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High Holy Days at Congregation Beth Israel - 2023


Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Elul (August 17) the blasts of the shofar herald the new year. Each day calls to the task of looking inward as we prepare to do teshuvah – to repent, to return, to make positive changes. Our services during these Days of Awe (Yamim Nora’im) gather the entire community together to engage with this important spiritual work.

We want to inform you, as much as we currently can, of how our observances of the Days of Awe will unfold this year, and to invite your participation in sacred service during this year’s High Holy Days. The schedule below, with a printable version on the left, lists the dates and times of events during this season of repentance, reflection, and celebration. And this year again,  all our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be in person, in our sanctuary. We ask that all who come to those services be fully vaccinated against Covid. Please stay home if you are feeling sick or recently tested positive for Covid. Of course, even with those precautions, not everyone will find it comfortable to attend in person, and for those people we are pleased to be able to announce that all services in the sanctuary will be live-streamed and available to watch via Zoom

Machzor for Zoom services: If you need a machzor (High Holy Days prayerbook) to follow along at home, please contact the office to coordinate pickup or delivery by members of the T'micha committee.

Here are some highlights about our observances of the Days of Awe this year. Scroll down for the full schedule and links to register for certain events (coming soon).

  • This year's Welcome Back Event (Friday, September 8) begins with a Tot Shabbat family gathering at 5:45 pm. A community-wide potluck dinner will be held at 6:15 pm, hosted by the membership committee. At 7:30 pm, Rabbi Linda and Rabbi Nathan will lead Shabbat services, accompanied by BIMAS. We will have some contemplative moments during the service to change the synagogue vestments as a physical sign of moving into the High Holy Day season.
  • For Selichot (Saturday, September 9), Kehillot congregations are invited to come together on Zoom for a program and discussion about lyricist Leonard Cohen, followed by services led by Rabbi Linda, along with other rabbis.
  • Services for Rosh Hashanah (beginning the evening of Friday 9/15) and Yom Kippur (beginning the evening of Sunday 9/24) will be in the sanctuary and livestreamed on Zoom. See the schedule below for details.
  • Following services at Beth Israel, and weather permitting, an intergenerational picnic (BYO lunch), and combined Tashlich and shofar service will be held at Smedley Park on Rosh Hashanah Day 2 (Sunday, September 17). There will be a program for teens with the rabbis during the picnic.
  • Then, we move into the festivals of Sukkot and Simchat Torah and all of their joyous events!

Request guest tickets

I want to participate!

For up-to-date information about this year’s High Holy Days, including the schedule, look for emails and check back on this webpage. More details and registration links are coming soon! Questions and concerns can be addressed to Laura Lee Blechner and Larry Hamermesh.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing all of you very soon!
See the Essential High Holy Days Links section for important links and information.

RSVP for Events: 

Zoom links will be sent by email and are here for members

Welcome Back: Tot Shabbat, Potluck Dinner, and Services 

Friday, September: Tot Shabbat 5:45 pm Potluck Dinner 6:15 pm Services 7:30 pm

Selichot Program and Services (on Zoom)

Saturday, September 9 at 8:15 pm 

Apple Picking at Linvilla Orchards

Sunday, September 10 at 10:00 am

Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 15 at 7:30 pm Erev Rosh Hashanah services (sanctuary and Zoom) 
Saturday, September 16 at 10:00 am Rosh Hashanah services (sanctuary and Zoom)
Saturday, September 16 at 10:00 am Rosh Hashanah family service (lower level only); child care available afterwards (until approx. 12:30 pm)
Sunday, September 17 at 10:00 am Rosh Hashanah services (sanctuary and Zoom)
Sunday, September 17 at 12:00 pm Outdoor Picnic (BYO Lunch), Shofar & Tashlich Event for Tots, Teens & the Whole Community with Rabbi Linda & Rabbi Nathan at Smedley Park (Shofar and Tashlich at approx 1:30 pm)

Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 24 evening at 7:00 pm including Kol Nidre (sanctuary and Zoom)
Monday, September 25:
Morning Service 10:00 am, with Yizkor service at approximately 12:30 pm (sanctuary and Zoom)
Yom Kippur Morning Family Service 10:00 am (lower level only); child care available afterwards (until approx. 1:00 pm)
Drumming at 3:30 pm (Outside at BI)
Healing Service led by Rabbi Linda at 4:15 pm (Zoom only)
Healing Service led by Rabbi Linda at 4:45 pm (sanctuary only)
Mincha/afternoon service with Avodah & Martyrology at 5:30 pm (sanctuary and Zoom)
Neilah/closing service at approx 6:30 pm (sanctuary and Zoom) followed by a break-the-fast nosh


Tuesday, September 26 at 3:00 pm Sukkah Structure Building (adults & teens please); 4:00 pm to help cut, gather, and install corn roof (skhakh)
Friday, September 29 at 6:30 pm - Shabbat/Sukkot Services Around the Table with Rabbi Linda, Catered Dinner $15/person, Optional Potluck Beer Tasting (age 21 and older) everything will be outside in sukkah, weather permitting.  Please RSVP and pay for dinner
Sunday, October 1 Sukkot Programming:
Hebrew School Tefilla/Prayers in the Sukkah (all are welcome) 9:30 am
Program for Parents with Rabbi Linda (in the Sukkah) 10:00 am
Sukkah Decorating during Hebrew School (all are welcome) 11:00 am
Pizza Lunch for everyone in the Sukkah ($5/person for pizza) 12:00 pm
Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 pm Fellowship of Urban Suburban Engagement dinner and program in the Sukkah RSVP needed

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Friday, October 6 at 7:30 pm Shabbat/Shemini Atzeret service with Rabbi Nathan (Zoom)
Saturday, October 7 at 9:45 am Shabbat Simchat Torah Celebration, including Hebrew School, with Rabbi Linda, Rabbi Nathan, and BIMAS. Potluck kiddush lunch after services.

Thu, September 21 2023 6 Tishrei 5784