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Spirituality At PJTC

Through a wide range of truly meaningful spiritual experiences, we offer something for everyone.

Prayer is a language that each of us speaks and hears in a different way. We understand that our congregants have varying comforts in how they observe Judaism. When we pray and observe together, we find meaning within the chorus of diverse voices and provide an array of ways to express spirituality

Shabbat and Holiday Services  |  Havdalah  |  High Holidays  |  Lifecycle Events  |  Healing  |  Yahrzeit  |  Ways To Commemorate  |  Interfaith  |  Jewish Holiday Resources


At PJTC, services are opportunities to enrich our lives through spiritually uplifting communal worship, personal prayer, beautiful music, meaningful participation, connection, and reflection.

Our services are fully egalitarian (men and women participate equally) and balance between the traditional and creative. With their engaging sermons and stimulating teachings, our clergy show us how the lessons from the past are relevant to our lives today. They lead services in both Hebrew and English and connect us to our culture with uplifting traditional and contemporary music. Click here to view past services on our YouTube Channel.

To ensure that home-bound and out-of-town community members always have access, our services are available via Zoom (please email us for the link). Services will not be available online Friday, March 22. 

Sing-a-Long Shabbat – Monthly, Saturday mornings (LBSRS families receive links via email, or contact Melissa)

Friday Night Shabbat Services – weekly at 7:30PM, preceded by Shirah with Cantor Ruth at 7:20PM.

Saturday Morning Shabbat Services – weekly at 9:30 AM

Sunday Minyan – held the week prior to a B’nai Mitzvah (check our calendar of events)

A yahrzeit (the yearly anniversary of a loved one’s death) is observed by reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish at services. You are invited and encouraged to email and let us know the name and yahrzeit of your beloved departed, so we may honor their memory by announcing their name prior to reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish.

The Mi Shebeirach prayer (one of the central Jewish prayers for those facing the challenge of illness) are recited during our services. We invite you to email us the names of loved ones in need of healing, so we can support them, and you, by including them in our prayers

Visit our upcoming events page for a full calendar of services.



Our rabbis teach that on Shabbat, we are given an extra soul. At Havdalah we relinquish that extra soul but hope that the sweetness and holiness of the day will remain with us during the week. We take a cup of wine, a box of spices and a beautiful braided Havdalah candle, and we sing or recite the blessings. Click here for more information on how to observe Havdalah.

We periodically host a virtual Havdalah ritual for our membership, which will be in our event calendar. Members can go to the password-protected Communications Archive page for login information.

(Havdalah kit shown above is available for purchase on


Come share the spirit and wisdom of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! High Holy Days are a time for reflection, introspection, prayer, and re-connection. We welcome you to join our congregational family in celebrating and observing these special holy days in a deep and meaningful way. Our offering of services is designed to meet the spiritual needs of our diverse community.

Ticket Information:

MEMBERS of PJTC: You will receive High Holy Day tickets for each adult member of your household and dependent children over the age of 18 (Children 17 years old and under do not require a ticket).  Members are also welcome to purchase additional tickets for other relatives and guests at a discount rate.

NON-MEMBERS: You are welcome to join us by purchasing your High Holy Day tickets. (If you decide to join the congregation after the holidays, we will apply the ticket costs toward your membership dues!)

High Holy Day tickets can be purchased here when available. Check back for a link! Click here for membership information.



There are many milestones in our Jewish lives for which PJTC’s clergy can provide guidance, officiate and offer ways of commemoration.

B'nai Mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah students move from childhood to adulthood (and some adults simply move to “Jewish adulthood”) according to the Jewish religion, becoming responsible followers of the commandments and committed as members of our ancient people. Our tutors and clergy work individually with students and their families to prepare and plan for this special day. Click here for more information  or email our B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator.


Our clergy can help you prepare for this joyous occasion by teaching couples the meaning of the ceremony and helping them to design a ceremony that is perfect for them. We also provide counsel, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship.

Brit Milah

The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eighth day of their lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Our clergy can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser), help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate.

Baby Naming/Simchat Bat

We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Our clergy can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue any day the Torah is read.


Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – Kriah (tearing of a garment), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shiva (seven days of mourning). Our Clergy will instruct you on these and other rituals.  We can also perform the funeral ceremony, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.



The Mi Shebeirach prayer is one of the central Jewish prayers for those who are facing the challenge of illness and includes pleas for both physical and spiritual healing. We invite you to send us the name(s) of loved ones who are facing the challenge of illness, so that we may support them, and you, by inclusion in our communal Mi Shebeirach prayers.

PJTC's Chaplain, Claire Gorfinkel, reaches out to members of our congregation and the wider community who need a little extra attention beyond prayer. For more information, please send an email.



A yahrzeit is the yearly anniversary (according to the Hebrew calendar) of a loved one’s death. Jews observe yahrzeit at home the night before by lighting a special long-burning candle in memory of the deceased. It is traditional to avoid attending any celebrations or parties on the day of yahrzeit, and some people fast.

Yahrzeit is also observed by reciting the Mourner's Kaddish at services. You are invited and encouraged to let us know the name and yahrzeit of your beloved ones who have departed from us. We will honor their memory by announcing their name prior to reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish during services. May you be comforted among all the mourners of Israel.



Tree Of Life

Share the happiness of your family’s “simchas” by inscribing them on the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center Tree of Life sculpture, on the 2nd floor overlooking the main lobby. The golden leaves may be inscribed to highlight or commemorate such happy events as births, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, or to honor living parents, family or friends. You may also have a certificate made with the honoree’s name.  Click here to download the Tree of Life Order Form.

Communal Tallit Tapestry

Record your blessings in PJTCs special custom crafted tallit, creatively stitched by artist Trudie Strobel, that will wrap our members in the joy and warmth of shared tradition. Mark your place in our temple’s history by permanently inscribing your family’s meaningful events on this communal piece of art. Click here for more information.

Memorial Wall

PJTC maintains a beautiful memorial wall of plaques bearing the names of our deceased members or deceased loved ones of our members. You can purchase a bronze plaque as a way of honoring your loved one, which also supports PJTC.  Each year the plaque is illuminated on the day or week of the deceased’s yahrzeit. If you wish to order a Yahrzeit Plaque, please click on the link to fill out the Yahrzeit Plaque order form.



PJTC is an open-minded, inclusive Jewish community. While our synagogue is affiliated with the Jewish Conservative movement, our members represent a wide variety of religious beliefs and practices, and we welcome all who walk through our doors seeking a home to pray, to learn, to connect, and to celebrate with us.

Many Jews live in an interfaith household, where one member may be a non-Jewish individual (spouse, son or daughter-in-law, grandchild, cousin, etc.). The term Keruv (“bringing near”) seeks to address the needs of these families, and our focus on Keruv helps to ensure that our synagogue is welcoming to all and providing resources to strengthen both family and Jewish life.

If you are touched by an interfaith relationship and would like to learn more about Keruv efforts at PJTC, please email Cantor Ruth Berman Harris or call 626-798-1161.

PJTC is also part of the Interfaith Study Group, a joint effort by All Saints Church, the Islamic Center of Southern California, and PJTC, to learn and appreciate the commonalities and differences between our religious faiths. To learn more or get involved, click here.



Whether you are looking to better understand the significance of a Jewish holiday or are seeking guidance and new ideas for holiday rituals and celebrations, we have something for you. Our clergy has amassed their spiritual thoughts and online resources to help you make the most of your Jewish holiday observance. Click here to check it out!

Wed, May 29 2024 21 Iyyar 5784