June 19, 2019

Secret to his happiness? Happy Minyan

Jonathan Boyer may be the Happy Minyan’s unsung hero, though he’s more than happy to sing the shul’s praises. The Shlomo Carlebach-inspired synagogue was launched some 17 years ago to answer the need for an aufruf for a friend of Boyer’s who was unaffiliated at the time. A small circle of friends, all unattached to synagogues, rented a room from Beth Jacob Congregation for their service, thereby, unknowingly, giving birth to the Happy Minyan. 

The shul is now housed at Karate Academy, where each week they convert the dojo space into a synagogue on Friday afternoons, and then switch it back by Sunday.  But rather than feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work required, Boyer says he feels “blessed” to have been the one from the start who was making calls to ensure that there would be a minyan, as well as Torah readers, prayer books and seating.  Boyer now acts as quasi-executive director, although no such titles exist at the Happy Minyan, and his efforts certainly don’t come with a paycheck.  “I’ve done it all at the shul, from child care to catering,” he said, and his contributions have helped make a home for the 100 to 150 people attending the weekly Friday evening and Saturday morning services. 

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