Minyan Ma’or

Welcome to Minyan Ma'or

Welcome to Minyan Ma’or (“light”), which meets on Shabbat mornings and chagim in Reisman Hall (due to COVID, we are meeting temporarily outside under a tent on the Ashford Street/west side of Temple Emanuel). Our services are lay-led and egalitarian.  We are a diverse, inclusive community ranging from single households to families across the age spectrum. Our founding membership comes from the Newton Centre Minyan.

Operating largely as a cooperative, members perform a variety of tasks intended to enhance our community, support individual members and improve the world.  We make services possible by doing everything from Torah reading to greeting guests. The kahal contributes its talents and skills on a rotating basis based on personal skills.

Services begin at 9:30 a.m. and include a full psukei, shacharit with repetition of the Amidah, full Torah reading and musaf (no repetition) and are entirely in Hebrew except for an English drash on the weekly parsha. There typically is a significant amount of singing. We primarily use the Sim Shalom siddur and the Etz Hayim chumash. We also hold two member-led children’s services  Mini Minyan (typically through first grade) and Junior Minyan (until bar/bat mitzvah). Children’s services are meeting outdoors on a reduced schedule.  Following services, we have a full kiddush.

Minyan activities also will include learning, social action efforts, social events and offering support for members both during joyous and challenging times.

Anyone over 12 years of age should be fully vaccinated to attend in person davening. In addition, all people in attendance need to be fully masked, both inside and outside. You may remove your mask to eat outdoors. There is no eating inside the building allowed.

Questions? Contact Julia Greenstein or Jenna Andelman

Minyan Ma'or Member Area

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, Oct. 23 – Shabbat services, 9:30 a.m. with Mini Minyan (typically through first grade) and Junior Minyan (until bar/bat mitzvah) as well.
  • Saturday, Oct. 30 – Shabbat services, 9:30 a.m. 

Frequently Asked Questions

First things first 

What is the religious practice of Minyan Ma’or members?

Our members’ personal religious practices vary by family and also within families. Official Minyan activities follow Shabbat and Kashrut rules, and our services are egalitarian, entirely in Hebrew, and follow the traditional Tefillah model.


How does this independent Minyan work?

Minyan Ma’or operates as a cooperative of member-volunteers, with a rotating volunteer Leadership Team, a fluid committee structure and strong member engagement. 


Are visitors welcome?



Do you have a Rabbi?

As an independent minyan, our community is entirely lay-lead although some of our members are ordained Rabbis.


How many members do you have?

Minyan Ma’or began with a membership of about 100 households plus about 60 school-aged children. We are looking to grow and flourish! 


Where do Minyan Ma’or children go to school?

The young people of Minyan Ma’or appreciate their connection to each other and to the greater community. Their weekdays are spent at public and private, including Jewish schools,. and make the time they spend celebrating Shabbat and Chagim together at Ma’or very precious. 


The Service

Where should I sit? 

Anywhere you want! There are no assigned or reserved seats.


When should I stand up?

No one will tell you to stand up – or sit down, for that matter. Generally, you can follow the crowd. That said, you’ll notice that people have a variety of practices. Some people choose to stand with mourners for the Mourners Kaddish. During the Mi Shebeyrach for those who are ill, those who have names to add will stand up.  


Why is the person leading the service facing the ark?

Minyan Ma’or follows the tradition of the whole congregation (including the leader) praying towards the same direction, preferably towards Jerusalem (which is east of us). Two exceptions are the Torah service and the D’var Torah, both of which are done facing the Kahal. 


Where’s the microphone?

We do not use a microphone in our service, as is traditional. Please find a seat where you can hear best, and feel free to move closer at any time, if you’d like. If you need further assistance, please speak with the Greeter. 


How long is the service?

Services begin at 9:30 a.m. We usually end around noon (or somewhat later on holidays) followed by brief announcements and Kiddush.


Can I have an aliyah?

Giving out Aliyot is done about 20 minutes before the Torah reading. Anyone may request an Aliyah, although the first is reserved for a Kohen or Bat-Kohen, and the second for a Levi or Bat-Levi. Ask the Greeter to direct you to the person who will be able to help you.


Who are you?

How is the religious practice of Minyan Ma’or defined? 

Our members’ personal religious practices vary by family, and also within families. As a group, we make sure that our Shabbat and Yom Tov activities are observant-friendly. 


How can I get involved? 

Where can I find out more?

You’ll get the best feel for the comfortable, participatory rhythm of Minyan Ma’or by joining us for a Shabbat or holiday services. Please stay to enjoy Kiddush, meet some people, connect with friends and acquaintances, and get a feel for our community. For specific questions, please contact Julia Greenstein or Jenna Andelman, or check us out on the Temple Emanuel website. 


How do I join Minyan Ma’or?

It’s a pretty easy process. First, please visit a few times to get a good feel of who we are, how we operate, and what we do on Shabbat and holidays. If Minyan Ma’or feels like a good fit for you, please be in touch with Julia Greenstein or Jenna Andelman. She will answer your questions and help guide you through the process.


If you join Temple Emanuel, you can be a member of Minyan Ma’or. If you are already a member of Emanuel, you may join Minyan Ma’or at no extra cost.

Dvar Torah

Oct. 2, 2021 - Parshat Bereshit by Judy Remz
Oct. 9, 2021 - Parshat Noach by Talia Joffe