Mission & History

Derech Eretz

Treating Each Other with Mutual Respect and Dignity

All of the guidelines below are for everyone, and when reminding others of them, please use kindness and respect.

Derech Eretz At A Glance

Respect for People and Spaces:

  • The synagogue is a shomer Shabbat (Sabbath and holiday observant) environment.
  • Unplug on Shabbat! No electronics may be used anywhere in the building, or writing, cameras, cell phones, drawing, etc. from sundown Friday to nightfall Saturday and on religious holidays.
  • We treat holy spaces with decorum. We are quiet and respectful in the Sanctuary and Beit Midrash, keep holy books off of floors and wear appropriate head coverings. We return items that we’ve used to the place where we found them.
  • Outside behaviors such as running, throwing and kicking balls, using loud voices, etc. are welcome outside, with proper supervision but not inside the building.

Behavior:

  • We treat others kindly, safely, respectfully; the way we want to be treated.
  • We respect ourselves, other people, the synagogue, and the physical things in the synagogue.
  • Children are expected to be in a synagogue program or with a designated adult.
  • Children repeatedly not complying will be reunited with their parent/adult.

Food:

  • We are proud of our kosher, peanut free synagogue with food practices that reflect our values.
  • Eating is a sacred act.
  • Shabbat lunches, and all meals, are served after public Motzi (blessing over bread) has been made.  Please wait until after the blessings over food before lining up to take food at our lunch buffet.
  • Snacks are available during services downstairs.
  • We are respectful of those preparing and serving meals and other diners.
  • We take only what we will eat; moderate portions, striving towards no waste, and ensuring that there is enough for everyone.
  • Meals are eaten upstairs; in the social hall, with overflow seating outside in the courtyard and in the rear of the sanctuary as needed.
  • We do not eat meals on the Bima.
  • We clean up after ourselves.
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for their kids’ knowledge of and compliance with these practices.

Guidelines for Post B’nai Mitzvah Teens:

Teens are expected to follow the above guidelines regarding respectful behavior. Teens are encouraged to attend services in the main sanctuary and/or an alternate designated program. Additionally, we have mitzvah opportunities for our teens, including helping in programs for younger children, assisting in the kitchen or working as a greeter. Teens, (just like adults) are expected to model derech eretz in all areas of the building. Teens who struggle with this responsibility will be guided toward a mitzvah opportunity or be asked to stay with their parents or other responsible adult.

Additionally, during Tuesday and Sunday Prozdor/Religious School:

  • Students stay with CBS staff in programs.
  • We are all mindful of work happening in the offices during religious school hours.
  • Parent/guardian checks in with Education Director when a student is arriving late or leaving early.
  • Personal snacks brought from outside of synagogue must be dairy/vegetarian and peanut free, must be kept in students’ bag/backpack, and may not be shared.  These personal snacks may not be brought into the kitchen or sanctuary or social hall.

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You can find additional Derech Eretz materials here (links forthcoming):

Derech Eretz Brochure – PDF

“Language We Use to Communicate Policies to Children and Families” – PDF

“Language We Use to Communicate Policies to Children and Families (Simplified)” – PDF

 

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