North Suburban Synagogue Beth El
Customs & Practices

Customs & Practices


The variety of services we offer enable us to come together as a one community to pray and to study. We welcome everyone to join us. Below we summarized some of the rituals and customs of our Beth El community to help you feel more comfortable when you visit.

What to Wear

Men are required to wear a kippah (head covering) as a sign of respect at all times while in our building. Jewish males 13 years of age and over are requested to wear a tallit (prayer shawl) while in the Field Family Sanctuary or the Sager Beit Hamidrash. You will find Kippot and tallitot available outside the Sanctuary doors.

All women who come up to the bimah (pulpit) to participate in a service are required to wear a head covering. A variety of head coverings are available at the entrance to the sanctuary.

All men and women are asked to dress appropriately for a synagogue service. On Friday nights (and Simchat Torah) Beth El is business casual. On Saturdays we are more traditional.

Practices to Consider

When the ark (where the Torahs are kept) is open, the rabbi is speaking, or the congregation is standing please do not enter the sanctuary.

Two books are used for Shabbat services, a small red siddur (prayerbook), and a larger red book, the Chumash, which contains the five books of the Torah. These are in the pews.

We understand that services are a time to connect with family and friend, but please keep conversations to a minimum until after services.

We hope that you will join us in prayer; we welcome your participation.

To help preserve the spirit of Shabbat (including Friday night) please do not:

  • Smoke
  • Take photos or videos
  • Play with electronic games
  • Use cell /smart phones, pagers, or any other electronic device; these should be turned off.
  • Use pens, pencils, crayons, or other writing or coloring instruments in the synagogue or around the building.

Rather than applauding after Bar/Bat mitzvah speeches, join us as we wish, “Yasher Koach” which means,  “May you go from strength to strength.”

Please, only kosher food is allowed in the synagogue. After the service, only food that is set up by the caterer is allowed in the social hall.

If you have a question or concerns when joining us for a service,  please ask one of our ushers. Each is there to help and be of service.