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Service Set-up

Your main role

Set up the davening (prayer) spaces for both the main service and kids' services.

Three member families are assigned to this job each Shabbat. If a second service is being held, two additional member families are assigned specifically to set up for that service.

Where you'll do it

Most weeks, we use the CAFETERIA and some classrooms. However, Berenson Hall is used for the main service for most Bar/Bat Mitzvot. SECOND SERVICES are held in a double classroom (106-107) Please refer to the Map of Minyan areas at Hebrew College

When you'll do it

  • Set-up activities begin a half hour before services begin.

For most weeks, this means that you should be at Hebrew College by 9:00 AM. It takes a full half hour to complete the entire setup. Be sure to start on time! Some services start earlier than 9:30. Check the jobs calendar on the website, and your confirmation email.

  • The rooms need to be completely set-up by the time davening starts, which is usually 9.30 AM.

Responsibilities and details

  • All items for setup are kept in the Minyan storage space, which can be reached by 

walking behind the cafeteria, past the bathrooms, past the bulletin boards, through the swinging gray doors on the left (which say Authorized Personnel Only), to the end of the corridor, to the right, and through the double doors that say Newton Centre Minyan Storage Room. 

Please refer to the Map of Minyan areas at Hebrew College.

In the unlikely event that Hebrew College facilities staff has failed to open the main storage room, there's a lock box which contains the key on the wall to the left of the doors. The code is 617. Press the CODE. Slide down the top button to REMOVE the entire numeric pad. Remove the KEY to unlock the doors. REPLACE the key. Press the CODE. Slide down the top button and PRESS the numeric pad back into place. 

  • You need to be part of the minyan so that the early shacharit kaddish may be recited (it can only be recited when there are 10 adults over the age of 13 in the room). Setup families need to stay until there are at least 11 people who can be counted in the minyan. Once there are adequate numbers, you may leave if you so choose.

MAIN SERVICE: Setting up the davening area in the cafeteria.                                      See below for SECOND SERVICE setup. 

Do this before you set up the rooms for kids' services.

Remove the tarp covering the book carts and tallit carts. (The second tarp covers holiday items and the overflow cart. Leave in place if these items are not needed.)

Bring the following items from the Minyan storage room into the cafeteria:

The aron kodesh (ark)


For the main service we use the wide aron kodesh/ark which has a colorful scene of sky and stars. TWO PEOPLE ARE NEEDED to move the aron.  Be sure the metal tie that the wooden tie that secures the doors in transit is on the front metal handles before moving it. Using the side handles, one person pushes, the other pulls the aron

Place it in the cafeteria between the 2 pillars, behind the square reading table located in the front of the seating area. Remove the tie from the handles and place in the drawer. 

Remove the purple table cover from the aron and cover the square table.

Remove the following from the aron and place them on the covered table:​​​​​​ yad (pointer), laminated bracha prompt sheet, and gabbai's script.

The Torah reading stand

There are two of these, which are flat, rectangular pieces of wood, which have flaps that fold in, and wheels for rolling. For the MAIN SERVICE use the one that has a light brown, suede-like top. 

Unfold the flaps of the wood Torah reading stand, fold up the wheels, and place the stand on the covered table in front of the ark. (Instructions are on the bottom.) 

Tallit cabinets 

Open and place to the right of the washing sink. DO NOT BLOCK THE SINK. 

The carts with the siddurim and chumashim

Use 4 carts for a regular Shabbat. (1 other is labeled for overflow service)

Place carts to the left of the washing sink in the cafeteria, perpendicular to the glass doors. Leave space for the red rug. 

The shtender (davening stand/lectern)

It rolls when it is tilted slightly forward.

Position the shtender in front of the square table.

The red area rug and basket of toys labeled "Main Minyan Toys"

Position the red area rug between the book carts, in front of the glass doors to the lounge, and place the basket/bin of toys on the rug. 


Setting up Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls)

The sifrei Torah are stored in a locked glass cabinet in the Rare Book Room on the second floor of the library. A custodian needs to escort you and unlock the area. Please use the stairs and not the elevator when bringing the Torah scrolls down to the davening space.

Do not ask the custodian for help in transporting the sifrei Torah.

For a regular Shabbat

Bring down two sifrei Torah for the main service every week/chag, and unless instructed otherwise. The two should be the Victor and the Deerskin, which are located in the middle cabinet. First put the metal plates on them.

