Temple Shalom is a “family-friendly” congregation. Children are welcome in our Sanctuary at all times, and for all services. We believe that children feeling wanted and welcome increases their sense of connection to our tradition and their feeling of comfort with Jewish identity. Many a young child over the years has wandered onto the bimah during services to the horror of his or her parents only to find that our clergy takes the child’s hand and continues -- with a little help from our youngest member -- with the prayer or song, after which the child usually wanders back to his or her seat.
We also recognize that the fact that many of our services take place late in an evening poses challenges for younger children. For that reason, we have included a Quiet Room in our Sanctuary, as a place where children can go (accompanied by adults, see “Guidelines for the Use of the Quiet Room,” below) when they develop shpilkes (a Yiddish term covering the sense of being highly fidgety, very restless, or with particularly high energy). It is always a judgment call and balancing act between the needs of our children and the comfort and concentration of those around us; we hope that the Quiet Room helps facilitate the right mixture of participation and appropriateness in a way which works for everyone.
To promote the participation and inclusion of our youngest worshippers, Temple Shalom provides a range of options for all ages throughout the year. Tot Shabbat, Family Services, and Congregational Potluck – often led by a Religious School grade occurs on the First Friday of the month from September to June; separate children’s services for the High Holy Days; afternoon Family Services on the High Holy Days as well; kids Purim celebration during Religious School; Night of a Thousand Menorahs; periodic camp-style Shabbat Morning services; and so many other special kid-friendly programming and services throughout the year. Please speak to a member of our Clergy for more information, or check the full calendar for complete details on any given month.
Guidelines for Use of the Quiet Room
- Temple Shalom’s Quiet Room is intended for the comfort and convenience of families with young children in attendance at services. This is in no way meant as “banishment” from the main Sanctuary, and should be used as needed as children grow restless or particularly energetic.
- An adult should accompany children in the Quiet Room. It is not meant as an unsupervised play area.
- Books and some toys are provided; please feel free to use what is in the room, but also please try to straighten it up again after usage.
- Please avoid standing on and/or jumping from the chairs to avoid injuries.
- Please do not flip the lights in the Quiet Room on and off for fun during a service as it is distracting in the main sanctuary.
We appreciate the common sense, camaraderie and cooperation that those using the Quiet Room display, and are glad to have a way of enhancing the ability of parents and children to participate in our service while remaining together.