The kippah is a small, round, cloth cap that the more observant Jews wear on the top of their head. Most synagogues require all male attendants to wear one at all times they are inside the building.
Wearing the kippah, also called a yarmukle, is done to show respect and, to an extent, fear of G-d. The Talmud indicates that the garment began its use in the second century CE. Men in Biblical times really didn’t wear kippahs. There are some movies misrepresenting the use and show some of our older sages, such as Abraham, or Daniel wearing a kippah like we do in modern times. Other teachings indicate that the kippah is worn to remind people that G-d is always above us.
Depending on the branch of Judaism, women also wear a kippah to cover their heads. Just like men, they may do it on a daily basis, or when they attend services. Here at Temple Beth Israel, the use of a kippah is mandatory for men, but voluntary for women. If you are a male visitor to our synagogue, whether you are Jewish or not, please make sure to always wear one. You don’t have to buy it, though; we have a small basket with kippahs that you can borrow for the length of the service and your visit with us. If you are a female visitor, you decide if you want to try one for size and wear it proudly whether you are Jewish or not.
There are different styles, colors, and sizes for kippahs, and each one usually represents affiliation to a religious movement or even a social one. There are some funny-looking ones as well, and some others that are made specifically to commemorate a special event, such as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Temple Beth Israel welcomes everyone, regardless of the style of your kippah. Wear the type that most accommodates you, as we are all here to worship G-d and have good fellowship.