Over the last few months a number of people have noticed that our Shabbat program has changed and that we have been using a new design. While this might not address a question about Judaism, I thought it was worth sharing our thinking in this forum where we ask lama – why?
For many years we had the same Shabbat program, the front and back covers were printed externally and then each week we filled in the middle two pages with the necessary information for each Shabbat service. As we reflected on the service experience and by extension the representation of our community through the Shabbat program it became clear that the content was geared far more towards our guests than our members, and that there was a lot of white space in the previous design that could be filled with more content and information.
As we reflected on the potential to improve the design it was also clear that we as a synagogue are blessed to have Nancy Tejo as a member of our staff, who could not only redesign the Shabbat program, but could also ensure that we could make changes and updates as needed.
With that in mind there were a number of aims in the new design:
· To have a Shabbat program that could be changed every few weeks, so that people would be “excited” to see what photo is included on the back page.
· To make better use of the space provided so that more information is included and shared in our program.
· To find ways to add a little bit of education about the Torah portion into the Shabbat program.
· To provide a Shabbat program that is primarily for our members.
· To have a Shabbat program that is aesthetically pleasing.
These are a few of the reasons we embarked on the new design, I am sure that there are things we could have done differently and elements which are more (or less) attractive to our members, but we hope that overall this is a better, more engaging, and more responsive Shabbat program than we previously had.
Alongside this, we are very excited that with our December Family Service we also introduced our monthly family friendly Shabbat program. With a service focused on the younger members of our community we now have a program that compliments the service. Each month there will be a picture from a member of our Religious School and there will be an activity for the children to keep them occupied in the minutes before the service or (in the unlikely event) if they get distracted during the service.
We hope that you will enjoy the new Shabbat program, but if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact me.