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Volunteering at Bnei Mitzvah – in the Atrium Building (note: if the bnei mitzvah are in the Gaebler we will do this slightly differently. Please ask!)

Thank you for volunteering! This is a wonderful part of our bnei mitzvah, and a great way to connect with the community. Please read the description for your volunteer role below and please arrive on time.

Ritual Set Up – Arrive at 8:30 a.m.
The two people on ritual set up prepare the sanctuary for the service. This entails rolling the ark and Torah reading table into the sanctuary and bringing the prayer books and other materials from the Gaebler Living Room.

  1. Roll the ark and Torah reading table to the front of the sanctuary. They are kept on the entrance level and can be put into the elevator to bring downstairs. If a family wishes to move the ark onto the bimah, they must make prior arrangements with the office; we cannot do that the morning of the bnei mitzvah.
  2. Check to see if the two tikkunim (books that we use to follow the Torah reading) and the laminated Torah blessing sheets are in the Torah reading table. If they aren’t, look for them in the Gaebler (see below).
  3. Bring the Torahs and yads from the Landmark into the Atrium building and place them securely in the ark. The empty yad box can be put on the shelf in the Torah table.
  4. Turn on the lights inside and outside the ark using the flat white knobs on the underside of the ark. If the lights don’t turn on, check the four black switches at the back underside of the ark: the short black cords should be plugged into the switches, the switches should be turned on (to “I”), and the blue lights should be glowing. If they are plugged in and turned on but the lights aren’t working, the batteries probably need to be charged. Use the cords that are kept in a blue shoebox; they should be in the Torah table.
  5. Bring the following items from the either Gaebler living room or from our shelves in the Atrium that are near the bathrooms:
  • basket of kippot
  • Basket of tallitot
  • Siddurim (prayer books) (sometimes these are kept in the Atrium building instead, on the shelves behind the curtains near the bathrooms)
  • Bnei mitzvah pamphlets
  • Tikkunim and Torah blessings (if they weren’t in the Torah table)
  • Kiddush cup
  • Challah plate
  • Challah covers
  • Kiddush blessing cards
  1. Place the siddurim, kippot, tallitot, and pamphlets on the tables outside the entrance to the Atrium sanctuary. If Information from the First Unitarian Society can be neatly covered or put aside. The Kiddush supplies can be placed on the counter next to the kitchen.
  2. Put the large white Shaarei Shamayim sandwich board outside the Atrium building. This is kept near the doors to the Atrium building (where coats are hung) or in the Landmark building near the Gaebler entrance.

Ritual Clean Up – Soon after the service
The two people on ritual clean up move the ark and Torah reading table back to the entrance level of the Atrium and return the rest of the ritual materials to their proper places.

  1. Remove the Torahs from the ark, put the yads back in their box, and take the Torahs and yads back to the Landmark building.
  2. Turn off the ark lights using the flat white knobs on the underside of the ark.
  3. Cover the Torah table with the white lace cover and put the sign on it. The tikkunim and the Torah blessings should be left in the Torah reading table.
  4. Move the ark and the Torah table back up to the entrance level of the Atrium building.
  5. Put the kippot and tallitot, kiddush cup, challah plate, challah covers, Kiddush blessing cards, bnei mitzvah pamphlets, and as many siddurim that fit back on the shelves behind the curtain by the bathrooms in the Atrium building. The extra siddurim can be put back in the Gaebler Living Room.
  6. Put the large white Shaarei Shamayim sandwich board back in the Atrium building near the doors (where coats are hung).
  7. If information from the First Unitarian Society has been covered or put aside, please make sure it’s back in its usual spot.

Luncheon Set Up – Arrive by 8:30 a.m.
This job entails setting up everything needed for the lunch. Many items will already be in the Atrium, though families will likely need help bringing things from their car. Each lunch is slightly different, so please follow the directions of the volunteer coordinator or family. Some families will use real dishes while others will use disposables.

  1. Put tablecloths on the tables.
  2. Set out table decorations/flowers, if desired.
  3. Fill up pitchers of water, fill with ice, put on tables with cups.
  4. Make lemonade/juice, if desired; put in large dispensers.
  5. Put food on platters.
  6. Set out plates, silverware, and napkins.
  7. Set out trashcans.
  8. Pour little cups of grape juice and wine, put on platters with table tents that say “wine” and “juice.”
  9. Pour wine in the kiddush cup.
  10. Put out challah, ask family if it will be cut in advance, cover with challah covers.
  11. Pour glasses of water for student, rabbi, and cantorial soloist/song leader; put on bimah.
  12. Make coffee – check how that will be done in the Atrium.
  13. Put out milk/cream and sugar.

