Begun in 1966, the founders of Woodlands Community Temple sought to create a different kind of congregation. Focusing on the word “community,” they instilled in our members a feeling of belonging and involvement which has often been referred to as “the Woodlands Way.”

Very soon, the members of Woodlands began writing their own siddurim (prayer books). We'd thought our first one had been put together in 1973 but then Rabbi Sandy Ragins, who'd led our temple from 1968 to 1972, dropped off "Service for the Sabbath," which had made its appearance here in 1971.

What’s truly remarkable about these siddurim is how relevant the readings remain to this day. While we have updated some of the traditional prayers as Reform Judaism has evolved, and modified a bit of the English, also in response to changing times, these are living siddurim that we continue to use to this day.

The founders of this temple were not content to pray only the traditional words of our ancestors; they sought to renew and deepen the meaning of worship through contemporary writings. That has become a Woodlands tradition! And it is how we strive to pray today. We hope you'll stop by soon and share with us in this great, open, generous spirituality.

a-joyful-noise

In the mood for a Shabbat service that’s got a “beat”? If so, “A Joyful Noise” is for you.

It’s Shabbat on steroids (but in a good way)! While the word “Joyful” speaks for itself, the “Noise” is really the electric, spiritually and physically uplifting sound of the whole congregation sharing songs, prayers, and the energy of life.

What’s the secret? Well, for starters, there’s a 12-member band, including rhythm and horn sections—trying out new and innovative approaches to traditional melodies and prayers. Safe to say, it’s a bit different than the guitar and electric piano music that we all enjoy at other services.

Then there are the huge screens—two of them—on which the lyrics of songs and the words of prayers appear in English and transliterated Hebrew, super-imposed over beautiful photographs that help to set the mood. Because the screens provide everything you need to read, there’s no need for prayer books. And that means you can keep your eyes on musicians and worshippers around you, while your hands are free to clap, wave, or hold your family close.

Although it certainly isn’t a quiet service, “A Joyful Noise,” which is scheduled every six to eight weeks, remains very respectful and loving toward Jewish tradition. It is, like everything else at Woodlands, a place to which one can come for spiritual reflection and support.

A Joyful Noise Shabbat services are scheduled on the following Friday nights, always at 8 pm, throughout 2019-20 (5780):

Oct 25
Jan 17
Mar 6
Jun 5