Worship Services

  Friday night services are the first Friday of each month, whenever possible.   Shabbat services are Reform-style, lay-led, and participatory. The Friday evening Service uses the prayerbook, Mishkan T'filah: A Reform Siddur, with each lay-leader choosing the particular readings and type of service for that evening.  See below for the Friday night service schedule and an example of a Friday night service.


For 5778, our High Holiday Services were held at Carolina Meadows at 100 Whippoorwill Lane, Chapel Hill.   As in the past, we were blessed with the presence of Susan Lebanow, Professor of Music at UNC who led the Kol Nidrei Service Friday Evening.  Susan is an accomplished soprano who has performed extensively in the U.S. and internationally.

Services are lay-led, combine Reform and Conservative elements, and include participatory discussions.  All are welcome to attend.   For adult attendees who are not members of the Congregation a donation would be appreciated to Congregation Etz Chayim, P.O. Box 9284, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

We welcome readers in Hebrew or English; please consider volunteering to lead a reading.

Contact:  David Winer at dwinter@nc.rr.com or 919.942.8044 for more information.



Services other than Friday night Shabbat services and High Holiday Services are held in members' homes.  For example, for Passover we read the Haggadah with discussion and prayers.  We celebrate other holidays similarly.  These other Services focus on English rather than Hebrew.   For all Services, leadership, language and all aspects of participation are egalitarian.  There is much singing and chanting.

For further information about Etz Chayim's worship services contact David Winer at dwiner@nc.rr.com or 919-942-8044 or Bill Primack at wprimack@yahoo.com or 919-933-0471.


Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Friday, May 4, 2018
Time:  7:15 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Friday, June 1, 2018
Time:  7:15 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Friday, August 31, 2018
Time:  7:15 PM


Carolina Meadows Board Room
100 Whippoorwill Lane
Chapel Hill, NC 27517 

For help in arranging transportation to a service contact David Winer at dwiner@nc.rr.com or 919-942-8044



   Seven p.m. on January 18.  Eighteen people sit in a circle with their Siddurim.   The leader designates one to read the passage about kindling the candles, and then says: "Light is an important symbol for many faiths.   What things in Judaism are referred to as 'Light'?"

   Several responses: "For a mitzvah is a lamp, and Torah is light."  "Adonai is my light and my salvation."  I will set you for...a light to the nations.""  "Light is sown for the righteous."  "Elohim said, 'Let there be light..."

   The leader says: "The last one, the summoning of primeval light, seems to be the best fit for our Service this evening.   For in the beginning God said the words, and brought the light into being, and created the world; and tonight we light the candles, and chant the words of the blessing, and bring Shabbat into our world."

   The candles are lit and all join in chanting the blessing.  We try to feel in our kishkes a sense of wonder at the precise moment Shabbat comes upon us. 

   The leader has different people read from the Siddur, and introduces points for discussion.   What Shabbat memories do you recall?  One participant remembers how his grandmother baked a small challah for every person present.   Another has a vision of his mother, wife, and daughters-in-law each lighting candles in their own homes, links in a chain that occur simultaneously like a split-screen film.

   When we sing L'ChaH DoDi,we try to answer: Who is the Bride and Who is the Beloved?  The Bride is identified as Shabbat.   The Beloved could be God, the people Israel, or the partner beside us.

   The Parashah is Yitro, and the D'var led by a participant zooms in on the 10th Commandment that prohibits coveting.   A lively discussion ensues over its uniqueness, and the challenge of controlling thought and feelings.   We wrestle with question: Why should the Torah care about our innermost world as long as our outward behavior is proper?  We recognize that even if feelings remain concealed, they can still affect relationships with neighbors or spouses.

   After gathering around a splendid table covered with oneg,we depart, energized for the week by our spiritual, intellectual and social interactions. 


Last updated: 4/11/2018  






















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