Worship Observation

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Worship Observation Paper

Assignment Sheet

THRS 2105 Spring

During the semester, you must attend/observe one service of Jewish worship and present your observations in a five page paper. (If you regularly attend a Jewish worship service, you should visit a different denomination.) A list of synagogues of various denominations will be posted on line. You are welcome to visit a synagogue outside the list as long as you check in with me first. There are three components to the assignment.
1) Preparation
Once you have decided what synagogue you will visit, you are expected to do a minimal amount of basic research on the historical background of the denomination, the worship style, its institutional organization and its place in the American religious scene. You may also want to do some research into the specific synagogue’s community you plan to visit, especially if it is of historic interest. Many religious denominations (and many individual synagogues) have web pages with helpful information. This preparation is important as it will help make your visit more comfortable and will enable you to get more out of the experience.
Your finished paper should include a brief (one and a half to two pages) introduction to the tradition. Keep in mind that you must cite in a footnote or endnote all sources which you quote or paraphrase, as well as works to which you refer or from which you have culled information. Take notes carefully so that you don't have to go back to relocate your sources. There are proper ways of citing electronic source material; you should use either Chicago Style or MLA style citation practices. It doesn’t matter which style you choose as long as you cite your sources.
2) Observation
Attend the worship service of your choice, making sure to arrive on time and staying through until the end. Since taking notes during a service or ritual would…...

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