FOR OUR NON-JEWISH VISITORS
Temple Shalom in Louisville welcomes students and other visitors, and we invite you to participate with us in our religious services. We hope this introduction will provide you with the information you need to understand, feel comfortable, and get the most from your visit.
PRAYER SERVICES AND BOOKS:
As Jews, we pray directly to God, without an intermediary such as a minister or priest. The Rabbi, meaning “teacher,” leads the services, announces which prayers are being said, provides explanations, and tells the congregants which prayers should be said while standing. If the Rabbi is unavailable, a lay member of the congregation will lead the services. The prayer books are written in Hebrew and have English translations for each prayer. Some books also have transliteration, i.e., Hebrew written in Roman letters.
When attending services, please dress modestly (e.g., no mini skirts, short shorts, or sleeve-less blouses or shirts).
We understand that you may have an assignment to write a paper on what you observe and experience. Please wait until after you leave the Temple before you write down your observations. While you are at Temple Shalom, feel free to ask the Rabbi, ushers, or congregants any questions about the services or Judaism. Please remember that there is a wide range of knowledge and understanding about Judaism, and varying degrees of religious observance among Jews.
Therefore, you may wish to clarify whether their answers reflect the personal beliefs and practices of the individuals you talk with, or whether they are universally accepted within Judaism. The web site, myjewishlearning.com, is especially useful for obtaining further information about Judaism.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR CLASSES OR GROUPS:
If you would like to attend services as a group, please schedule your visit in advance. When you call the office, please let them know you’d like to attend as a group. If possible, we’ll arrange for someone to talk with the group after the services, to provide additional information about the Sanctuary and Judaism, and to answer questions.