We are really glad you have decided to share your simcha with us. Because we are a volunteer led minyan, this list of guidelines will help make sure that everything goes smoothly. Let us know if you have questions or would like to hold an event.
To hold a simcha such as an aufruf, brit milah, or baby naming with Altshul, the following policy applies:
- If your simcha is on a day that Altshul is not meeting, you are welcome to contact CBE independently and arrange to hold your event there; you will be responsible for organizing the event, renting space from CBE (and paying any necessary fees), and finding leyners and daveners if necessary. Altshul is happy to advertise your simcha as a community event if you wish; if your event is in the CBE building, we can also arrange for you to use Altshul’s siddurs. Additionally, we can provide some logistical support (like our cheat sheet spreadsheet) for running services. If you want Altshul’s assistance on logistics or publicity, it is your responsibility to inform the leadership team one month in advance.
- If Altshul is meeting on the day of your simcha, the service has to follow standard Altshul davening. Any celebration (e.g. lunch) that takes place at CBE on the day of the simcha must be open to the entire Altshul community.
- If Altshul is meeting and you are expecting a lot of guests, Altshul will attempt to get an appropriate venue on your behalf, but will require notice as far in advance as possible.
- If you are organizing a simcha and have never been to Altshul before, you should come and try it first.
- If you are organizing a simcha and would like a role in the service for yourself or any of your guests (e.g. leading services, chanting torah or haftarah, having an aliyah, giving a dvar torah or sponsoring kiddush), you should contact the leadership team as far in advance as possible. Altshul has many volunteers who participate in services and needs to ensure that those roles are available.
- Any simcha-related speeches must either be in the form of divrei torah during the service (subject to availability), or delivered after services at a Kiddush or lunch. Divrei torah should be related to the weekly Torah portion if they are delivered during the service. Simcha-related speeches may not be given at any other time in the service.
- Altshul has very limited capacity to host Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs and no capacity at all for adding such events through at least 2020. In order to have a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah at Altshul, your child must be an active participant in the community before beginning fourth grade and your family must be regular and committed members of the Altshul community. This commitment is expressed through regularly attending Altshul services and volunteering in some of the many ways that help sustain our community. Please note that we do not offer religious education or training in preparation for reading Torah or leading services. There is an attendance limit of 125 non-Altshul guests, including children. Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs may only be held on Saturday mornings during shacharit/musaf services. All decisions about whether to schedule a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah at Altshul are at the discretion of the Altshul Leadership Team.