Celebrating Jewish Holidays

  • Sukkot: We build a beautiful communal sukkah at a member's home which we use for a service and potluck dinner.

  • Simchat Torah: To celebrate the end of the Torah cycle, we dance with the Torah to the accompaniment of our klezmer band, Shir Madness.

  • Chanukah: We celebrate with a potluck feast at a member's home.

  • Tu B'Shvat: We hold a Seder celebrating the new year of trees and related spiritual insights from our tradition.

  • Purim: We read the Megillah (Book of Esther) in a variety of creative ways such as by staging original plays. We’ve also auctioned off unique experiences and member-made crafts and artwork to raise money for tzedakah.

  • Mimouna: This event marks the end of Passover, and we celebrate by singing and dancing and sharing our first chametz with members of the Muslim community - as is customary in places where Mimouna is observed.

  • Shavuot: We hold a tikkun (learning session) featuring presentations by members and discussions on a range of Jewish topics.

Annual Cape Cod Retreat

A weekend of spiritual, educational, and social activities in a beautiful and historic setting on a bluff overlooking Nantucket Sound.

The retreat typically begins with a bike ride on Friday along the famous Cape Cod bike path to Chatham. When the weather permits, we hold Shabbat services outside at the lovely pond. We schmooze, nosh, sing, and walk on beautiful Craigville Beach. It’s a time to refresh ourselves and deepen our sense of community.

Klezmer Band

Shir Madness is our own eight-piece klezmer band. The band's repertoire is a mix of Yiddish show tunes and ballads, transcriptions of recordings from the masters of the golden age, music unearthed while scouring libraries, Balkan and Israeli tunes, and original pieces written by band members.

Shir Madness delivers a blast of high-energy Yiddishkeit on Simchat Torah and other holidays. They also play at weddings, b'nei mitzvot, dances, block parties and other community celebrations. And they love to play in nursing homes for people who can sing along in Yiddish.


Our chorus, consisting entirely of members and led by a member of the havurah, enhances services, particularly at holidays, with four-part a cappella singing. Our goal is to enrich the experience with musical settings by composers such as Louis Lewandowski, Isaac Heymann, and Benedetto Marcello. Additional works include new arrangements of traditional hymns and original settings of the liturgy, written specifically for this chorus by one of its members.

New Song Art Co-op

Artist members of Shir Hadash work in many media -- jewelry, printmaking, sumi-ink, felted fabric, photography, painting, ceramics, and collage.

We organize occasional informal cooperative “Show & Sale” events at members’ homes or other venues where Shir Hadash members and the public can meet the artists and learn the stories behind their creations.

Social & Community Life

Individual Shir Hadash members, committees, and the Rabbi all take the initiative in organizing havurah activities. There are outdoor events such as biking or hiking trips, evenings devoted to dinner and book discussion, movie nights on Jewish topics, and cooking projects.

We celebrate the life events of our members and their families, and we support each other in times of loss or illness.