Today is July 12, 2024 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571

Alternative Shabbat Survey

Dear Members of Congregation Sha’arey Israel,
I am writing concerning an idea that has surfaced at recent meetings of the Board of Governors. This concerns the weekly Shabbat morning service. As you may know, this service generally runs from 9:30 until 12:00 or slightly thereafter. It has been suggested that there might be some interest in having the shul occasionally offer a shorter alternative service, which would be held in addition to, not instead of, the current service.

I have been tasked by the Board to assess the level of interest in this idea. To that end, I would very much appreciate your input with regard to the following questions:

1. Would you be interested in an occasional shorter alternative service on Shabbat morning?

2. How often might you attend such a service?

3. What is your preferred starting time for such a service?

4. What is your preferred length for such a service?

Please describe the type of service that you might be interested in attending. For example:

5. Apart from length, how might it differ from the current service?

6. What elements of the current service would you like to see omitted?

7. What elements that are not a part of the current service would you like to see included?

8. Please describe in as much detail as you care to the type of service (its structure and
content) you would be most likely to attend.

If it turns out there is interest in an occasional shorter alternative service, we will need some folks to step forward to lead such a service. To that end, I would appreciate your responses to the following questions:

9. Would you be interested in leading a shorter alternative Shabbat morning service?

10. If so, please describe, in as much detail as you wish, the structure and content of the type
of alternative service you might be interested in leading.

Please respond in whatever manner works best for you. You might choose to answer question by question or, if you prefer, you might choose to write a paragraph or two discussing various aspects of these questions.

Please send your responses to me by return e-mail to

I look forward to your responses and to learning from you what type of Shabbat morning service would be most meaningful for you.

Best regards,
Robert Blumenthal
Ritual Committee Chair

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