Shalomites Creative Service

Keeping Connected    January 2024
Despite the cold temperatures that come along with it, the Shalomites Creative Service is always one of my favorite services of the year.  In fact, it’s been one of my favorite services to attend since before I was in Shalomites as a teen myself.  The service always provided food, fun, singing and a sanctuary packed with families and teens.
This year was no different.  While the temperature outside was chilly, the warmth that came from having our Shalomites and temple youth from other synagogues in attendance could keep you warm for the rest of the winter.  The Shalomites hosted 25 other teens for dinner and a sleepover – yes, a sleepover with teens – so a huge thank you to the volunteers, chaperones and advisors who helped make that possible.  The teens settled right in and participated fully in the Creative Service.  They helped lead it, sang songs (complete with hand motions and dance moves) and were fully engaged with each other and the rest of the Congregation.  It was truly so wonderful to see so many teens packed into our sanctuary on a Friday night and know that they were choosing to spend their time with other Jewish teens.
An especially moving moment came when the teens participated in a prayer for Israel.  It was absolutely beautiful to hear the voices of these young adults, praying for soldiers, for innocent lives, for hostages, for peace.  In a time where adults are having trouble parsing out their emotions when it comes to Israel, it was amazing to hear these teens praying together for a place that many may be too young to have a strong connection to.  It gave me so much hope in that moment to hear them.
If you have never been to a Shalomites Creative Service, I hope that next year you will join them.  To witness our own Jewish teens planning and participating in the service is moving.  The sound of the music and singing is electric.  The sight of the packed sanctuary is powerful.  It shows our younger kids what they have to look forward to as they grow into Jewish teens – and maybe it reminds the rest of us what it used to be like when we were younger versions of ourselves.