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maayan מעיין

A non-exclusive Orthodox shul in West Orange, New Jersey
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How is Maayan different from other Orthodox shuls?

At Maayan, we honor and respect the image of HaShem that dwells in all of us by striving to be as inclusive as possible. We are respectful of both normative Halacha and ritual tradition. Maayan has a mechitza, follows Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogue tradition and practice, and holds the entire service in Hebrew.

Although our prayer community is composed of both dedicated men and women, we follow the Orthodox practice that a minyan, or prayer quorum, is exclusively composed of ten males over the age of 13. Men lead those parts of communal prayer which may only be recited in the presence of a full minyan of men over the age of 13.

In the spirit of including the entire congregation in the inherent joy of expressive, pleasant communal tefillah, here are some practices that distinguish Maayan from other Orthodox shuls.
  • Optional parts of davening are reduced or eliminated to keep services short in order to support maximal participation and focus on behalf of the congregation. Practices such as multiple mishaberachs during the Torah service and/or acknowledging charitable donations during the time between aliyot are discouraged.

  • Men and women are eligible to lead parts of the service that do not require a quorum of males, such as Pesukei D’Zimrah and Kabbalat Shabbat.

  • Men and women are eligible to lead Kiddush and Havdalah.

  • Men and women each carry the Torah around their respective sides of the mechitza during the Torah service.

  • Men and women are eligible to read from the Torah.

  • Men and women are eligible to receive aliyot and may be called to the Torah using the names of both parents.

  • Men and women are welcome to publicly say kaddish when they are in aveilut or have a yahrtzheit.

  • Men, women, and children are eligible to assist during the Torah service.

  • Men, women, and children are eligible to lead the closing prayer of the service (Yigdal or Adon Olam, depending upon the service.)

  • Men, women, and children are eligible to give divrei Torah and speak from the pulpit.