Westchester Jewish Center

High Holidays 2017 / 5778 Information

High HolidaysL'Shana Tova! We wish all a joyous New Year and look forward to joining together for worship services.


Although it’s still early, we’d like to be the first to wish you a joyous and meaningful new year. This year’s observance will bring back what you loved last year. Once again, Cantor Goldberg will lead services in the main Sanctuary. The lay led
Study Service will again be in the chapel and led by Rabbi Adir Yolkut and Seth Schafler. The Family Service is back and will be led by Rabbi Yolkut and Lee Epstein in the Activity Center. And of course, Rabbi Segelman and Rabbi Yolkut will be teaching us in both the Main and Study Services. Seating in the Main Service will be the same as last year with two sections (reserved and open seating). In addition, we’ve worked hard to keep most pricing the same as last year.

For complete seating details and cost, go here for brochure.

The following is a brief summary of the High Holiday services WJC will be offering this year. 

High Holidays Services

Main Sanctuary Services will be led by our outstanding clergy team including Rabbi Segelman, Cantor Goldberg and Rabbi Yolkut. This service will feature engaging melodies, opportunities for learning and congregant participation. This year we’re making extra effort to prepare our community musically for the High Holidays; see below for more information about how.

Study Services will continue to feature significant lay participation, learning and song.  This congregant organized service will be led by Rabbi Yolkut and Seth Schafler and will take place in the chapel.  There will be limited seating for a more intimate feel.

Family Services will be offered all three days of the High Holidays this year; on the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur morning. The Family Services are intended to provide families with elementary school-aged children (and those who will soon be entering) the opportunity to sing and pray together in a more relaxed, family-oriented setting. This year’s theme is Sing Out Your Song, based on the hit film Sing. We are thrilled that Rabbi Adir and Lee Epstein will lead our Family Services with the creativity, participation and energy that made last year's Family Services so successful.

Back by popular demand!  Before the Water: A pre-Tashlich Experience - September 21st (Rosh Hashana Day 1) at 4:30pm.  Last year we introduced a new contemporary service on Rosh Hashana called “Before the Water.” We gather before Tashlich on the first day of Rosh Hashana to explore the themes of the High Holidays and help us prepare for and find more meaning in the ritual casting away of our sins before we walk together to Harbor Island Park for our community Tashlich.  Join us for what promises to be an inspiring and soulful addition to our High Holidays.

Other important information that you need to know:                                                  

Save the date! On Tuesday evening September 12th at 7:30pm we’ll gather as a community to prepare for the High Holidays. Singing old favorites will get us in the mood for the holidays, and learning new material will inspire us.

We are posting recordings of High Holiday melodies online.  Go to https://tinyurl.com/wjcmusic. You’ll find three playlists there: “High Holiday Must-Know,” “High Holiday Great to Know” and “High Holiday Good to Know.” These lists will be updated throughout the summer with more prayer music to learn. This is ideal for people who want to learn music independently, brush up on what they know or learn even more. You can even download the Soundcloud app to your phone and listen on the go!

Torah for Tots special program will continue to be offered for our pre-school aged children and their parents on Rosh Hashanah afternoon September 21st at 4:45pm.     

Children Services and Teen Services are designed to be commensurate with age and they will be offered on September 21st, 22nd and 30th. These services are scheduled to begin after the Family Services conclude. The Teen Services will include a Teen Kol Nidre Program on Friday, September 29th.

As is our custom, there will be open seating in the Main Sanctuary and Study Service during the first part of the service (from 9am until the Torah service) and after 12:30pm on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as well as during Neilah at the end of Yom Kippur.

Service times, general information and educational links are listed below.

High Holidays Service Times:

  • Click here for High Holidays service times schedule.

High Holidays Seats and Program Sign-up: 

Your High Holidays seating information, services and program sign-up information have been sent by mail.  We encourage you to please return your forms by August 24th.  Please contact us if you have not received your packet, are interested in attending High Holidays services at WJC or have any questions.  Contact the office at (914) 698-2960 or email Naomi at [email protected].  You may also access printable forms by clicking on the below links:

  • Special Donations (High Holiday Greetings, Yizkor Memorial Booklet, Heart to Heart Fund, Children's Programs)

High Holidays General Information:     

  • Click here for a review of the policies and procedures that will help make the High Holidays a meaningful, warm and inclusive experience for us all.

High Holidays Educational Links:

  • Click here for High Holiday readings, selected by Rabbi Segelman
  • Click here to read A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Rosh Hashanah at WJC.
  • Click here to read A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Yom Kippur at WJC.