Shabbat/Festivals שבת וחגים/מועדים


Kabbalat Shabbat services

Fourth Friday of every month at 6:30pm, followed by a shared meal. Please bring a dish to share (no meat please, but fish is okay).

Shabbat Morning services

Every Saturday at 10am

Shabbat is the centrepiece of Jewish life when most Jews, whether traditional or not, tend to enjoy the day as a time to slow down, a time to eat well, a time to sing and a time to engage with family and friends. Shabbat, for most, is a day of peace, reflection and hospitality.

At Etz Chayim we make Shabbat a unique and meaningful experience as we join together in prayer, reflection and song. Our services, conducted in both English and Hebrew, create an experience accessible for those both familiar with the liturgy and for those starting their explorative journey.

At Etz Chayim, we use Mishkan Tefilah as our siddur [prayer book] and Rabbi Gunther Plaut’s The Torah: A Modern Commentary as our Tanakh, Torah Commentary. Both are available for loan during the service as you enter our sanctuary.

This resource may help you enrich your Shabbat experience at home.

The following resources may help you enrich your Shabbat Morning services:
Blessings for Reading the Torah – audio with text, transliteration and translation
Blessings for Reading the Haftarah – audio with text, transliteration and translation


With their roots firmly entrenched in the Torah, the key Jewish Holidays and Festivals are not random days scattered throughout the year but are focussed moments of time, each drawing their power from multiple sources including nature, seasons, historical events, communal memory and religious traditions.

As such, Jewish Holidays and Festivals reflect both seasonal and historical cycles and focus our attention to the big questions of life: birth, death, food, shelter, freedom, and responsibility.

Each Holiday and Festival can mean different things to different people at different stages of their lives.

At Etz Chayim we welcome you to explore with us the perspectives and possibilities Judaism offers in celebrating or commemorating the richness of our tradition, and its relevance to us today.


High Holy Days

We are excited to let you know that this year our High Holy Day services are going to be held in our Etz Chayim building instead of Glen Eira Town Hall. As per usual, we will also be streaming our services through Zoom and YouTube.

This year, we will NOT be sending High Holy Day tickets. Instead, ALL MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS MUST REGISTER using Trybooking. When you enter the building, you will be required to show photo identification for entry. We would like to welcome as many people as we can, thus registration for each service is required.

Priority seating will be given to our financial Etz Chayim members first and their families, then our conversion candidates, then non-members who pay for entry, then members of other Progressive Synagogues.

  • Please Note: Financial membership refers to those Etz Chayim Members who have paid their fees for 5782.
  • We will continue to honour the tickets of members at other Progressive congregations without additional payment; however, these guests will still be required to register.

If a financial Etz Chayim member would like to attend a different Progressive Synagogue for the High Holy Days, please let us know, and we will supply you with a letter signed by the Rabbi and President confirming your membership is in good financial standing which will act as your ticket.

Members of our sister communities will be required to show their High Holy Day ticket from their Congregation or evidence of being in good financial standing with their Progressive Congregation.

If people arrive without registering in advance, we cannot guarantee seating.



  •  for Rosh Hashanah on Thursday 22nd September at 3pm
  •  for Yom Kippur on Monday 3rd October at 3pm

The prayerbooks we use are the Mishkan T’Shuvah for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These books may be purchased by contacting our office. Alternatively, machzorim will be available to borrow on a first come – first serve basis. 

The Zoom link will be sent to those who book through Trybooking and indicate they are attending through Zoom. All Services will be streamed live on our YouTube Channel.


Life Cycles

Traditional Jewish rituals accompanying important life cycle events bring joy and comfort to the individuals involved. They also bring the community together in celebration and support. These life cycle rituals are probably amoung the most important function that a synagogue can perform. Progressive Judaism has an egalitarian approach to all these life-cycle events.

Etz Chayim also marks other milestones in their lives, such as a special birthday or wedding anniversary. Some members enjoy being honoured in a Shabbat morning service or may with to sponsor a Kiddush for the whole community. Other may mark a significant event by making a donation to the synagogue either for general use or to help us acquire something from our community wish list.