Welcome to Congregation Shema Yisrael!
Please come join us Saturday mornings at our weekly Shabbat (Sabbath) Service. Our services start at 10:00 AM and all are welcome, and we offer Deaf Interpretation upon request. The services are held in the Congregation Shema Yisrael Synagogue at 250 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618. Please click here for directions.
Congregation Shema Yisrael is a Messianic Synagogue. We are a member of the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations And Synagogues (IAMCS), a congregational movement of Jews and non-Jews who believe in the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), and who worship the G-d of Israel in a biblically Jewish way. We are committed to restoring the Jewish roots of our faith in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We want you to feel comfortable attending our services, so we have provided answers to several frequently asked questions below:
•What will I experience during a service at Congregation Shema Yisrael?
During our service, we will have a period of Jewish liturgy, Messianic praise & worship, a Torah (scroll of the Five Books of Moses) processional & reading, and a message from our Rabbi. During the time of praise and worship some of the people in attendance worship G-d by participating in traditional Jewish and Israeli circle dances (dance classes are offered at various times throughout the year for beginners).
•What is Messianic praise & worship?
Messianic praise & worship songs are songs with a Jewish/Israeli flavor with lyrics in English and Hebrew. Whenever Hebrew is used, we both transliterate it and translate it into English.
•Do I need to be Jewish to attend?
No, all are welcome at Congregation Shema Yisrael. You will find Jews and Gentiles, non Jews, at our services.
•Do I have to wear anything special to the services?
We recognize that G-d looks at the inside of the man and does not have a dress code for our services. However, most people who attend our services wear modest or “business casual” attire, and many men who attend wear a kippah and tallit during service. There are extras available in the lobby if you do not have your own.
•How long are your services?
Our services start at 10:00 AM and end around 12:00 PM.
•Is there a cost for admission?
There is no cost to attend. We will take up a collection of tithes and free-will offerings during the service. Giving your tithes and free-will offerings is optional (not compulsory).
•Do you have programs for children?
We have Shabbat School (children’s classes) for children through age 12, as well as a nursery for infants and toddlers. We welcome your children to come to class, but if you desire to keep them with you during the service, that is also permitted. Following praise and worship, the children are brought up in front of the congregation for a blessing and then dismissed with their teachers to their classrooms. Parents pick up their children from the classrooms after the service is over.
•Do you celebrate the “Appointed Times” (Jewish Holidays) spelled out in Leviticus 23?
Yes, we celebrate the appointed times with special services and celebratory foods & activities.