This past year, CHJ celebrated Shabbat every Friday night on Zoom, where members and friends gather from Connecticut, Florida, New York — and wherever else they happen to be.  On some Fridays, a full service is followed by a provocative/humorous/educational program. The service is distributed to members in advance.  (Many Shabbat and other services are available on this website under Resources/Services.) On other Fridays, candlelighting, a video and a discussion suffice. However busy the work week, taking time to usher in the Sabbath — or to bid it farewell—provides a sense of community, a link to Jewish tradition, and a measure of inner peace.

Thank you, Zoom.  For the three-plus years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, CHJ never let our programs lapse. Zoom stepped in to keep us connected, with celebrations of Shabbat right through the summer. No question that we do miss greeting each other in person. But there’s a silver lining in services by Zoom and that is that people — members, former members who have moved away, and prospective members — can participate. The speaker at our Yom HaShoah service was longtime member and Holocaust survivor Lou Reens from his home in Florida!

Looking ahead.    Prior to Covid, our Congregation typically gathered twice a month on Friday evenings, usually in a member’s home. There we set aside the cares of the week, caught up with friends, and enjoyed a program meant to enlighten and entertain. We hope to meet in person regularly again, ideally in hybrid mode, so that members who’d rather not go out on snowy evenings or who live far away, can participate virtually. We are seeking a meeting place that meets our needs.  Suggestions welcome!
Looking back.    Our Shabbat ceremonies have evolved over many years and bear the hand of many authors. In the spring of 2012, Lucy Katz, chair of the Ritual Committee, led the way to update and consolidate our many services into a handful that best suit the ways our members celebrate Shabbat — at home with family, in small CHJ get-togethers, and at large community events.

It was to be the last of her countless contributions to CHJ ritual… and to the soul and substance of our Congregation. We offer this collection of Shabbat and Havdalah services, along with the song sheet that follows, in loving memory of Lucy.

The CHJ Ritual Committee

Shabbat and Havdalah Services


The past summer, CHJ held Havdalah services on Compo Beach in July, August and September.  They were joyous events with members socializing, renewing friendships and greeting visitors who we hope will become members.

FOR NEXT SPRING and SUMMER  here are your instructions. ? Please bring your own dinner and beach chairs. CHJ will provide dessert and soft drinks. No need to register or call ahead. Just mark the dates and join us. Simply tell the parking attendant when you drive into the lot why you are here (for a CHJ event), and he or she will direct you to where we are located and where to park. Look for our banner…Easy!

Whether or not you know us, whether or not you have other religious or quasi-religious affiliations or memberships, and regardless of your age —  we invite you to check us out. Here is an opportunity to find out about CHJ —  who we are, our philosophy, and how we celebrate our  Jewish culture and traditions.

Each of the Havdalahs will emphasize a different aspect of CHJ. One will be a summer celebration of being on the beach together and enjoying one another’s company;  another  will consider what we,  as a community, can do to better our community, our environment and society in general;  and another will focus on our Mitzvah Mentoring program and the upcoming High Holidays.

They will all  have one thing in common — they will be fun! We will enjoy  the beach on a summer evening with a great group of folks!

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