: Ellyn Polsky


Parents and children share the experience of studying an integral and intimate part of Jewish life together.   A multigenerational chorus of students and their parents, learn the prayers and songs of the Friday night service.   


To help adults and children feel confident about their abilities to pray in the sanctuary and as a result increase their attendance at services. 


  1. To form a chorus of students and their parents.
  2. To learn current Shabbat liturgy.
  3. To record the songs on an audiotape or CD.
  4. To produce a booklet which includes the prayers in Hebrew, English, a transliteration and a simple explanation of each prayer.
  5. To give each family the audiotape or CD and book to study and enjoy.

Target Population

All segments of the congregation interested in the worship liturgy.   


The teaching and learning took place at Temple Emanuel.  The recording was done at the studio of Rick Recht, a professional singer and recording artist.  

Staff and Specialists

Music specialist, recording specialist, accompanist  


Music selections and song sheets for all participants;
Musical instrumentation


The Rabbi and music specialist chose prayers and prayer melodies appropriate for Friday night worship.  Participants were recruited through several avenues; newsletter, phone calls, flyers, personal invitations.  Everyone who wanted to participate was encouraged to do so.  When the group was in place, a calendar of meetings was arranged.  

Program Activities

Children learned the music first, on Sunday mornings for fifteen minutes each Sunday over two months time.  Adults came in to join them at this point.  The music specialist rehearsed each song to be recorded as he envisioned it to sound.  All participants met at the studio on three occasions to rehearse and record.  


The only expense was for the music specialist who recorded and reproduced the audiotape.   


This project can be done on a less professional level, depending on the equipment available.  The learning of the music and the coming together to make the music were the most valuable parts of the experience.

References and Resources

Included is a copy of the tape and the booklet