Today is October 31, 2020 /

High Holiday 2020 Logistics

Please Note: If for any reason the Live Stream Service cannot be accessed through https://www.wjcenter.org/wjclive/, please try using this web address: https://venue.streamspot.com/f8b82702


Dear WJC Family,

Below you will find critical information regarding Rosh HaShanah and Tashlich services (you will be receiving a similar email next week regarding Yom Kippur). The information included is important for your full enjoyment and appreciation of all the experiences as well as for everyone’s health and safety.  Please pay careful attention to all parts of this message that apply to you!

Service Structure and Timing

As was communicated several weeks ago, there will be three general service opportunities for Rosh HaShanah (in addition to the plethora of pre-recorded content for families):

Friday Evening 6:00-6:50pm A Service to Welcome the Holidays

This Zoom-only experience will focus us for the intense and meaningful experience of the Ten Days of Repentance (as the period from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur is known). Especially this year, we need to rally our positive spiritual energy for the days ahead. The service will include music and prayers from the holiday, discussion, and messages from Rabbi Arnowitz and Rabbi Dalton to set the tone for the season.

Zoom Meeting ID: 842 3342 2246

Saturday and Sunday Morning 9:00-11:00am and 11:15am-12:45pm

These hybrid services (those pre-registered can attend in person and others can attend on the new Live Stream Technology on our website) will be broken into two parts:

9:00-11:00am – The early part of the service will be available only on the Live Stream unless you are leading a part or reading Torah. This will include the Pesukei D’Zimra (Preliminary Service), Shacharit (Morning Service) and Torah Service and is geared for those who like the full High Holiday service experience. It will be mostly straightforward prayers and chanting, with brief introductions to the Torah and haftarah readings.

If you are attending on the Live Stream please make sure you have access to a mahzor, High Holiday prayer book, available at the synagogue and we encourage you to review the following document on Making the Most of Your At Home Experience by clicking here.

11:00-11:15am – We will make Kiddish and there will be a brief pause in the service for in-person attendees to enter and find their seats and for at-home attendees to get a nosh.

If you are attending in person you must review the in-person service safety instructions here.

11:15am-12:45pm – This part of the service will include a larger congregation in the building as well as be more engaging for those participating through the Live Stream. It will begin with the end of the Torah service and continue to the conclusion of the musaf service. It will include readings and more singing (those at home are encouraged to sing, those in-person can only hum or join in under their breath). The service will be altered in several ways to keep us within our time limit, but will include all the necessary pieces by Jewish law and to feel like a WJC High Holiday service, with a few nods to the Study Service to boot.

A few service High Lights to Note – Here are a few expected times so that you don’t miss any favorite parts (please note that this is a new way of doing services and while we will try to keep this schedule, the times are estimates):

Pesukei D’Zimra (Preliminary Service) – 9:00am Day 1 – Mark Berger; Day 2 – Dan Rosenbaum

Shacharit (Morning Service) – 9:40am Day 1 – Benjamin Levy; Day 2 – Seth Schafler

Torah Service – 10:10am Cantor Goldberg

Sermons – 11:40am Day 1 – Rabbi Arnowitz; Day 2 – Rabbi Dalton

Unetaneh Tokef – 11:55am

Tashlich Structure and Timing

Sunday afternoon – in shifts: 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 ( 4:30 shift will be at two locations)
Pre-registration Required – Harbor Island Park
You must read the following instructions before attending:

This year tashlich will take on new meaning. For some it will be the only opportunity to be with other WJC members during these High Holidays (while socially distancing of course). Also, because it is difficult to find a safe way to blow the shofar indoors, this will be the time WJC members have an opportunity to hear the shofar blown in-person on the holiday.

1) There will be a lot of people attending each shift. In order to spread people out we are asking people to head to two different staging areas. Please go only to your assigned location at your assigned time and once there, find a socially distanced place for you and your family.

Location 1 – Harbor Island Park near the corner of Delancy Street
Location 2 – The Playground near Rushmore Avenue

2) Please bring your own kippah

3) There will be captains distributing a handout with meditations for the shofar blowing and for the tashlich service. After the shofar blowing has concluded, people can make their way to an isolated spot by the water to throw their bread (please bring your own bread) into the water symbolically tossing away our sins. Please remember that social distancing guidelines should be followed both during the shofar blowing service and the private tashlich prayers.

4) After you have had a chance to do the tashlich ritual, we ask that you make your way out of the area so that it is clear for the next grouping.

5) In order for this service to work all participants must adhere to strict social distancing guidelines:

  1. Masks are required for participants of all ages
  2. If you are bringing kids (which is great) please keep them with you at all times. Please respect that others present may be more vulnerable and/or anxious, so all family members should stay only with their own families.
  3. Households are required to keep 6-feet apart. Don’t worry, the shofar is loud and there will be no frontal speaking, so spread out all around the area.
  4. Only those who have pre-registered should attend – this is not the time to bring friends or neighbors to show off the WJC community!
  5. Before leaving for the park, do a simple health screening:
    1. -Do you have a fever or have you felt hot or feverish recently (within the last 21 days)? Taking your temperature is advised if there is any doubt.
    2.    -Are you having shortness of breath or other difficulties breathing?
    3.    -Do you have a cough?
    4.    -Do you have any other flu-like symptoms, such as gastrointestinal upset, headache or fatigue?
    5.    -Have you experienced a recent loss of taste or smell?
    6.    -Have you been in unprotected physical proximity to any person with confirmed COVID-19?
    7.    -Have you traveled outside the United States or visited States noted in the NYS travel advisory in the past 14 days?
  6. Consider that certain conditions put you at higher risk of severe COVID-19, should you contract the virus: People at high risk of severe COVID-19 include those over 65, or those with chronic medical conditions, including the severely obese, those with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic kidney or liver disease, and the immunocompromised, which may be due to cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant medications. Please consider your risk before deciding to attend. You may want to discuss your participation with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your risk.

As you can see, a lot has gone into making these services meaningful for as many people as possible as well as safe for those participating in whatever way they choose. Please help us to make these complicated days run smoothly and to keep everyone spiritually uplifted and physically healthy.

L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu,

Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and Seth Schafler

Connect with Us

Give Online

Westchester Jewish Center welcomes your contribution to any of our listed funds.

Donate Now