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High Holidays 5781/2020

High Holidays

Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year)!

At Congregation Sherith Israel, we honor tradition and embrace innovation. This year will be more innovative than the 169 years that came before. We hope that your experience with us is both meaningful and uplifting.

Got kids? All of our High Holiday services are open to adults and children. We also offer Tot Yontif, a short family-friendly service designed for kids 5 and under each evening. Family Morning Services are appropriate for all ages, and are designed for families with school age children.

Join me, Rabbi Abby Phelps, Cantor Toby Glaser, music director Jonathan Dimmock and our amazing choir as we welcome 5781 together. Shanah Tovah — Wishing you a sweet and healthy new year!

—Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf


  FAQ          Schedule

Our main Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur service videos will premiere publicly at the times listed on this page.

Registration is required only for nonmembers to participate in livestreamed events, which take place on Zoom.

Thank you for understanding.

Please note: all events or videos will take place on-line; there will be no in-person events at the synagogue.

Questions about how to watch high holiday services? Read below for more information.



Friday, Sept. 18 

5:30 pm: Tot Yontif for children ages 5 and under and their families. Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

7:30 pm: Evening Service (Press play on the video player below at 7:30 pm.)

Instant premiere will autoplay- please scroll to the beginning of view to watch from start.


Saturday, Sept. 19 

9:30 am: Family Service Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

10:30 am: Morning Service (all ages)  [Video will appear here at 10:30 am]

Player not working? Click here

Tashlich: DIY (do it yourself) Download instructions here

Torah Study/ Afternoon programs

1:00–2:00 pm: Torah Study with Rabbi Abby Phelps Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

3:00 pm: Rosh Hashanah Challah Demonstration with Gordon Gladstone. Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.


Sunday, Sept. 27

5:30 pm: Tot Yontif for children ages 5 and under and their families. Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

7:30 pm: Evening Service [Video will appear here at 7:30 pm]


Monday, Sept. 28 

9:30 am: Family Service Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

10:30 am: Morning Service (all ages) [Video will appear here at 10:30 am.]

1–2:00 pm: Torah Study Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

2:30–3:30 pm: Social Action session, learn about opportunities to get involved in repairing the world. Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

3:30 pm: Healing Service led by Ruth Auerbach and Shira Shore, featuring piano by Music Director, Jonathan Dimmock. Please register for Zoom Meeting Link.

5 pm: Yizkor and Ne’ilah [Video will appear here at 5 pm.]

High Holy Day FAQs

Q. Why aren't our main services on Zoom?

A. We pre-recorded our services and will be releasing the videos on YouTube and Vimeo.

Q. What can I expect of our your high holiday services?

A. Our staff and clergy team have produced a series of five professionally-produced videos capturing remarkable musical performances, traditional prayers and insightful sermons.

Q. Why can't I watch a high holiday video yet?

A. We are premiering each high holiday video at the times listed above.

Q. Why do I have to register- I'm a member (and have been for a long time)?

A. We are asking everyone to register, that way we have the BEST email to send you the link for services. We will send all of our members the link at their email on file right before services as well.

Q. Where are the services being held?

A. Service videos were recorded in our historic sanctuary with physical distancing and PPE.

Q. Who is leading this year?

A. The main service will be lead by Rabbi Graf and Cantor Glaser. Rabbi Phelps will be leading the family services. Smaller activities and services have a variety of leaders.

Q. Can I come and sit in the balcony and promise not to sing, talk or cough?

A. No, for your safety and ours, only staff was present during recording.

Q. You said recording, does that mean that services aren't live?

A. In order to keep our staff, clergy and musicians safe we are recording many parts in advance. This will allow us to conduct services from our historic sanctuary and keep everyone healthy.

Q. Can I bring my friends, cousins, grandparents, etc? What does that cost?

A. Yes, services are open to all. We ask that all of our non-member guests consider making a donation to help Sherith Israel thrive now and in the years to come.

Q. How can I get a prayerbook?

A. We are mailing an abbreviated prayerbook to all of our member households. We will also post the PDF version on this page. In addition you can purchase the full prayerbook we use directly from CCAR Press. There are various versions, including one for Kindle readers.

Q. Where can I get one of those great Jewish calendars that you have each year?

A. We have them in the office, we are in most days M-F, but call ahead if you are making a trip across town.

Q. I donated for a listing in the Memorial Book, where can I get a copy?

A. Memorial books will be mailed with the prayerbook in early September. We will also post a PDF version on this page.


More Questions?  Please email

Fri, September 25 2020 7 Tishrei 5781