High Holy Days 5781/2020

This High Holy Days will be our 52nd year of providing High Holy Days services.

We hope you will come and join us on ZOOM!

Our services and celebrations will be led by Rabbi Stan Levy and Rabbi Laura Owens.  Again this year we will have Cantor Edward Robin on site plus pre-recorded pieces of Edward and Rebekah Mirsky, plus Roberta Belson, Joey De Rusha, Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Richard Hardy, Joy Krauthammer, Lynda Levy, RebbeSoul, and Stefani Valadez.


B'nai Horin Bruce Richard Joey (C) Joy Krauthammer P1110243 copy

The Jewish High Holy Days/Days of Awe are a time for deep mindfulness, contemplation, meditation, reflection and prayer, though silence  and sound, through words and through music, and mostly, through deepest feelings.


The theme of our High Holy Days services this year is 

“Why Living a Jewish Life Matters.”

During this most unusual and challenging time in our lives, we turn to our tradition to help us find comfort and wisdom. As Jews, we can look to our Torah and our 3000 years of teachings for  insight and guidance. We can call upon the beauty that our mitzvot offer, leading us to a new sense of purpose and meaning. We have the key to unlock the door that opens us to both healing and action; that key is being together as a community, physically distanced but spiritually connected, finding an antidote to our anxiety and fear, a prescription for our souls to refresh, renew and replenish.

As we navigate these uncharted waters, we acknowledge that we may feel at sea, but we are all in the same boat: searching for answers, desperate for respite, longing for solid ground on which to move forward.

This year the text of our lives has us living through a plague that has already killed more than 150,000 people in the United States and over 650,000 people worldwide and, with no clear end in sight, has disrupted our lives in ways almost unimaginable less than six months ago.

This time in the Jewish calendar provides us with precisely what we need to transition into a new year. We have the month of Elul to look back critically, yet with compassion, at the year just passed; we have Selichot, which allows us to enter the Days of Awe with a deeper understanding of the issues of forgiveness that will face us; and we have the New Year and the Day of At-One-Ment to usher in opportunities for growth and change.

We commit ourselves to offering our High Holy Days services in ways which will merge the texts of our prayers with the text of our lives; to enable us to create greater inner and interpersonal resources; to open ourselves to perspectives that will allow us to live our lives with authenticity and courage. Through prayer, meditation, music and song, and practices of gratitude; with blessings, awe, joy, and hope we will welcome the year 5781.

This year, more than ever, we look forward to your participation in our services. This year, more than ever, your presence is required to ignite the sparks of holiness that we provide for each other. This year, more than ever, we invite you to help us create a High Holy Days experience that will enlighten, enrich and elevate us all. This year, we are all  “essential workers” whose job it is to create sacred space in sacred time.

The High Holy Days/Days of Awe cycle begins with Selihot – a time of focusing on the subject of forgiveness, “Whom do we need to forgive, to whom do we need to apologize to and by whom do we need to be forgiven and for what.” (Sat September 12th, 2020 at 7 pm, on ZOOM.)

B'nai Horin cantors Ed Rebecca (C) Joy Krauthammer P1110489 copyRosh Hashana – The “New Year” (or a Year of New Consciousness) celebrates a time of  renewal of mind, body, spirit and relationships. The Days of our lives are like pages of a book. Each year we begin with a new blank slate, how we live each day is how we write the next chapters in the Book of our Life. (Friday evening Sept 18th thru Sun the 20th, 2020, on ZOOM.)

Tashlik ends the  second day of Rosh Hashana when we go to the ocean to cleanse and heal our hearts from some of its brokenness and pain.

B'nai Horin Joey DeRusha Richard Hardy (C) Joy Krauthammer wm P1020650 copyYom Kippur is a day of Atonement/At-one-ment.  It begins with Kol Nidre – focusing on (often hidden) negative patterns and character traits, which “sabotage” our hopes, our dreams and our relationships, and we annul those negative patterns and traits.  Yom Kippur Day is a time of focusing on the misuse of energy and mistakes we make so we can be more positive and full of hope and loving and vision in the new year.  (Sunday Evening September 27th thru Monday September 28, 2020,on ZOOM.)

Succot celebrates a time of gratitude and thanksgiving for how our lives are blessed.  (At the home of Rabbi Stan & Lynda Levy, Sat Oct 2, 2020, from 10 til 12 pm, on ZOOM.  See our Calendar & Events for details)

Simhat Torah celebrates the Joy and Love of Living.  (At the home of Rabbi Stan & Lynda Levy, Sat Oct 10, 2020, from 10 til 1 pm, on ZOOM.  See our Calendar & Events for details) 

We hope you will join us at this time of renewal.  We promise you a full of wonder experience.

Rabbi Stan and Rabbi Laura



All of our High Holy Day services will be on ZOOM.  Rabbi Stan and Rabbi Laura will be at the American Jewish University, with Cantor Edward Robin and their spouses.  In addition, Marlee Goldshine and Peggi Sturm will be present to host the ZOOM presentation to everyone else!


The David Alan Shapiro Memorial Synagogue Center, inspired by the life of David Alan Shapiro, is a facility for prayer and meditation, a place to celebrate life cycle events, and a multipurpose location for classes and meetings. Designed by award winning architect Paul Murdoch, the synagogue includes the Gates of Passage stained glass windows. These windows, crafted by artists David and Michelle Plachte-Zuieback, express the fundamental motifs of Judaism: Creation, Revelation, Redemption and Immortality.

We are looking forward to celebrating the Holy Days with you!