Customs & Practices

We offer a variety of services that allow us to pray and study together. Everyone is welcome to join us. We have summarized some of the rituals and customs of our BHBE community to make you more familiar and comfortable when you come.


Men are expected to wear a kippah (skull cap) when they are in the building. Men and women after their b’nai mitzvah are also encouraged to wear tallit (prayer shawl) during Shabbat services, morning Minyan and major Jewish holidays as appropriate. Kippot and tallitot are available outside the doors of the Sanctuary.


We use two books for Shabbat services- our prayer book, Sim Shalom, and Etz Chaim Chumash, which contains the five books of the Torah. Lev Shalem is used during the High Holy Days. The books are placed in front of your seats in your row.

We hope that you will join us in prayer; we welcome your participation.

On Friday night and Shabbat morning, please remember:

  • That tallit and prayer books should not be taken into the restrooms.
  • That BHBE is a smoke-free environment every day of the year.
  • That you should not use cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, cameras or other electronic devices in the building on Shabbat and holidays.
  • That all forms of writing and photography are prohibited on Shabbat and holidays- these acts are considered “melakha” or “creative activity” and, therefore, are not allowed on sanctified days.
  • That for optimum attention at the heightened religious moments of the service, we ask you not to enter or exit the Sanctuary: 1) anytime the Ark is open, 2) during the silent recitation of the Amidah, 3) during the recitation of the Kedushah, 4) during the Mourner’s Kaddish, and 5) while the Rabbi is speaking from the pulpit.
  • That we observe kashrut, Jewish dietary laws, so please refrain from bringing outside food, including gum, into the synagogue building.
  • That we would love for you to join us for Kiddush, the reception following services. It begins after the blessings over the wine and bread are recited in the sanctuary. Please refrain from entering the auditorium to partake until the curtain is open.

If you have any questions or concerns when joining us for a service, please talk with one of our ushers. They are there to assist you while you’re here at BHBE.