תִּכְלֶה שָׁנָה וְקִלְלוֹתֶיהָ
תָּחֵל שָׁנָה וּבִרְכוֹתֶיהָ

May this year’s troubles end,
and a year of blessing begin.

(from the Rosh Hashanah Evening liturgy)

In order to enable our entire community to pray together safely, we will be holding virtual High Holy Day services, led as always by Rabbi Jan Uhrbach and Rabbi Michael Boino.  We’ve chosen the Zoom Meeting format so that we can all see and interact with each other; our relationships are always an integral part of our prayer.

Things will be a little different this year, and of course we wish it were possible to gather safely in person. But we’re confident that services will be beautiful and inspiring, and that with your help we will truly be a kehillah kedoshah, a holy community. 

WHAT WILL SERVICES BE LIKE?

Our services will strive to balance the following values and goals:

  • keeping the familiar melodies and liturgy we most love, maintaining the integrity of the liturgy, and providing inspiring and challenging soul-learning;
  • innovating to benefit from the technology;
  • limiting the length of screen time; 
  • providing contexts for casual conversation, as well as quiet time for private reflection;
  • including all of us;
  • holding a sense of sanctity, at home, throughout the day.

On Rosh Hashanah, we’re shortening each day’s morning service by about half, and adding a short afternoon service, with time for a leisurely lunch in between. The Torah reading will be in the afternoon instead of the morning, including small group discussions. Tashlikh on the second day will have both in-person and on-line options.

On Yom Kippur, recognizing the importance of a fully immersive experience and the challenge of staying focused through the fast, we’ll be offering a full day of services, broken up into smaller chunks, and interspersed with breaks. Each part will have a specified start time, and run around an hour and a half at most. Breaks will always include two options: 

  • joining an online discussion or other activity; or
  • disconnecting from the screen to talk a walk, engage in quiet contemplation, read, nap, or do whatever you need to do.

Rabbi Uhrbach’s will be offering shorter, more frequent teachings each day, interspersed throughout, rather than one longer sermon.

We’ll convene some virtual communal meals. And we encourage the community to gather in person for small, socially-distanced meals, provided it can be done safely.

One final note: if you’re having trouble imagining what virtual services might be like, or think it’s not for you, consider dropping into one of our virtual Shabbat services that we have each week. You might be surprised! 

INTERESTED IN JOINING US?

Email us for more information, or just sign up here.
As always, participation in High Holy Day services is part of membership in CSH. For those who wish to join us for prayer but not as members, we ask for our usual minimum contribution of $175, to help defray our expenses. And of course, we hope members and non-members will be as generous as you can, enabling us to continue the work we do. Click here to pay your membership dues or fulfill your High Holy Day pledge.