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Elul 2022: Getting Ready for the High Holidays

elul zodiac mosaic - cycle of Jewish months

In the month of Elul, we have 29 days before Rosh Hashanah to start reconnecting with our inner life and realigning with God and with those around us. FTJC offers multiple ways in to this fertile period of time. Let's really use Elul to enter the atmosphere of the High Holidays, to do our spiritual work, and to set ourselves up for a powerful experience of this year's Days of Awe.

Prayer and Ritual Experiences

Elul Outdoor Singing Circles
Saturdays in September
One hour before Minchah prayers

Sept 3, 6:10 PM
Sept 10, 5:55 PM
Sept 17, 5:45 PM
Sept 24, 5:30 PM
Bennett Park, SE Corner

Join FTJC prayer leaders and community members for 45 minutes to sit, sing, and settle into this time of reflection. We'll be using nigunim (wordless melodies) and piyutim (liturgical poetry) from Elul and the High Holidays to enter the season and become more familiar with some of the holiday music. Also a great opportunity to see each other and be in community outdoors. Weather permitting; there are park benches, but lawn chairs and picnic blankets are also encouraged.

Late-Night Selichot
Saturday, September 17
11:30 PM - 12:45 AM
Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall
Livestream available on Zoom and in the FTJC Community group on Facebook

Rabbi Guy will lead us in this powerful late-night intensification of our preparations for the Days of Awe: a singing, swaying service that brings us closer to the poetry and passion of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For Zoom link please e-mail

Weekday Morning Services with Shofar
Every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday in Elul, beginning August 28
Sundays, 8:00 AM
Mondays and Thursdays, 7:00 AM
Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall

Our weekday minyan is back, three days a week, concluding each morning with blasts of the shofar and the Psalm for the Season of Repentance. These services begin with an abridged Selichot from the week before Rosh Hashanah.
No service on Sunday September 18 (after Late-Night Selichot).
Service on Sunday September 25 (Erev Rosh Hashanah) includes Hatarat Nedarim (Release of Vows) but not Shofar.

Jewish Learning for Adults (Zoom)
Elul: The Case for Regret
Thursday September 8
8:15-9:15 PM

Learn with FTJC's Rabbi Guy Austrian. Through a scholarly detective story, we'll search halachic texts for the criteria about whom a community should appoint as its prayer leaders during Elul and the High Holidays--specifically, whether there is a minimum age requirement and if so, how old. The results may surprise us, as we consider the role of regret, grief, and imperfection in our leaders' lives--and our own. For Zoom link please e-mail 

Teshuvah: Returning or Repentance?
Sunday September 18
8:15-9:15 PM

Learn with FTJC's student clergy intern, Amalya Volz. One of the major themes of the High Holidays, teshuvah, can be translated as both ‘return’ and ‘repent’. In this shiur and discussion, we will explore the difference between these meanings, and think about which feels like a better personal approach as we enter the chagimFor Zoom link please e-mail

Rimonim: Youth & Family Community
Rimonim Welcome-Back Ice Cream Social
Saturday, September 10
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Bennett Park

Please join us immediately after shul on Saturday September 10 in Bennett Park for ice cream, schmoozing, and games in Bennett Park, around 11:30am-12:30pm. Baseball mitts and a frisbee will be provided - please bring whatever sports equipment and Shabbat-friendly games you'd like to play. We're looking forward to reconnecting after our long, eventful summers! Questions to Diya,


Wed, February 8 2023 17 Shevat 5783