Shir HaMaalot is a non-denominational independent community (havurah) whose mission is to build an egalitarian, inclusive, and sustainable community in which all members participate in creating authentic and meaningful Jewish experiences. Good food, soulful singing, and an active community have made Shir HaMaalot happen since 2011, informed greatly by the work of similar groups throughthe National Havurah Committee.
How it Works
Shir HaMaalot typically meets on the second Friday night of the month for prayer services with full Hebrew liturgy followed by a vegetarian potluck dinner and a tisch (literally "table", a celebratory gathering with singing).
Shir HaMaalot's services are entirely led by volunteers. The night begins with Kabbalat Shabbat (literally, “welcoming the Sabbath,” the first half of Friday night services), followed by a community member delivering a Dvar Torah (interpretation of the week’s Torah portion). Following the dvar is a prayer for healing and the Shabbat Ma'ariv service (evening prayers). If you are interested in leading services or giving a dvar, please seecommunity.
Following services is kiddush (sanctification of the day over wine), ritual handwashing, motzi (blessing over the bread), and the potluck dinner. Our potluck has three options: vegetarian, vegan, and vegetarian with hekhsher-only ingredients made in a hekhsher-ingredient-only home. For more information, see food & kashrut.
The evening ends with a tisch, where folks gather in the smaller room around a table for communal singing, sharing words of Torah, dancing, snacking and drinking (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). Learn how tosponsor a tisch.
Location and Thanks to Union Temple
Until 2020, Shir HaMaalot met regularly at Union Temple in Prospect Heights. Shir HaMaalot was able to meet there in part because of the generosity ofUnion Temple, who graciously subsidizes our rent and allows this community into its beautiful space. Thank you, Union Temple!
Nowadays, Shir HaMaalot meets in varying locations, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors. Sign up for emails to stay informed!