On Friday, April 30, from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m., Temple Emanu-El of West Essex will host a special Shabbat celebration that offers individuals a variety of choices about how to celebrate Shabbat through a new and innovative program — TGiS (Thank God, It's Shabbat).

People can come at the beginning for a happy half-hour or stay late for J-rated jokes and humor. They can come alone as adults or bring the whole family, school kids and teens, even grandparents. Shabbat services will be held at 6:30 p.m. "Shabbat is all about family, friends, community, food, spirituality, and fun," said Rabbi Mark Kaiserman.

"We've taken all of those concepts and bundled them into a fantastic evening for all ages at Temple Emanu-El. It is a super-Shabbat with something for absolutely everyone to love."

The evening will begin with time for socializing, followed by an informal worship service, featuring the Temple's own KlezManuel musicians. Following services, participants may choose to enjoy a catered dinner (for a fee) or a bring-your-own picnic dinner. The evening will offer activities for all ages. Young people may choose "Cooking for Kids" with Chef Bruce Miller, Joyful Drumming Circles, or a talent show.

Adults will be able to participate in a variety of activities including: The Best of the Rat Pack - a sing-a-long with Cantor Sharon Brown-Levy; a guest lecture with Rabbi Elliot Kleinman on Jewish Holidays and Holy Moments; Israeli dancing with Tammy Resnikoff; preparing flambé desserts with Chef Bruce Miller; Jewish meditation with Stacey Distler; or a discussion with Rabbi Kaiserman on HeBrew: Jewish Drinking in the Bible. There also are two Social action projects that will run throughout the evening. The first will be making sandwiches for the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown. The second, co-sponsored with LYCS, will be sending postcards to our troops abroad. The evening will conclude with J-Café, an open-mike opportunity to share Jewish humor, and cookies and milk for everyone.

The evening is open to the community. There is a fee for the dinner, and reservations are required. Please call the Temple office at 973-992-5560 for more information or to register for the program. A complete schedule of events is available on the temple's Web site, www.emanuel.org