Beth Immanuel is a friendly and welcoming community. Click here to learn what to expect when you visit.
Guide for New Visitors
We love visitors at Beth Immanuel! Beth Immanuel is a warm and friendly congregation. Don't worry that you might not know the right thing to do or say. Many of us at Beth Immanuel are new to Messianic Judaism. Others are happy to provide answers to your questions.
When should I visit?
Check out our Services page. For new visitors, we recommend our Wednesday night Plugged In services. It's a casual, no-worries, praise-and-worship time followed by a teaching, every Wednesday night, September-May.
If you are looking for the authentic, liturgical synagogue experience, we meet to celebrate the Sabbath together every Saturday morning at 10:00 AM. Many people opt to show up when the teaching usually begins around 11:15 AM. Then join us for lunch! Another option is to come for a special event such as one of the Jewish holidays. These are fun and meaningful times.
How do I get there?
Beth Immanuel is located in Hudson, Wisconsin, which is on I-94 just across the border from Minnesota and only minutes away from St. Paul. For a map and directions, see our location page.
I'm coming in from out of town. Where can I stay?
What should I expect on Wednesday Nights?
Our Wednesday night mid-week service is low-key and relaxed. Dress casual and expect to have a good time.
What should I expect on Sabbaths and Holidays?
Beth Immanuel is a synagogue, so you may encounter some things that are unfamiliar at our Sabbath services. Don't let that deter you—be adventurous! Here are some things that you might experience if you visit our Sabbath service:
- Synagogue furnishings:
- A cabinet called an aron kodesh contains our scrolls.
- A platform and table called a bimah is where Scripture reading is performed.
- Our seating arrangement is focused toward the center of the room.
- Liturgical prayer:
- Some of our prayers are in Hebrew and others are in English.
- Prayers are recited from a book called a Siddur.
- One person, called the cantor, leads the congregation in prayer.
- Traditional apparel:
- Men wear a skullcap called a yarmulke or kippah.
- Jewish men also wear a prayer shawl called a tallit.
- Some women choose to wear a headscarf, but most do not.
- A ceremonial Scripture reading:
- A handcrafted, antique scroll of the Torah (Pentateuch) is paraded around the congregation.
- Some people express their love for God's word by touching the scroll with a book and kissing it.
- A portion of the Scripture is intonated according to its ancient melody, and then that section is read in English.
What should I wear?
On Wednesday nights, casual dress is appropriate. On Saturdays, it is customary and appropriate to dress up as nicely as we can in honor of the Sabbath. Button-up shirts are a good idea for men; a suit always looks nice.
We place high value on modest dress. Clothing should be gender-appropriate. Shorts are discouraged. Some women wear slacks, but if wearing a dress or skirt, it should be long enough to cover the knees when seated. Shirts should have sleeves and cover mid-sections. Necklines should not be low-cut. Everything private should be covered. (Head covering for women is not required at Beth Immanuel; it is a personal choice.)
All men are encouraged to wear a kippah (skullcap) when in the sanctuary. If you do not have your own, we would be happy to loan you one. Jewish men are encouraged to wear a tallit (prayer shawl) during the morning service, which we can also provide.
What should I bring?
If you have a favorite Bible or Siddur, feel free to bring it or use one of ours. Just bring a mind and attitude that's excited to learn and experience new things!
Please leave electronic devices such as phones, tablets, computers, cameras, and games at home. If you must have a mobile phone with you, please silence the ringer, and do not take photographs on Sabbath.
If you are a visitor, we really hope you will stay and eat lunch with us, but do not worry about contributing food. Our meals are kosher to strict, traditional standards. It's our pleasure to provide the food for you!