Beth Tikvah Logo Beth Tikvah Congregation
300 Hillcrest Blvd Hoffman Estates, IL 60169


Beth Tikvah Congregation

Our House of Hope

300 Hillcrest Blvd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169  


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Shabbat (Sabbath)

Friday Night Shabbat (Sabbath) Services

Our weekly Shabbat Services are held at different times during the month in order to accommodate busy schedules, and offer a variety of service styles. On occasion, we also hold special Shabbat Services based on a particular theme or holiday. Please consult our calendar to determine all upcoming worship opportunities.

6:00 pm - 1st Friday of the Month - Family Shabbat Service

All are welcome to attend this monthly Shabbat service which often features participation of religious school students and their families, birthday blessings (for anyone who has a birthday that month), uplifting music and an engaging story shared by the rabbi.

6:30 pm - 2nd Friday of the Month - T'filah Group

Do you want to learn Shabbat melodies before the service? Do you want to spontaneously harmonize and/or improvise on old and new melodies? Do you want to do this in a setting that is NOT a rehearsal, rather an intimate and unique music-making session? Don't be bashful. Bring your voices, and/or your skilled instruments, and your spirits. Or, just come to listen.

8:00 pm - 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Fridays of the Month - Shabbat Services

Our regular Shabbat services feature a Torah reading and translation as well as a sermon or interactive text study. Following each service the congregation will gather together to enjoy delicious desserts and refreshments in each other’s company.

6:00 pm - 3rd Friday of the Month - Sha-WHAT? Shabbat

We will worship in a somewhat experiential and experimental space. Who knows what might take place outside of some very basic, intentional prayers? There is only one way to find out. Also, another opportunity for those reciting Kaddish, Mi Shebeirach or Birkat Gomel. NOTE: Regular 8 pm services will also be held on the same evenings as Sha-What? Shabbat.

6:00 pm - 5th Friday of the Month - Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Kabbalat Shabbat means “receiving the Sabbath” and at this hour-long monthly service we joyously usher in Shabbat with psalms, prayers, songs, creativity, joy and innovation.

Saturday Morning Shabbat Services

Saturday morning services are typically held at 10:30 am in conjunction with a B'nai Mitzvah. Please check our calendar to determine which Saturdays there will be B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies.

Tot Shabbat Services are usually held at 9:00 am on the second Saturday of each month. They are fun, energetic, musical, age-appropriate services for families with newborn through preschool children. Following the half-hour service, there is a child-friendly snack and ample time and space for kids to play and parents to socialize.

ECC shabbat candlesThe Jewish Sabbath, which begins on Friday evenings is the high point of our week and what we, as a community, look most forward to. Each week we gather together to usher in this holy day of rest and spiritually as we celebrate Shabbat with songs and prayers on Friday evenings. On special occasions, we further enhance the of joy of Shabbat by sharing together a Shabbat dinner on Friday evenings.

On Saturday mornings, we sanctify the Jewish Sabbath through Torah study at 9:00 am, and when there is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah there is a Shabbat morning Service at 10:30 am. We hope you join us for an upcoming Shabbat Celebration in person, or via livestream soon!

Welcome! We are so delighted that you are planning to visit Beth Tikvah Congregation! Below you will find additional information about what to expect at a typical Shabbat Service. We hope that the experience is comfortable for you.  We invite you to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in advance of the service, and we will be happy to connect you with a member who will help acclimate you to our service and congregation. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ahead of time, or upon entering the congregation, and please let the usher know that you are new to Beth Tikvah Congregation. Following your visit if you would like to attend other programs, tour the building, or meet with our rabbi, please let us know by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. our Office Administrator.


There is no formal dress requirement at any of our Shabbat Service Services. While most service participants tend to dress conservatively (ie, business casual), we would much rather that you are here worshipping with us in jeans, than home alone. The one exception to this rule, is that we ask those who will be invited up to the bimah (the sanctuary platform) for a special honor, to dress more formally.


