Choose Your Own Spiritual Adventure

Dear WJC Family:

If it’s June, planning is well underway for the 2018 High Holidays!  As always, WJC offers a variety of High Holiday services to meet the spiritual needs of everyone in our wonderfully diverse community.  The following is a brief summary of the High Holiday services WJC will offer this year. Additional details can be found in the enclosed registration materials. Please select the service(s) that you feel is (are) most appropriate for you and your family and, as always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you require additional information or have any questions.


Main Sanctuary Services will again 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, our theme will be “Exploring Love.” Rabbi Segelman’s sermons, the introductions to the Torah readings and the Haftorot, and the explanations of our most important prayers will focus on the many different models of love that fill our lives. Using examples of the love between parents and children, marital love, the love shared by friends, and the love of ideas, we will seek not only to capture the deeper meaning of the words but also a deeper appreciation of the love that we share in our own lives.

“The focus on the traditional liturgy, the mix of time-honored and new melodies, and the hugs and handshakes from everyone make the days special, allowing each person to find something meaningful.”


The Study Service features significant lay participation, learning, and song. This congregant organized service is led by Rabbi Yolkut and Seth Schafler and will take place in the chapel. There will be limited seating for a more intimate feel. The theme of this year’s Study Service is “Soulful Accounting.” Looking inward is part and parcel of the High Holiday season. In the Study Service, we will explore how our fellow community members search deeply and how the Mahzor can assist us in this soul-searching in the most authentic and meaningful ways.

“The Study Service remains one of the primary reasons I continue to be a member of WJC. I love the scale of it, that it is congregant-led and that it is interactive.”


Family Services will be offered all three days of the High Holidays; 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 will be “Remember Me,” based on the hit film Coco. We’ll think back on all the amazing things we accomplished this past year and what exciting opportunities lie ahead of us. We are thrilled that Rabbi Yolkut and Lee Epstein will lead our Family Services with the creativity, participation, and energy that makes this service so successful.

“Family Services are an integral way for us to connect as a family and with the incredible congregation to which we belong. They are a gift for all ages.”



Join us for an inspiring and soulful addition to our High Holidays on September 10th (Rosh Hashanah Day 1) at 4:30pm.  We continue to offer a contemporary service on Rosh Hashanah to explore the themes of the High Holidays.  “Before the Water” will help us prepare for and find deeper meaning in Tashlich–the ritual casting away of our sins. Afterwards, we’ll walk together to Harbor Island Park and join the rest of the community for Tashlich, which begins at 5:45pm.

“‘Before the Water’ really helped me reflect on the prior year, including my relationships and goals for the one ahead. The readings and words were both introspective and useful in making Tashlich and the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur a more meaningful one.”



• Selichot services will be held on Saturday evening, September 1st. More information will be communicated during the summer.

Save the date! On Thursday evening, September 6th 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 again posting recordings of High Holiday melodies online at 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. 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!

• Children’s Programs and Teen Programs are specially designed for each age group, and begin after the Family Services conclude. They are offered on September 10th, 11th, and 19th. The Teen Services will include a Teen Kol Nidre Program on Tuesday, September 18th.  Additional information and details can be found online at

• As is our custom, we will have open seating in the entire Main Sanctuary during the first part of the service through the Torah reading, after 12:30 pm on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and during Neilah at the end of Yom Kippur.

• Registration for services, programs, and seating is now open. Please fill out and submit the enclosed High Holiday Ticket and Family and Children’s Program Sign-up Forms. We encourage early registration so that your requests can be handled efficiently, including any special accommodations. It is critically important to our planning that you submit your information and special requests by the August 3rd deadline. Please note that while we will do our utmost to provide you with your requested seating arrangements, we may not be able to fulfill all requests.

Below are forms with information pertaining to:

1.      Ticket Request Form

2.      Family, Children & Teen Programs

3.      Special Donations: Yizkor (Memorial) Booklet, Greetings, Donations

4.      Ushering

5.      Prayer Book Dedications


We sincerely hope that you and your family are having an enjoyable, relaxing and safe summer.


Very truly yours,

Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman, Rabbi Adir Yolkut, Cantor Ethan Goldberg, and Albert Sassoon (Chair, Spiritual Life Committee)


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