Get comfortable. It'll be an hour.
Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum
As published in The Jewish Press August 16, 2022


Synagogue services are just like Husker games. It’s not the intense prayer when the team is down by a touchdown at the 2-minute warning. Let me explain. Imagine the excitement of your old friend and neighbor Andrew Johnson, a UNL alumnos, as he plans and books his ticket to Dublin to watch your Huskers take on the Wildcats.

Excitement builds as the day of Andrew’s flight draws near. He’ll check that his passport is valid again, double check the dates on the ticket, the hotel reservation - everything is in place. The day arrives and the excitement grows further when he sees Husker caps and shirts as he passes through security. It seems like everyone on the plane is a Husker fanatic!

In Ireland the excitement is even more palpable. Andrew makes his way to Lansdowne Road and the sea of scarlet and purple is exhilarating. He finally arrives at section 323, row J, seat 6, and takes a moment to absorb the surroundings. As he tries to take it all in, he realizes his seatmate in seat 5 is old Mrs McDonald who lives four houses down back in Omaha!

Why would this sweet granny fly across the Atlantic to participate in the spectacle? She barely knows the difference between a quarterback and a cornerback, nevermind the benefits of zone vs. man to man coverage!

Andrew soon hears that she won the trip at a bingo tournament and decided it would be a fun change of pace despite being clueless about football. Being the kind person he is, Andrew explains some of the basics of the game to her, and to his surprise, she picks it up rather quickly and is sharing in the excitement in no time at all!

Do you ever feel out of place like granny McDonald? Where it seems everyone in the group, meeting, or dinner party knows about something that you are absolutely clueless about?

Is this what shabbat synagogue services feel like? Whether or not you went to Hebrew school as a child or have attended services as an adult, davening (prayer) can be uncomfortable. The prayers are in a foreign language, and whether or not you can read them, their meaning, structure, and purpose eludes you. Even just being on the correct page is a struggle!

Enter Chabad’s 1 Hour Introductory Service!

Designed for beginners, this program is held once the full (2+ hour) shabbat service is complete. It offers you the chance to become familiar with the words and tunes and even understand the translation and deeper meanings behind shabbat morning services. And it’s all packed into an hour, so you don’t have to sit on an uncomfortable pew fidgeting as you wonder when the merciless end will come.

The service is followed by a fabulous kiddush lunch, featuring some of the Shabbos favorites like homemade gefilte fish, kugel, the best cholent in the Midwest, and rugelach. Better yet, the discussion is every bit as delicious as the food!

The 1 hour service will take place on the second shabbat of each month, launching on shabbat, September 10th at 11am. There will be similar introductory services at Chabad for the high holidays. All are welcome,  RSVP preferred [not required]

We know you’ll love this program, but be sure to share the experience and invite your family and friends! Bring your Bubby along, she'll love humming along with the tunes. Who knows, maybe we can even make a mi shebeirach prayer for the Huskers!

For more information, or to sign up for reminders about the 1 Hour Introductory Service schedule, please email [email protected]