“The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation, from the world of creation to the creation of the world.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

At the Jacksonville Jewish Center, we look to Shabbat as a celebration of time. Our community comes together to celebrate this special day in a variety of ways. We don’t like to think of Shabbat as a day of rest, but rather as a day…

Friday evenings begin with a traditional Minhah service followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv. At these services, we raise are voices in song together, as we welcome Shabbat into our presence.

During the spring and summer months, we hold special musical Kabbalat Shabbat services twice a month. At our Kol Train led service, the music is upbeat, the energy is lively, and people are on their feet dancing! At Shabbat-in-the-Round, services take on a laid back atmosphere as Hazzan Holzer leads a service that is fulfilling for the entire soul.

The options and energy continue on Shabbat morning. Our Traditional Service begins every Saturday morning at 9 am, and features a full service, engaging sermons, and oftentimes, communal celebrations.

Are you someone who likes to ease into services with a little study? Once a month join Rabbi Lubliner at Coffee & Torah, for a strong cup of coffee and a participatory discussion about that weeks Torah portion. Would you rather prepare for services by getting your soul and heart in order? Then join us once a month for ShalOM Meditation, where we’ll teach the basics of meditation, followed by a 25 minute guided meditation to prepare yourself for Shabbat services.

We also realize that Shabbat is an experience for the whole family to enjoy together, so we are proud to offer special programming for children of all ages on a weekly basis. Children ages 1-5 and their parents are invited to attend Gan Shabbat, a lively, energetic, and fun Shabbat service especially for the little ones. For students in grades K-5, we have a rotation of weekly programs where children can come together for a fun and educational Shabbat experience. In our Family Minyan, families can experience Shabbat together, with a short and upbeat musical service, followed by a fun activity. At Camp Shabbat, kids will get to lead their own abbreviated Shabbat service, following which they will be up on their feet running around as they learn about that week’s Torah portion, an upcoming holiday, or another Judaic topic in a fun and interactive manner.

Also please know that children are always welcome in our main service. Children participate in all our congregational singing, and many times are called on to lead different sections of the service. Watching our children follow the Torah processional, or on the bimah leading Eyn Keloheinu and Adon Olam are highlights of the service for the entire congregation.

Teenagers also have special Shabbat programming many times over the course of the year. Teens will frequently read Torah in the main service, assist in leading the programs for younger children, and have dedicated services and discussions just for teenagers.

As the Sabbath draws to a close, Shabbat afternoon services at the Jacksonville Jewish Center offer a warm and intimate community in which to bid farewell to the Day of Rest.  In between the afternoon and evening services, we join together for seudah shelishith, the traditional third meal of the Sabbath, at which we enjoy fellowship over a light dairy meal, study Torah and sing.  At the conclusion of Shabbat we chant Havdalah, a beautiful ceremony which includes wine, fragrant spices, and a braided candle, before wishing one another “Shavua Tov, a good week!” 

 Please feel free to contact a member of our clergy if you have any questions. The Clergy Office can be reached by phone at 904-292-1000 x115 or by email at [email protected].