The Valley Temple is a midwest mainstream Reform Congregation. Services are held every Friday Night at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise advertised) and Saturday Mornings at 10:30 a.m. The Rabbi Solomon T. Greenberg Sanctuary seats around 110 in its smallest configuration, and can expand to seat over 450. The space is flexible and intimate, and allows for chairs to be arranged in different ways to promote different types of experiences.
We use the CCAR’s Mishkan Tefillah on most Shabbat Evenings and Mornings. Friday Night Services mix an array of musical styles, and the rabbi or rabbinic intern speak about the week’s parasha, a “hot topic,” or a combination of both during this one hour service. Shabbat Morning Services are very informal, usually follow a 9:30 a.m. Torah Study, and the service includes Torah and Haftarah readings.
B’nai Mitzvah services are made special by a special prayer book compiled by Rabbi Kopnick and inspired by previous versions by Rabbi Greenberg to be inclusive of diverse groups who attend these special lifecycle events.
Family Service: On the second Friday of every month, we hold a special Family Service at 7:30 p.m. The sermon is replaced with a story, we honor children who celebrate birthdays that month, and we use a family service pamphlet created by our rabbi and rabbinic interns for the occasion.
Rockin’ the Temple: Keeping with a trend in the Reform Movement, six or seven times a year, our Friday night service is called “Friday Night Live” and features a band with Temple members and professional musicians. The music is festive and seeks to create an inviting and interactive approach to worship. Transliterations are tastefully projected for all to use as we create a community in song.
Tot Shabbat: Join Rabbi Kopnick and sometimes a guest musician for puppets and prayers, songs and a story. Fun for all ages, but strongly encouraged for children under age 6 and their grown-ups. Tot Shabbat experiences are 30 minutes on either Friday evening or Saturday morning. Check our calendar for upcoming dates.
Music: Jewish worship is greatly enhanced by music- and lots of it. At Valley, we strive to be inclusive as we balance contemporary Jewish music with Reform Jewish standards. Each month, our Friday night services are graced by the presence of professional musicians (and some volunteers), who offer varied musical styles.
Many Shabbat Evening services are enhanced by the talent of our soloist, Marilyn Zelcer. Marilyn is a full-time musician and voice teacher at the Musical Arts Center in O’Bryonville. She was soloist at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY and joined Valley Temple over ten years ago. She is accompanied by long-time music director Robert Pollack, who is a Juilliard-trained pianist.
The second Friday of each month we feature a Family Service. The service incorporates many contemporary melodies by artists such as Dan Nichols and Debbie Friedman played and sung by a song leader (guitar and soloist), usually a seasoned URJ camp veteran.
Six or seven Fridays a year, our Friday Night Live Band presents a lively and inviting spiritual experience. The band is comprised of Temple members, rabbinic students, song leaders, and even our rabbi! The band includes a bass, keyboard, acoustic and electric guitars, a drum, euphonium, and occasional other instruments, too. The prayers are arranged to highlight participation, multiple harmonies, and joy.
Special Guests: Each year, the congregation hosts acclaimed Jewish musician Dan Nichols. Dan’s inviting and soulful personality helps create a weekend of spiritual exploration and beautiful music. Charlene Gubitz joins us around once a month with her beautiful voice as she accompanies herself on guitar, and Orin Reynolds joins the Friday Night Live band and comes as a soloist occasionally, too.