For a special 
Shabbat or chag

Bring down the two Torahs in the middle cabinet. On chag (holiday), it will be the Victor Torah and one of the other full-size Torahs (which will be rolled to the correct place).

For a second service

A third Torah should be brought down, which will generally be in the first cabinet. Note the sign in that cabinet now under the Torah on the LHS as you face the cabinet indicating it is to be used for the second service.


How to put the Torahs in the aron:

  • The atzei chayim (wooden rollers) are inserted first into the holders at the TOP of the aron, and then the bottom atzei chayim are lowered into the holder on the bottom to secure the Torahs.
  • The full size Torahs come in two sizes: tall and medium. The medium Torahs need the step that is in the aron in order to be properly secured. The box-like step fits over the bottom holder on the RHS and creates a raised bottom holder so that the top engages the top holders properly.

Setting up the Mini Minyan and Junior Minyan services

  • Two classrooms are used for kids' services: the first double classroom (Rooms 102 and 103) is used for the Mini Minyan service; Room 104 is used for the Junior Minyan Service. Each service has a dedicated cart, stored in our storage room. 
  • Junior Minyan is only held about once a month. Check the schedule on the back of the small wooden ark which is on the Junior Minyan cart. If today's date is listed, just leave the cart in room 104. Do not remove items from the cart. No setup is needed. 
  • There is one Rubbermaid heavy duty utility cart that is assigned to the Mini Minyan service. It should be brought to room 102-103 for every service, regardless if Mini Minyan is scheduled or not. On the cart there should be: A plastic aron (ark), large toy box, carpet mats, books, and laminated prayer guides. Leave all items on the cart

Setup/Cleanup Cart: Name label crates, Cones, No-Entry Signs, Emergency Backpacks (aka Go-kits) 

  • Wheel the cart through the cafeteria, down the classroom hallway, distributing the go-kits and cones as labeled on each item. Hand-carry the items that go upstairs to the front door reception area: No-entry signs for office hallway and stairs to 3rd floor, the go-kit to place on the reception desk, the large cone for the driveway, small cone near the elevator. . The NAME LABEL CRATES STAY ON THE CART! PARK THE CART NEXT TO THE MAIN STAIRCASE. It remains there until the end of Kiddush. The "Cleanup Sweeper" is responsible for returning the cart to the storage room at the end of Kiddush.   

Setting up in BERENSON HALL

  • Bring the following to Berenson Hall: The wide, colorful aron/ark with the scene of a starry sky, the flat wooden, suede-topped Torah reading stand, and the wooden shtender (lectern). The red rug and toy box are usually not used in Berenson Hall.  
  • The aron/ark is placed to the right of the Exit door to the service hallway. Remove the table cover and place it on the square table. Place the Torah reading stand on the square table, according to the instructions on the underside. Place the yad (pointer), laminated bracha (blessings) sheet, and gabbai script on the table.  
  • Book carts and Tallit cabinets are set up in the Atrium (reception) area, near the main staircase...NOT in Berenson Hall. 

Setting up a SECOND SERVICE (Usually room 106-107)

In the event that there is a large Bar or Bat Mitzvah, we will have a second service. Two additional families will be assigned specifically to set up this service. 

  • Bring the tall, narrow aron/ark to the double classroom (usually). Place it between the table and the windows. 
  • Cover the table with the tablecloth, found inside the aron/ark. Remove the following from the aron and place them on the covered table:​​​​​​ yad (pointer), laminated bracha prompt sheet, and gabbai's script.
  • Bring a Torah-reading stand. There are two of these, which are flat, rectangular pieces of wood, which have flaps that fold in, and wheels for rolling. For this service (SECOND SERVICE) use the one that is all wood, not the one with the suede-like top. (See label) Place the stand on the covered table. 
  • Bring one Sefer Torah from the first cabinet on the right in the Rare Book Room in the library. You will need to be accompanied to the library by a custodian. Please use the stairs and not the elevator when bringing the Torah scroll down to the davening space.
  • Place the Sefer Torah inside the aron
  • Bring one cart of books (labeled for overflow service, usually under the second tarp) and place it outside the door where the service is being held.
  • Bring the second shtender (the davening stand/lectern) which is usually in the hallway outside the storage room and position it between the table and the seating area.
Fri, July 19 2019 16 Tammuz 5779