High Holy Days 5782/2021

This High Holy Days will be our 53rd year of providing High Holy Days services.

Like last year, we hope you can join us by Zoom.

As a result of the Covid-19 variant, we will have our High Holy Days Services via Zoom from the Sanctuary at American Jewish University again this year.

We were so looking forward doing it live and in person, but we have to make sure all of us and  all of our congregants feel safe and secure.

Our services and celebrations will be led by Rabbi Stan Levy and Rabbi Laura Owens, Cantor Edward Robin and Cantorial soloist Stephani Valadez.  We look forward to welcoming back our musicians and singers Joey De Rusha, Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Richard Hardy, Joy Krauthammer, Lynda Levy, Skye Braband and RebbeSoul.  And this year, Niv Ashkenazi, a world class, renowned violinist and his wife, Leah Kohn will join us.

The theme of our High Holy Days services this year is 

“HOW TO MAKE LIVING A NEW YEAR, LIVING A NEW LIFE.”   

Our High Holy Days tradition teaches us “A new year should begin a new life.”

We had hoped to be able to convene in person for our High Holy Days services, but the ever-changing condition of our world has led us to the decision to hold our services once again this year on zoom.

Our Jewish tradition values Pikuach Nefesh, the saving of a soul/life, as our highest priority, and we are following our best guidance in making this choice.

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 5782.

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. We urge you to join us for as many services as you can.

This time in the Jewish calendar provides us with precisely what we need to transition to a new year. The evening of Sunday, August 8th, began the month of Elul, 29 days during which we reflect upon the past year and begin to envision the year to come. The High Holy Days/Days of Awe cycle begins with Selihot, the week before Rosh Hashanah.   We focus on forgiveness in all its complexities: Whom do we need to forgive, and from whom do we need to ask forgiveness?  Our tradition encourages us to dig deep to respond to these important questions. (Saturday August 28th, 2021 at 7:30 pm on Zoom)

Rosh 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.

Monday evening Sept 6th at 7:30 PM, and  Tuesday Sept 7th at 10:30 am via 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.  Wednesday afternoon Sept 8th at Will Rogers State Beach Park at the beach at 2 pm.  (check our email for updates on this event)

Yom 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.

Wednesday Evening September 15th at 7:30 PM and Thursday September 16, 2021 from 10:30 til 5 pm via Zoom.

 

Succot & Simhat Torah will be celebrated together this year.

Saturday September 25th, 2021, at 10:30 AM via Zoom.


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

Rabbi Stan and Rabbi Laura