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Young Etz Chaim
Four services are run every Shabbat at the Etz Chaim for youngsters: Torah Tots, Yeladim, the Girls’ Club and the Youth Service (Red Onions).
These services are open to everyone who wants to come along and take part within the groups’ specific age group.
The Torah Tots service is both educational and fun. It is structured around a siddur which has been designed specifically for the service. It includes prayers which are recited during the service and also songs.
Children attending the service learn not only about Judaism but also about important morals, such as sharing and being kind to one another.
Each week, the structure of the service is changed slightly so that the children don’t get bored doing the same things week in, week out.
The service ends with a Kiddush just for the Torah Tots, which we’re sure every child enjoys.
This is where the children are introducted to shul life, and feel the excitement and adulthood of the ‘big shul’!
The service is for boys and girls aged from six to bar/batmitzvah age. One of the boys will act as Chazan, and one of the girls will call out the page numbers. The youngsters are encouraged to participate in any way, and parents and grandparents are welcome to stay.
At the end of the davening, the children are told a story with an important moral, told facts about the week’s Sidra or current festival.
At the end of the service, the Chazan will recite Kiddush, and the children then tuck in – making sure they say the brachot for each of the different foods!
This is for five to eight year olds, who meet every Shabbat in their ‘secret hide-out’ (the Rabbi’s office, but to get to it you have to go through the ladies’ cloakroom!).
The meeting starts at 10.45am and ends at around noon.
Discussions take place on forthcoming festivals, religious issues and other girly things. Some weeks the girls act out that week’s Sidra, other weeks they make up songs for the Sidra.
They also learn to daven and more about the meaning of certain prayers.
The Youth Service – or Red Onions – is a weekly meeting for boys and girls over the age of bar/batmitzvah where they learn about the week’s Sidra through games and discussions. There is also Hadracha (leadership) training.
So why Red Onions? It was called that by mistake, and yet the name has stuck and been adopted by all.
The service gets underway at 10.45am in the Reuben Vincent Hall.
For more information, take a look at the Young Etz Chaim website at
Young Etz Chaim Photo Album
Youth Shabbat rehearsal
Purim 2007 Chanukah 2008