Children of all ages are welcome, and are a happy addition to all of our services. In the event that you are unable to stay throughout the service because children’s bedtimes are quickly approaching, we understand if you must depart before the service concludes, and we are thrilled that you were able to join us for part of the service.

Length of services

Our worship services vary in length—ranging from about 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of service. Tot Shabbat Services are about 30 minutes; our Kabbalat Shabbat Services on the fifth Friday of the month are about an hour; our usual Shabbat Services tend to be up to an hour-and-a-half long. Saturday morning B’nai Mitzvah services are usually between an hour-and-a-half to two hours long.

Shabbat Services Content

Most services are conducted from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Mishkan T'Filah, using both the English and Hebrew texts. A portion of the Torah is read most Friday night services and a portion of the Haftarah are read at B’nai Mitzvah services and holidays. Special service booklets are used for Family Services and other special occasions. Throughout the year, creative services may be led by our youth groups or affiliates such as Sisterhood, Men’s Club, LAFF or others.

What To Do Upon Arriving

When arriving at Beth Tikvah Congregation for Shabbat Services, unless there is a huge event planned, there should be ample parking space available on the day of your visit. Please enter at the front of the building. You will be greeted and welcomed by one of our ushers if you are coming just before a worship service. Please introduce yourself to our usher and he or she would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Also, the greeter can connect you with another member of the congregation who would be happy to show you around and introduce you to others, if you would like. The greeter will give to you a booklet with information about the worship service and upcoming events at Beth Tikvah Congregation. In addition, you will be handed a prayer book and asked if you would like one with Hebrew transliteration or one without the English approximation of the Hebrew words. Tallit (prayer shawls) and Kippot/Yarmulkes (skull caps) are available for both men and women, but are not required to be worn. You may sit anywhere in the sanctuary along with the congregation, however, participants are encouraged to sit closer to the front.


Our worship experiences are meant to be participatory for all, whether or not you are Jewish. While there are a few segments of the service led exclusively by the service leader, there are many opportunities to recite prayers in English and Hebrew, readings with the congregation and, of course, to sing along with the melodies. As mentioned, all of the Hebrew songs and prayers are transliterated (notated in English syllables) and we encourage you to join along as you are comfortable. Your participation will help elevate the entire prayer experience for all, we are sure!

Following services, please follow the crowds to the back end of the building, where there will be a dessert and refreshment reception called an Oneg, meaning “enjoyment.”

Glossary of Shabbat-related Terms

Not sure what a particular word you heard someone say at service means? No worries! Here is a short list of Shabbat-related terms.

Shabbat Shalom! (Sabbath of Peace to you!) We hope to see you soon at an upcoming Shabbat Service.

Learn more about the Jewish Sabbath


Review our Worship Upcoming Events above, and our Calendar.

Shabbat Honors

Every week congregants volunteer or are asked in advance to lead sections of the Shabbat Service. These roles are considered “honors.” If you are celebrating a special occasion or if you know that you will be at services on a given week and would like a role (see below) in the service, please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Candle Lighting

Shabbat Candles are kindled each week a blessing is recited to usher in the Sabbath. This honor takes place near the beginning of the service and it can be performed by an individual or multiple people. Both men and women are invited to light the candles and make the blessings.

Candle lighting Instructions:

  • During services, sit with the congregation toward the front of the sanctuary if possible.
  • Come up to the bimah when called by the Rabbi. Remember: both men and women are to wear head coverings on the bimah.
  • Read one of the two readings in English (pg. 121)
  • Using the lit candle, light the Shabbat candles
  • Say the candle lighting blessing in Hebrew
  • Stay with the candles while the congregation sings the blessing
  • Return to your seat below


Kiddish is the blessing over the wine or grape juice that we drink on Shabbat to sanctify the Sabbath and remind us of its sweetness. This honor usually takes place toward the end of the service and it can be performed by an individual or multiple people. Both men and women are invited to recite the Kiddish.

