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Guidlines for Greeters

Guidelines for Greeters

The Mitzvah of Hospitality — Being a Greeter at Services

BRUCHIM HABAIM – הבאים ברוכים – Welcome!

The mitzvah of hachnasat orhim (hospitality) is as old as Abraham. Abraham stands out as a man of faith and hesed (loving kindness). According to the Torah commentaries, he would sit at the doorway of his tent, ready to welcome any passers-by, offering them both physical and spiritual comfort. Our greeters carry on in the tradition of Abraham, offering a welcoming sanctuary on Shabbat.

  • Greeters should be at the synagogue 15 minutes prior to the start of service
  • Glance at the birthday/anniversary list, the yahrzeit list, and if it is Saturday morning, the Torah service list, for your own awareness of who may be recognized or who is participating in the service.
  • Your nametag will be in a basket near the sanctuary doors.

First impressions are everything!

Bring your warm smile and a haimeshe handshake with you.

Greet each person with a “Shabbat Shalom” or “Hag Sameah”. If you do not know their name, ask them and introduce yourself. Feel free to ask them if you can do anything for them (e.g., special needs or questions, whether they are here for a special occasion, whether it is their first time visiting.)

  • You may offer them a kippah, tallit or headcovering. Men should wear a kippah while in the sanctuary; women may choose to wear a headcovering.
  • Please help people find seats when the sanctuary is full.
  • Humashim and Siddurim are at the seats.
  • There are large format prayer books for those who need them.
  • Please hand out our weekly Shabbat booklets.
  • On Friday night, please help services get started on time by encouraging people to move from the nosh area to the sanctuary at about 5:55 pm. Rabbi’s goal is to begin services at 6:00 pm.
  • At the beginning of the last verse of L’Cha Dodi, either you (or a child designated by you) can open the door and close it at the end of the verse.
  • There is NO food or drink allowed in the sanctuary before or during services.

Friday night and Saturday:

  • The Kiddush and Ha’Motzi will be done from the Bima at the conclusion of the service. Small wine cups and hallah will be available to the congregation in the lobby as they leave the service. Rabbi’s and Cantor’s wine glasses should be placed on the little table near the bima.
  • A Board member or other designated representative will deliver announcements toward the end of the service.
  • Remind everyone to turn off their cell phones.
  • Restrooms and the babysitting room are to the left of the sanctuary.
  • Please remind board members to wear their badges.
  • Close the sanctuary door(s) only if the noise level outside becomes disruptive.
  • During times when the congregation is standing, such as the Kedushah portion of the Amidah, please ask individuals entering to stand in the back of the sanctuary. Once the congregation is again seated, they can move into the empty seats.

On Shabbat or holiday morning;

  • The services Coordinator may ask for your help with names, identifying people for honors. Please provide what assistance you can.


  • Help monitor noise levels, especially in the lobby. Gentle and friendly reminders to be quiet may be necessary.
  • Security–Maintain a general sense of awareness of strangers who seem out of place. For any concerns, notify a board member.
  • First Aid–Familiarize yourself with the location of the First Aid Kit and defibrillator in case your assistance is needed in an emergency.


Guidelines for Children as Greeters

  1. The adult greeters will serve as your role models. You have a nametag which was printed for you and can be found in the “volunteer basket”.
  2. As one of the first people whom the congregant sees when he/she enters the synagogue, you are representing Congregation Or Tzion. You have only one chance to make a good first impression.
  3. Greet each person entering with a warm smile, hand shake, and “Shabbat Shalom”.
  4. Especially when other children arrive at the services, it would be nice to have you greet them. (You are not limited to only kids!!)
  5. On Fridays and Saturdays, there are always extra pamphlets/brochures that you can hand out.
  6. Within these guidelines (which the adults greeters will also have), please do whatever is requested of you by them.

Todah Rabah – Thank you!


Sun, March 18 2018 2 Nisan 5778