Jews believe in one God, who created a covenant with the Jewish people. This covenant is upheld through living out the Torah.

Important Terms

  • Torah: Refers to the scroll of the five books of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
  • Aliyah: Translated “to go up,” it is the honor of being called to the bimah (pulpit) to participate in the reading of the Torah.
  • Shema Yisrael This is the central prayer of Jewish worship service, derived from Deuteronomy 6: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.”
  • Amidah: A series of praises, thanks and petitions to God. This is one of the central features of the prayer service and is recited by the whole congregation.

Important Religious Texts

The Torah is a guide to righteous living and the Book of Prophets offers important moral teachings.


Jews observe kosher laws, meaning they do not eat pork, shellfish or consume dairy products and meat together. Some Jewish congregations require head coverings when entering synagogues.

Worship, Prayer, and Practice

Communal prayer and gathering is a cornerstone of Jewish faith, and the fullest Jewish service takes place on the Jewish Sabbath, or the Shabbat. Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. Most Jews gather in synagogues or temples for Shabbat services. Orthodox Jewish services are in Hebrew while other movements incorporate both English and Hebrew.

Faith Communities