Kiddish Instructions:

  • During services, sit in the congregation toward the front of the sanctuary if possible.
  • Come up to the bimah when called by the Rabbi. Remember: both men and women are to wear head coverings on the bimah.
  • Take the large Kiddush cup
  • Sing the blessing over the wine. (Once you start, the Cantorial Soloist and congregation will join in.)
  • Sip the wine after the Cantorial Soloist finishes singing the long blessing. (Note that the cup is somewhat large, so be careful and sip!)
  • Return to your seat below


Being called for an Aliyah means being asked to recite the Hebrew blessings that are said before and after a Torah reading. This honor takes place on Friday nights when Torah is read. It is open for both Jewish men and women, although a non-Jewish spouse may stand at the podium alongside their partner as the blessing is recited.

Aliyah Instructions:

  • Find the rabbi 15 minutes before Shabbat Services to inform him of your presences and to tell him your Hebrew name.
  • During Services come up to the bimah when called by the Rabbi. Remember: both men and women are to wear head coverings on the bimah.
  • When cued, recite the blessing before Torah is read. The reader will then read the Torah portion.
  • Recite the Blessing after reading Torah
  • Wait for the Rabbi to offer you a blessing
  • Return to your seat(s) in the sanctuary

Torah Readers / Yad Squad!

Torah is read on Friday nights at least twice a month. If you would like to volunteer to read Torah on a given night, please contact our Cantorial Soloist, Ilana Axel at least two months in advance of the reading. If you are interested in reading Torah on a more regular basis, please consider becoming a part of our Torah readers group, called the Yad Squad. Each fall, we hold a meeting to acknowledge those who have been part of the Yad Squad in the past year, to welcome those who would like to try their skill at reading Torah, and, especially, to let everyone sign up for a specific date to read/chant Torah at a Friday night service. But if you miss the meeting, you can join us anyhow!

Our Yad Squad members are justifiably proud of their accomplishments, and we always welcome new members. If you would like to try reading or chanting Torah, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Usher / Greeters

Ushers are needed each Friday to help get Shabbat Services ready, to greet Shabbat guests, and to help return books and materials, at the conclusion of our worship. If you would like to volunteer to be an usher, your help would be much appreciated. Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Oneg / Dessert Reception Assistance

Oneg means “joy” and one of the most joyful times of the week takes place after Shabbat Services when congregants and guests enjoy a dessert reception and the company of others. If you would like to help serve at an oneg reception, or if you would be able to bake treats for a given Friday night, please complete and submit this form to Sisterhood.


Worship is very important to us at Beth Tikvah Congregation. We believe that - through prayer on the Sabbath, on Jewish Holidays, and as a part of our everyday lives - we can improve ourselves, our relationships with each other, and with God. Through prayer we give voice to the longings in our hearts. We find comfort, inspiration, meaning, guidance and hope through prayer, and we reconnect with our most sacred values and ideals.

Our prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, asserts that “each of us enters this sanctuary with a different need,” and at BTC we strive to create worship that is engaging, accessible and relevant. Attending or viewing online one of our services, you will immediately notice that our services include joyous, uplifting music, inspirational sermons, celebrations of life cycle events, time for reflection and meditation, as well as shared laughter. Following each worship service, the congregation typically gathers together to enjoy delicious desserts and refreshments each other’s company.

We are always delighted to have guests and long-time members worship with us and we want you to feel comfortable, included, and attuned to what is happening at any given moment. More information about attending our worship services for the first time can be found here.

Our prayer services include both Hebrew and English in the form of prayers, readings and songs, and most everything that appears in Hebrew is both translated and transliterated in the prayer book. While there is much to be said about our prayer services, the best way to find out more is to experience our worship. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming worship services. We most frequently gather together for prayer on Friday evenings when we usher in the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat); a 24-hour period of rest, reflection, renewal and reconnection to God.

Please refer to the list of our Shabbat Services offered, or view our congregational Calendar. Also, if you are unable to attend in-person, you can join us weekly in prayer online through our live streaming.