1. What does the name "Mission Minyan"
2. So, what is your mission?
3. Does the Minyan have membership?
4. Who comes to the Mission Minyan?
5. What are your services like?
On Friday nights we meet at the Women's Building on 18th street, a space which we rent from a non profit organization. We start on time. Our seating is mostly mixed but includes other options; it reflects our ongoing endeavor to allow Jews from a wide spectrum of backgrounds to daven together. More seating details are here.
Friday nights are in two parts: Kabbalat Shabbat
is a series of psalms sung to beautiful melodies, which change from time
to time depending on who is leading the service. This is followed by maariv,
which is the more formal evening service. It contains some call and response
prayer, liturgy that is sung, and a silent prayer called the amidah.
After davening (prayer) we have a kiddush and some light snacks.
Saturday morning services are more traditional. There are options for those preferring either single-sex seating, or mixed seating. The different parts of the service (Psukei d'zimrah, shacharit, the Torah service) are led by volunteers, and many different members of the community read from the Torah. If you'd like to participate as a leader, contact email@example.com, and if you have questions about logistics, lunch and so on, contact shabbosAM@missionminyan.org.
6. What other events do you hold?
On holidays, we often hold special events, for instance, megillah readings, sukkah gatherings, festival seudot (meals), and fundraising events like hamantaschen baking and house parties.
7. Who are these people leading services?
Who gets to have an aliyah?
8. I am not familiar with all the melodies
the Minyan uses. How can I learn them?
There are a number of great online resources where you can listen to MP3s of classic and contemporary Shabbat music. We have a set of musical resources where you can learn some of these tunes, check it out here.
9. Are the Minyan Orthodox or Conservative
or Reform or what?
We strive to be a pluralistic community where Jews of all stripes and backgrounds can feel comfortable. We hold the standards for kashrut and liturgy high to accommodate strictly observant members of the community, and we also incorporate many of the egalitarian practices of contemporary Jewish communities. Every decision that we make comes from a studied look at halacha (law) as well as an enthusiasm for considered innovation. We have found that while not everyone feels 100% accommodated all the time, all of us feel respected and included in the community.
10. Are you queer-friendly?
11. Are you egalitarian?
Men and women share responsibilities in leading services, leyning Torah and so forth, within certain guidelines. In our community, women lead certain parts of services, like Kaballat Shabbat, Saturday morning Torah services and P'sukei D'zimrah. Men lead maariv, shacharit and mincha. If a women is reading Torah, a woman is given the accompanying aliyah, and if a man is reading, a man gets the aliyah.
Perhaps the chief innovation that you will notice is our definition of minyan. A minyan has traditionally meant a group of 10 men. The Mission Minyan has innovated upon that term to define the quorum for prayer needed in our community as 10 men and 10 women.
12. Are you kosher?
13. How does the Minyan support itself?
All donations are welcome. The Minyan is a 501(c)3 and donations are tax deductible.
A popular amount is $110 – which is what it costs us to rent a room in the Women's Building for davening. If you get together with 3 friends, that's only $36 apiece!
If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so
online by clicking here, or (better! No processing
fees to us!) you can mail checks made out to the Mission Minyan to
14. Is there a rabbi I can talk to?
15. I need some assistance or counseling,
is there someone I can talk to?
When the Chesed Committee, a lay community of spirited volunteer leaders, does not feel equipped to meet the needs of a community member, confidential referrals to Jewish Family Service and the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center can be made. These organizations provide intensive, longer-term social service, mental health and pastoral counseling and care.
16. What prayerbook do you use?
17. I don't know anyone and it seems like
everyone is in a tight community. How can I meet people?
That said, we can help you ease your way in. Let us know ahead of time that you're coming and you'd like to join someone for a Shabbat dinner. The Shabbat table is a wonderful way to make new friendships in a more intimate setting than a huge Friday night service.
Join the Minyan mailing list and you will receive announcements roughly twice per month, including contact information about meal matching.
18. How can I join the mailing list?
19. I have spots at my dinner table and
would like to invite some minyan attendees. How do I do that?
20. I want the Mission Minyan to co-sponsor
my event. What should I do?
21. I want to let Minyan community know
about my own events. How can I get the word out to people?
22. How is the minyan run? Who makes decisions
about all this stuff?
If you're interested in getting more involved, make yourself known to one of these committees and we'll get you on board.
23. I have a question that wasn't answered
here. Who can I ask?