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High Holydays Information

We wish everyone a Shanah Tovah, a good, safe and worthwhile year ahead.

In these extraordinary times the High Holydays present us with exceptional challenges: how do we reach out and bring our community together? How do we make the stirring music, moving liturgy and profound themes of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur accessible to as many of us as possible, when we cannot meet together to study, pray, celebrate, talk, eat and fast in our customary communal manner?

Following the guidance of our rabbis, the hard work of our professional and lay leadership teams and the support of several hundred volunteers, we are offering a programme which includes in-person services, streamed services (within the guidance of halakhah in this exceptional time of need), Zoom services before and after the close of Yom Tov, and a rich range of study opportunities. Additionally, we are sending a specially prepared publication, Open the Gates: A Companion to the High Holydays in our lockdown year, with insights into key prayers and reflective materials to every member of our community in the days before Rosh Hashanah.

Inevitably there is a lot of detailed information to communicate about what we are offering, when and where it is happening, and how to be involved. We have done our best to set it out in a way that is easy to digest and navigate and ask everyone to read it carefully. We have also included a section of frequently asked questions.

We are aware that not everything will go according to plan; there are so many unknown factors. In this season of forgiveness and understanding, we therefore request everyone’s forbearance and cooperation. Please kindly help us do our best together as one community.

This year offers not only challenges but rich opportunities. The last months have forced us to rethink our habitual ways of life. The High Holydays offer us the opportunity to open our hearts to the spiritual and moral wisdom of Judaism as we reflect on the meaning and direction of our lives.

May the New Year bring us renewed strength and lead us into better days.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
Nicki Tiefenbrun, Co-chair
Harriet Oppenheimer, Co-chair

 

Learning & Events

Please follow this link to see the range of study opportunities, all available on Zoom, to help us enter the spirit and reflect on the themes of the High Holydays.

Services

We are offering a wide range of In Person, Zoom and Streamed Services across Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Follow this link for details and you can click here to download a printable version of the full schedule.

Detailed Q&A

Please follow this link for answers to questions we anticipate many of you will have about how everything is going to work.

In Person Services

Please follow this link to see the details, including timings and booking arrangements for all our in-person services, which include traditional, egalitarian, family and explanatory options

Booking for in person services is now closed.

Zoom Services

Please follow this link to see details of our services on Zoom which will all take place before the onset or after the close of Yom Tov. They include a pre-Rosh Hashanah evening service, Kol Nidrei, Yizkor and the closing sections of Neilah.

Streamed Services

Please follow this link for details of our streamed services that will be offered on first and second day Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. These will include liturgically traditional, explanatory, family and toddler options. They will all operate on a ‘set and forget’ basis as set out in this rabbinic paper. You can find instructions on how to set your own computer/tablet within our rabbis’ halakhik guidelines here.

Selichot Services

An extra date has been added, on Wednesday 23rd September at 8pm, that will also be streamed via Zoom. To attend in person, please book at this link; these services will offer an opportunity to hear some of the best loved melodies of this season and also hear the shofar.

Community Countdown to Rosh Hashanah

From Monday 7th September, look out for the return of the daily 11am Community Facebook Live spot, bringing you members of the community and tales of their preparations for Rosh Hashanah.

Thu, 22 October 2020 4 Cheshvan 5781