Today is November 26, 2021 /

Our High Holiday Services for 2020

Our catalog of events, classes, and services for the full holiday season will be released around September 1.

The following plan of services has been developed under the guidelines of the COVID-19 Task Force with the safety of our community our top priority. This year we will have a hybrid approach to services, with the clergy leading each service in the sanctuary with a limited number of people in attendance; the services will be live-streamed in their entirety for all to view remotely.

LIVE STREAMING

For those who prefer to attend services remotely, a newly installed live streaming solution will broadcast the sanctuary service to all congregants and make it possible to participate in the High Holiday services from the comfort of home, whether via smartphone, tablet, computer or smart TV. This one-way streaming will be accessible directly through our website. We suggest you try out this streaming service in advance (join us for a Shabbat in coming weeks) so you resolve any potential technical issues that would mar the holiday experience. No registration is needed for the live-stream services.

IN-PERSON

A limited number of pre-registered congregants will be permitted to attend morning services in the sanctuary on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur as well as evening services for Kol Nidre and Neilah. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, no children under the age of bar or bat mitzvah will be able to attend any of these services. A separate holiday program has been developed to create a meaningful experience for our youth and their families; details will be shared separately.

There will likely be no indoor shofar blowing this year as it is considered high-risk during the pandemic. We are exploring other ways to bring the call of the shofar to our members during Tashlich and at other times throughout the High Holiday season.

For all in-person services, the health protocols established by our COVID-19 Task Force will be in place. (To review these policies, visit the High Holidays section of our website.) At this time, we anticipate including up to 150 people seated by family in groups of no more than six. Each family ‘pod’ will be safely distanced from other groups and scattered throughout the main sanctuary, the reception room and gymnasium areas.

Due to these limitations at this time, we can only guarantee room for attendance at one major service. As we are able to better gauge numbers and if there is room, we will open more services to those who are interested.

REGISTRATION

Registration is now closed. The synagogue will inform congregants by Friday, September 4 as to which service(s) they can attend in-person. We ask for your patience and understanding as we try to honor as many first requests as possible. If you have any questions, please contact Rosie.

No registration is needed for the live-stream services. For in-person services, please only register if you are confident in your comfort to attend and have every intention of coming on the holidays. We need solid numbers to place people and set up the rooms properly. Of course, if you are not feeling well before services, you should not come.

NOTICE

For those who submit the online form or speak to our office about attendance, the synagogue will inform congregants by Friday, September 4 as to which service(s) they can attend in-person. We ask for your patience and understanding as we try to honor as many first requests as possible.

 

ROSH HASHANAH SERVICES – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Preceding the First Day of Rosh HaShanah (Friday, September 18) there will be an exclusively virtual Zoom service similar to what we have done for Friday nights.

The services on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 9:00am with a small minyan comprised of those who are leading parts of the service.

There will be a pause after 10:45 to welcome an expanded group of pre-registered congregants to join from 11:00-12:30pm. This shortened service limits the amount of time a somewhat larger group is in the room together.

The service during those 90 minutes will be crafted to be as meaningful as possible for both attendees and those viewing remotely. It will include the sermon, familiar prayers, elements of the popular lay-led study service, and more.

 

KOL NIDRE SERVICES – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

At 6:00pm, there will be a Zoom “Meet and Greet” for congregants and clergy to greet each other before Yom Kippur starts.

Kol Nidre evening services will be 90 minutes long from 6:30-8:00pm.

A limited number of people will be able to attend in person according to the guidelines above. Others will attend by live-stream.

 

YOM KIPPUR MORNING SERVICES – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Morning services will begin at 9:00am with a small minyan comprised of those who are leading parts of the service.

There will be a pause after 11:00 to welcome an expanded group of pre-registered congregants to join from 11:15-12:45pm. This shortened service limits the amount of time a somewhat larger group is in the room together.

The service during those 90 minutes will be crafted to be as meaningful as possible for both attendees and those viewing remotely. It will include the sermon, familiar prayers, elements of the popular lay-led study service and more.

 

MINCHA AND NEILAH SERVICES ON – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Mincha services will commence at 5:00pm with a small minyan comprised of those who are leading parts of the service.

There will be a pause after 6:00pm to welcome an expanded group of pre-registered congregants to join for the Neilah concluding service, which will end at 7:30pm.

 

YIZKOR

The opportunity to remember our loved ones on the High Holidays is very important to many of us. There will be two stand-alone Yizkor services offered–one will be on Sunday afternoon (September 27) before Yom Kippur actually starts, and the other will be on Monday afternoon (September 28) after the main service has ended. There will be no opportunity to attend in person, but the Sunday service will offer a zoom format so congregants will be able to see one another.

While there will be no Yizkor service during the morning of Yom Kippur, we will recite Yizkor prayers for the victims of the Shoah and other martyrs. Congregants can choose to include a personal prayer at that time as well.

 

TASHLICH

At Tashlich we throw bread crumbs into the water to represent the casting off of our sins. This year we will do Tashlich in shifts. During each service, participants will have an opportunity to hear the call of the shofar from a safe distance and to perform the Tashlich ceremony as households using prayer pamphlets which we will provide. The service will take place at Harbor Island Park on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, Sunday, September 20. We require pre-registration (just like our other in-person services). But unlike our in-person, in-synagogue services, we invite family members of all ages to join us. Additionally, we are not limiting groups to a maximum of 6. Further protocols for social-distancing will be provided to those who register.

Connect with Us

Give Online

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

Donate Now