When Members Start to Arrive

  1. Direct people who brought food (salads, desserts, etc.) where to put it.
  2. Re-plate food on platters, take desserts out of boxes.

Luncheon Workers – 11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

  1. Towards the end of the service set out the food.
  2. Refill platters of food as needed.
  3. Refill the dispensers of water/lemonade/juice as needed.
  4. Refill water pitchers as needed.
  5. Walk around to the tables and throw away trash, bring dishes to the kitchen, and keep the tables tidy.
  6. Wipe up any spills.

Luncheon Clean-Up – 12:30-2:30 p.m.

  1. Carry the food from serving table and counter into the kitchen.
  2. Pack up the leftovers in the containers that the family brings.
  3. Wash dishes – use the dishwasher for plates, cups, and utensils (read the directions first); hand wash anything else.
  4. Wipe down the counters in the kitchen.
  5. Try to give people who brought dishes to bring them home. If any are left, clean them and put them on Shaarei Shamayim’s shelves behind the curtains near the bathrooms.
  6. Take the tablecloths off the tables when people are done eating.
  7. Put used towels and sponges in the FUS basket.
  8. Take out the trash and recycling; the dumpsters are behind the playground.
  9. Make sure the kitchen, Commons, and sanctuary are very clean and tidy.
  10. Put any stray papers, booklets, kippot, and candy on the shelves.
  11. You do not need to sweep the floors.
  12. Touch base with FUS staff to make sure that everything is cleaned up properly.

Greeters – Arrive by 9:00 a.m., stay through the service

Most people will arrive between 9:15-9:45 a.m., but please arrive earlier than that so you are ready for people when they arrive. Once the majority of people have arrived, you can sit near the entrance to the sanctuary. Please do not leave; we would like greeters to remain at the entrance for the entire service, since people arrive late.

If the bnei mitzvah is large, and there are multiple greeters, one person can stand near the entrance to the Atrium Auditorium, one or two at the bottom of the stairs, and two at the entrance to the sanctuary.

In advance, please read “Welcoming People at Congregation Shaarei Shamayim.” We are committed to being a welcoming congregation and our greeters play a key role in making the community feel inclusive.

Before the service, identify the people who are shomrim, our safety committee. If you see anything suspicious, or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, please speak with the shomrim and they will intervene as needed. Please also check that everyone is wearing a mask; if not, please hand them one and remind them that they are required for our services and while walking around the building. Also make sure that they are not showing signs of illness.

  1. Stand at the entrance to the sanctuary.
  2. Welcome people, smile, and say “Shabbat shalom.”
  3. Give each person a prayer book and two pamphlets (one that the family has made and Shaarei Shamayim’s cream-colored pamphlet); if it is a large ceremony, give one pamphlet to every two people.
  4. The kippot and tallitot should be in baskets near the siddurim. People will take them if they wish. If someone is confused, feel free to let them know that anyone care wear a kippah. A tallit is worn only by people who are Jewish.
  5. Answer questions as needed.

Sound System Support – Arrive by 8:45 a.m.

FUS has a complex sound system. If you have never used it, please arrive by 8:30 a.m. to receive a brief training. If you have used it before, you can arrive at 8:45 a.m. We have detailed directions – please follow them! Note that where the sound system support person stands is a dead space; you cannot accurately hear volume levels. If someone tells you that it’s too loud or too soft, they will have a better sense than you do. Follow their lead. If you have any questions, please speak with the person who is filming the service.

  1. When you arrive, meet with the person who is filming the service. They will orient you to the sound board if you have never used it before.
  2. Speak with the rabbi, cantorial soloist/song leader, and student or student’s parents to find out which microphones they are using.
  3. If the student is using a lavalier microphone, help put it on.
  4. Test the sound. Do this as early as possible so we’re finished by the time most people enter the sanctuary.
  5. Adjust volume levels as necessary throughout the service.
  6. Leave a lavalier microphone on the Torah reading table. Torah readers will put it on when they read their portion.
  7. You must stay near the sound board for the entire service, as we often need to adjust mic volume levels during the service.

Zoom Host – Arrive by 9:00 a.m.
Please bring your own laptop and headphones and arrive on time. It is important that we test the system and are prepared before the service begins. Speak to the person doing the filming about where things are at when you arrive. Please sit in the sanctuary near the person doing the filming. Wear headphones.

  1. Ask the rabbi for links to the documents you will share. These are the service slides, the family’s pamphlet, and the congregational pamphlet.
  2. As people join Zoom, welcome them and identify yourself as the Zoom host.
  3. Continually put the links to the three documents in the chat. We do not screen share these.
  4. Answer questions as necessary. If people are having difficulties, speak to the person who is filming or the person doing sound support.
Tue, February 27 2024 18 Adar I 5784