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High Holy Days 5780 FAQ

What's Changing This Year, What's Staying the Same...As We Remain One Congregation Together 

The One Congregation Together Service for Rosh HaShanah combines the most beloved elements of our Traditional and Unplugged services in a new way.

We are a vast and varied congregation.  We range in age from newborn to 103 years old.  We come from far-flung places like Tasmania and the Ukraine, and from local neighborhoods like Aventura and Hibiscus Island.  Our religious origins range from Orthodox Jewish to Mormon.  We are Jews by birth and Jews by Choice and non-Jews who dwell within our community.  Our spiritual practices include yoga, meditation, running, daily Sh’ma and wrapping tefillan.  We are married, widowed, partnered and single.  Some of us have five children; others have none. Because of our great diversity, there can be no “one size fits all” spiritual offering that meets all our members’ needs all the time.  

And yet, at Temple Beth Sholom, we are striving to honor who you are and satisfy your spiritual desires.  This is how and why the “Unplugged” High Holy Day Service was created—to offer an alternative to our members who were looking for a different type of spiritual experience.

At the same time as we have worked to create two very different High Holy Day worship offerings, many of you have shared how much you wish the congregation would worship together as one.  This year, we are developing a new Rosh HaShanah experience to fulfill that desire and bring our congregation together as one.  

Many of you have told us how important your family’s Erev Rosh HaShanah dinner is.  It has prevented you from attending services because it is too stressful to rush through dinner in order to get to Temple on time.  Believe me, I know!  This year, we will have only one evening service at 6:00 pm.  This service will be appropriate for most 3rd graders and older.  (Childcare will be offered by reservation for pre-schoolers to 2nd graders.)  Our 6:00 pm service will conclude by 7:15 pm so that you can still share a holiday meal with family and friends if you wish.  Additionally, we will provide a dinner table discussion guide for you to continue the conversation started by the sermon at home together.  

On Rosh HaShanah morning there will be one new service at 9:30 am that combines the most beloved elements of our Traditional and Unplugged services in a new way.  This service will conclude in time for families and friends to enjoy lunch together.  Youth Experience and Childcare will run parallel to the times of the Rosh HaShanah service for our children with opportunities for teens who do not wish to attend the Sanctuary service.  (We encourage all children and teens who wish to attend the Sanctuary service and are able to actively participate to do so.)  Children’s Services and Tashlich will be on Rosh HaShanah afternoon, as usual.

On Yom Kippur, we will once again offer two different spiritual opportunities for our congregation for all of you who have grown to love these special services.  Our Unplugged Service will be at 8:45 am, followed by our Traditional Service at 11:30 am  However, since so many of you bring your children to the Unplugged Service, we will only be offering a youth experience during the Traditional Service at 11:30 am only. (Childcare and programming will be available at 8:45 am for preschool age children—2nd graders at 8:45 am by advance reservation.) Children’s Services, Afternoon Services, Yizkor and N’eilah will take place, as they always have, in the afternoon.

Please make sure to review all these changes carefully in order to make your holiday experience meaningful and sacred.  I hope that our new Rosh HaShanah offerings as One Congregation Together will be joyful and uplifting, and our Yom Kippur services will continue to be soulful and resonate deeply.

Thank you for sharing your hopes and desires with our clergy so that we may continuously strive to meet your spiritual needs.  We are vast and varied, but we are also One. Thank you for making Temple Beth Sholom your spiritual home.

Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz

Sat, September 30 2023 15 Tishrei 5784