High Holidays

Fly Them To The Moon

In holiday sermons, rabbis use the story of the recently departed Neil Armstrong and other news events to start Jewish conversations.

09/11/2012
Staff Writer

‘One small step for man,” one giant metaphor for rabbis.

When it comes to detecting where the cultural and religious winds are blowing in the Jewish community, there’s no better barometer than the Rosh HaShanah sermon, the one time of the year when the faithful (and even the not so faithful) pack the pews and when rabbis try out their purplest prose in a bid for relevance.

Space for him in rabbis’ sermons: Neil Armstrong will be the subject of many High Holy Days pulpit remarks this year. Getty Imag

Preparing For High Holidays Services With A Child Who Has Special Needs

The time leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time of introspection and intense planning. We think about the past year and reflect on how we have changed and grown. At the same time many of us are juggling work, getting kids ready for school, making travel arrangements, planning out the menu, buying brisket and baking challah.  Most of us are not thinking about how we are going to get through services. For a parent of a child with a disability this thought might be on the top of their list. There might be a feeling of apprehension about the community’s ability to welcome their family in an inclusive way.

Lisa Tobin

A Teacher And His Runaway Student: Preparing for the High Holidays

On Tuesday night, August 26, the "spiritual pre-season," leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, began. We celebrated the first day of Elul, the Hebrew month during which Jews traditionally examine their behavior and contemplated self-improvement.

Rabbi Michael Levy

Colorado Flooding Wreaks Havoc On High Holiday Observances

09/17/2013
Story Includes Video: 
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Before the start of Yom Kippur, a flood of historic proportions swallowed Boulder, Colo., and surrounding areas, displacing families, damaging synagogues and threatening services on the holiest day of the Jewish year -- until determination came to the rescue.

Yom Kippur Humor

Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, editor of the "Big Book of Jewish Humor," tells the tale of a Yom Kippur Ne'ilah service that will really hound you.

Shuls On Alert

White House issues security guidelines for houses of worship, stressing precaution.

09/10/2013
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
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With the High Holy Days coming just as the U.S. military is poised to launch a punitive attack on Syria, an emergency preparations guide for houses of worship was released last week at the White House. But officials stressed that it is being issued solely as a precaution.

Paul Goldenberg

5 Synagogue Inclusion How-Tos For The Holidays

Ready or not, the High Holy Days are upon us!

Recently, Jewish Learning Venture hosted a webinar on “High Holiday Inclusion” as part of outreach to clergy and lay leadership in the Philadelphia vicinity. We are sharing some tips that we hope your community can utilize, either this year or in the future, to make your synagogue truly a house of worship for all people.

Clergy and synagogue staff can easily and cheaply do a lot to make services a happy and calm experience for everyone. Fotolia

High Holiday Resources From 'Gateways: Access To Jewish Education'

Gateways is a Boston-area organization that provides special education services, expertise and support to enable students with diverse learning needs to succeed in Jewish education settings and participate in Jewish life.

Towards this goal, we have created for the community a range of High Holiday resources: tools for educators and parents of young children and students with special needs.

Gateways has created special needs resources for the High Holidays, including season-specific blessings. Image via JGateways.org

Breaking News: New Disability-Sensitive High Holiday Service In Brooklyn!

East Midwood Jewish Center’s High Holy Days schedule of services and events grows this year with the addition of a new service sensitive to persons with a variety of needs. Their Sunday, September 8th service is between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, from 11:00 to noon. Cantor Sam Levine, with the assistance of friends from the EMJC community, will lead a lively and engaging service of prayer, Torah, song, story, music-making, and shofar blowing in a supportive atmosphere full of holiday joy.

Head to Brooklyn for a high holiday service designed with people who have disabilities in mind.

'Do Not Cast Us Aside At The Time Of Old Age'

After Shabbat next weekend, synagogues everywhere will conduct Selichot, the penitential prayer services. We will acknowledge God's sovereignty, confess our shortcomings yearn to be close to our Creator -- and we wil recite the "Shema Kolenu" prayer.

Rabbi Michael Levy
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