We have many members from all sorts of backgrounds and traditions. We are therefore open and welcoming to a plethora of religious customs.
Some of our minhagei hamakom (local customs) are as follows:
- We are strictly egalitarian. Regardless of sex or gender, everyone has the same obligations and is equally welcome to participate in our sacred rituals.
- We use musical instruments in our services, as music elevates the soul and creates a more prayerful environment. David played music to King Saul to help calm his nerves, and the Levites would celebrate the sacred festivals in the Temple with every instrument available.
- Our services are conducted in Hebrew and English. For all Hebrew, we have transliteration available (Hebrew written out in English letters). We also have large-print prayer books available.
- We pray from the Reform Movement's most recent siddur (prayerbook)— Mishkan Tefila. Over the Yamim Nora'im (the High Holy Days), we pray from Gates of Repentance.
- Tallitot (prayer shawls) and kippot (skullcaps) are optional and encouraged in our sanctuary and on our bimah.
- We keep kosher-style at Temple Emanu-El. No pork or shell-fish is ever served and meals are either dairy or meat— never both.