CONGREGATION KEHILLAH — High Holy Days 2020/5781


All your High Holy Days information, in one place

The season of teshuva (return) — returning to community, hope, possibility, G-d, prayer, love,

and the best that is in each of us — is upon us.

Your participation will enhance our Holy Days, and we, in turn, hope to provide you with a truly meaningful, uplifting, inspirational and transformative High Holy Days experience.

~ Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman


This Year . . .
With our building closed, High Holy Days services will be streamed on YouTube. Rabbi Sharfman will be coming to you live from our sanctuary. Services will include pre-recorded music from our choir.
We will send you the link to our YouTube channel a few days before Rosh Hashanah.  In the meantime, please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:  SUBSCRIBE HERE
In advance of services, you are invited to pick up your Machzorim, Yizkor Book, and small gift from the congregation, all yours to keep. (See Pre-Holiday Drive-Thru in the Important Dates section, below.)
Family and friends are welcome. Since we will not be selling tickets, we suggest a donation be made to the synagogue, You can donate through our secure website or send a check to our mailing address.


Welcome to the High Holy Days

Remember the warmth and connection you feel when you walk into Kehillah?

This year…

you are your own greeter. Here are some suggestions for enhancing your High Holy Days experience from the comfort of your own home.

First, consider your environment

  • Choose a spot in your home that’s comfortable for all. Can you all see the screen easily?
  • How’s the temperature and lighting?
  • Put your cellphones and other devices in another room.
  • Why not move some favorite Judaica items or precious photos close by?

Next, “What are you wearing?”

  • We hope you’ll dress up, or wear something special!
  • It is the High Holy Days, after all.
  • Wear your talit on the morning of Rosh Hashanah, for Kol Nidre, and for Yom Kippur, as well as a kippah for all services.

Finally, be present


E.M. Forster said, “only connect.”

Moses said, “Hineni,” Here I am.

Follow along with Machzorim and sing and pray from your heart. “The energy you put out there matters,” Rabbi Sharfman has said. You will be changed by it, Kehillah will be changed by it, and Klal Yisrael will be changed by your heartfelt participation.

Important Dates

Tech Help

  • Contact us as soon as possible
  • If you have a smart TV (we recommend it over laptop viewing) and wish to view services on your television instead of your computer, please let us know as we have a Board Member willing to help you set this up ahead of time.

Pre-Holiday Drive-Thru

Sunday, August 16th, 9:00-11:00 am

  • Come to Kehillah to pick up your High Holy Days Machzorim, Yizkor book, and a small gift from us to you.
  • Stay in your car and just pop your trunk open so we put the items right in. Remember to remove these items as soon as you get home, as some items could melt! (Please keep in mind that the Machzorim contain God’s name and should not be put on the floor or thrown away.
  • After Yom Kippur, if you do not wish to keep your Machzorim, please do not discard! Contact us.)
  • If you are unable to come to the drive-thru, let us know and we’ll make other arrangements to get everything to you.

Navigating the High Holy Days: Helping to Understand what the High Holy Days are about

Mondays, August 17th and 24th, 6:30-7:45 pm

  • Rabbi Sharfman teaches this class, presented through BJE on Zoom but free for Kehillah members. Registration is required. RSVP directly to Renee by 5:00 pm Thursday, August 13th to sign up at no charge.


Saturday, September 12th, 7:00 pm, starting with Havdalah

  • Selichot helps us prepare intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually for the High Holy Days. We’ll discuss a few thought-provoking stories from Jewish tradition, how they relate to us today, and what they can teach us.
  • Please RSVP to Renee to receive your Zoom link.

Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 18th, 7:30 pm

Saturday, September 19th, 10:00 am

  • All Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are multigenerational.
  • If you are participating with children, please see the next section for fresh ideas on related activities.

Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 27th, 7:30 pm (Kol Nidre)

Monday, September 28th, 10:00 am; and 4:00 pm

(Afternoon Service/Yizkor/Neilah/Havdalah)

Break the Fast, 6:30 pm

  • All Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are multigenerational.
  • If you are participating with children, please see the next section for fresh ideas on related activities.
  • Please join us via Zoom to Break the Fast as a community (Kehillah means community, after all!). You’ll have an opportunity to chat live with one another while you enjoy your favorite break-the-fast foods — provided by you! You must RSVP to Renee before the start of Yom Kippur in order to receive the Zoom link.

For YEP! Students and Other Children and Youth

Are you participating with your children or grandchildren? Here’s how to make this year extra special.

  • Have them use the activity booklet, created by Erica Erman.
  • Be sure to have crayons and markers on hand.
  • Watch for your family photos throughout High Holy Days services. If you haven’t sent in your photos yet, please send them to Renee now.
  • Have them join in “Guide My Steps” with the movements they are learning in YEP! Younger children will enjoy following along.
  • For younger children, have them jump up and down once or clap whenever they hear “amen.” (Hint: most amens are at the end of prayers, but sometimes in the middle!)

A Special Note About Yizkor

In the bag of items you will receive from the synagogue at the Pre-Holiday Drive-Thru, there will be a Yizkor booklet.

Here are answers to some questions you may have about Yizkor and the traditions surrounding its practice.

Do I say Yizkor during the first year of mourning?

Contrary to popular belief, yes. Clearly, Yizkor is said for a spouse, a child, and a sibling and, according to most authorities, for parents during the first year.*

Do I light a memorial candle when Yizkor is recited?

Yes. The 24-hour memorial candle should be lit in your home before the fast begins on Yom Kippur. On the other festivals, if your custom is to light a yahrzeit candle, use a flame from a pre-existing candle or other source to light the candle. These memorial candles are widely available in synagogue gift shops, kosher stores, and often in supermarkets. There is no blessing recited when you light the memorial candle, although it is certainly appropriate to reflect upon the memory of loved ones. The candle may be placed anywhere in the home.

What about donations?

In keeping with the origins of Yizkor, it is very appropriate to make a tzedakah contribution to honor those you are remembering.

The above is adapted from A Time to Mourn, A Time to Comfort, by Dr. Ron Wolfson

*A note from Rabbi Sharfman:

Yizkor prayers can be recited starting with the first holiday after your loved one’s passing. The Kaddish is traditionally recited daily for 11 months for a parent and 30 days following burial for a spouse, sibling or child.


We look forward to sharing

High Holy Days 5781 with you.



The High Holy Days are about transformation; changing ourselves and changing our world for the better. Jewish engagement and social responsibility go hand. You can make a difference through financially supporting Kehillah in our quest to build a congregational community committed to teaching and living these values. Click here for more information about the many important funds. Please consider supporting the work of Congregation Kehillah by mailing a check or making an online payment.