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Clergy & Service

There are three services held simultaneously every Shabbat and holiday, with the exception of the High Holy Days. Each service reflects a different facet of the congregants here at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. It also shows what a diverse community the synagogue brings together.

Every week there are Shabbat services in the Mashaal Sanctuary, the Iny Chapel and the Beit Aaron or Chevra Shaas Chapel. In each of the chapels, the men and women sit in separate areas.

The Mashaal Sanctuary is the principal chapel and its services are also the most culturally diverse. The services are held in both English and French, alongside Hebrew prayers, and the tunes reflect its origins. Since the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of London, England founded the synagogue, the prayers are sung primarily in this Sephardic tradition. However, due to the many cultures and traditions of each community of congregants, there are also influences of Iraqi, North African, Ashkenazi and many other melodies melded with this tradition. Since this is the most culturally diverse of all the sanctuaries, many families of multiple backgrounds can appreciate the melding of traditions. Services start on Saturdays at 8:15 a.m., followed by a Shabbat Kiddush.

Simultaneous services are also held in the Iny Chapel by the Lebanese community. This community conducts its services in French and Hebrew, and also goes by the name Magen Avraham. The melodies of the prayers at these services are also Sephardic, with the dominant traditions displayed being Lebanese. Services start on Saturdays at 8:15 a.m., followed by a Shabbat Kiddush.

The third congregation holding regular Shabbat services on Saturdays is the Chevra Shaas-Adath Jeshurun-Hadath Kodesh-Shevet Achim-Chaverim Kol Yisrael d’Beth Abraham community in the Chevra Shaas chapel. The Chevra Shaas is an amalgamation of five Ashkenazi communities that joined the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in 2006. The service is held in English and Hebrew, with prayers sung in traditional Ashkenazi and Yiddish melodies. Services start at 8:45 a.m., and Kiddush club follows the services in the Chevra Chaas Chapel.

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784