Scout Shabbat will be held on February 10-11, 2017 to coincide with the founding date of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. This year the date coincides with the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat.
The National Jewish Committee on Scouting (NJCOS) urges all Jewish Scouting youth to show pride in their faith by holding a Scout Shabbat service for their unit, district or council. If a local Jewish Committee on Scouting (JCOS) exists, please coordinate activities with the official Scout Shabbat event for your council. In the event a JCOS does not exist, it is permissible to hold a Scout Shabbat on any convenient date.
Working with a Jewish charter partner organization such as a synagogue or Jewish religious school, individual Jewish Scouts and Scouters can plan to hold a short service to follow regular worship services on Friday night or Saturday morning or to take place at a school assembly. The duration of these services should only be five to ten minutes in duration and should emphasize the Scout Law and Oath (or Cub Scout Promise) in some way. A sample service is available for download below, which is customizable for each individual council, district or unit.
All Jewish Scouts are urged to attend the local JCOS-sponsored Scout Shabbat or their regular worship services in their field uniforms and, if earned, to also display their appropriate religious emblems.
Since this year’s celebration coincides with Tu B’Shvat, we also urge consideration of holding at Tu B’Shvat Seder Service for Friday night or Saturday afternoon following regular worship services.
A Cub Scout who has earned either the Maccabee or Aleph religious emblem may display the medal representative thereof on his uniform at the Scout Shabbat service. He is also entitled to display the BSA “religious” knot on his uniform, which indicates he has earned at least one religious emblem. Should a Cub Scout earn the Aleph religious emblem in addition to a Maccabee religious emblem, he should wear only the Aleph religious emblem medal and place a Cub Scout device on his religious knot to indicate he has previously earned the Maccabee religious emblem.
If he has earned his religious emblems, a Boy Scout should wear either the Ner Tamid or Etz Chaim religious emblem. Appropriate Cub Scout devices (two for both emblems) on his religious knot should indicate if he has earned previous Cub Scout religious emblems. An older Boy Scout who has earned both the Ner Tamid and Etz Chaim religious emblems is entitled to wear the Etz Chaim medal and place a Boy Scout device on his religious knot (in addition to any Cub Scout devices) to indicate his previous achievements.
Venturing boys who have never earned religious emblems as Boy Scouts and all Venturing girls should only wear their medals indicating they have earned the Etz Chaim religious emblem. They may also wear a religious knot on their uniforms without a device. Venturing boys, who previously earned religious emblems as Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts may display devices to indicate those achievements. For example, a Venturer boy who earned both the Maccabee and Aleph religious emblems as a Cub Scout and earned the Ner Tamid religious emblem as a Boy Scout, may wear the Etz Chaim religious emblem medal and place two Cub Scout devices, a Boy Scout device and a Venturing device on his religious knot.
Here are other Friday night and Saturday morning services you may feel free to use: