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Elul 2020: 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. With High Holiday services inaccessible or limited because of the pandemic, let's really use Elul to enter the atmosphere of the holidays and do our spiritual work and personal education. Elul can help us to have a powerful experience of this year's High Holidays, no matter where we are or who we're with.


Prayer and Ritual Experiences (Zoom)
Rosh Chodesh Elul Services
Thursday and Friday, August 20 and 21
8:00 AM

Featuring Hallel, an opportunity to say Mourner's Kaddish (modified for virtual services) -- and on Friday, the year's first sounding of the Shofar!

Sunday Morning Services with Shofar
Every Sunday in Elul: August 23 and 30, September 6 and 13
8:45 AM

A virtual tefillah service including Mourner's Kaddish (modified) and Shofar. The Sunday before Rosh Hashanah, September 13, will also include Selichot.

Selichot Programming
Saturday night, September 12
8:30 PM - 3:00 AM

Due to the pandemic, FTJC is not able to offer our traditional in-person late-night service. However, the national Conservative Movement is offering seven hours of learning sessions, musical moments, and Selichot services, stretching from Havdalah on the East Coast to midnight on the West Coast. Info, links, and registration:

Rosh Hashanah Seder
Tuesday, September 15
8:00 PM

A weave of text learning, song, drinking, and symbolic foods for the New Year. A reflective and fun experience to help us on the path of teshuvah and celebration in community. Led by Rabbi Guy Austrian and FTJC's student clergy intern Naomi Zaslow.


Workshops and Classes (Zoom)
Art Beit Midrash
Three Mondays, August 24 and 31, September 7
8:00 PM

Learn a shtickel torah, make a shtickel art! Join FTJC member Amalya Sherman for a 3 part art class to prep for Rosh Hashanah. At each session we will learn an excerpt from the holiday's Torah Reading and do a guided art activity. Making text-based art can help us to internalize the text and generate fresh interpretations. Especially invited: people who are "not artists" and "can't draw", experienced artists, and everyone in between. Pre-requisite skills: fluency in writing your name, ability to rip paper. Registration Required here by 8/21.

Open Beit Midrash
Three Wednesdays, August 26, September 2 and 9
8:00 PM

Come learn in our community homegrown Zoom Beit Midrash (house of study) over the course of Elul. Bring your own Elul learning project and get help from our Beit Midrash facilitaor, or join a learning session with guest teachers from our community. August 26: Sheva Zucker on "Elul in the Yiddish Tradition." September 2: Samuel Gelman. September 9: Dani Kogan  

Rebbe's Tisch
Four Thursdays, August 20 and 27, September 3 and 10

An adult gathering for drinking, singing, and torah. Led by FTJC members Rabbi Sara Zacharia and Adam Masser.

Tap Reset: Teshuvah for the Self
Tuesday, August 25
8:00 PM

We talk often about teshuvah in terms of asking for forgiveness from others and from God. What about forgiving ourselves when we regret not living up to our own goals? Led by FTJC student clergy intern Naomi Zaslow.

Cultivating Yirah (Awe) through the Machzor
Tuesday, September 1
8:00 PM

Yirah is the spiritual quality of facing where we are not in control. We'll explore its connection to fear and trust and how it can open us up towards intimacy and love, using material from the machzor for personal reflection and small group conversation. Led by FTJC member Rabbi Lisa Goldstein.

Power Dynamics and Tochechah: Tractate Yoma
Sunday, September 6
8:00 PM

Exploring an aggadah (narrative) from the Talmud in Yoma about tochechah (rebuke) & public/personal wrongdoing in conversation with the complexities of "cancel culture," power dynamics, and oppression. Led by FTJC member Laynie Soloman.

Cooking Class with Jack Greene
Tuesday, September 8
7:45 PM

Still deciding what to cook for your holiday meals this year? Join Jack Greene for a cooking class where he will share how to make his signature brisket, as well as his kiddush classic sesame noodles!

Rimonim: Youth & Family Programs
(In-Person, Registration Required)
Zera'im (newborn to 3)
Rosh Hashanah Song Circle
Sunday, August 30
3:00 PM
Location given via required pre-registration (to come).

Singing, music, joy, and community as we bless the new year with Mira and Rabbi Guy.

Nitzanim (pre-K to 2nd Gr)
Rosh Hashanah Card Making for Community Elders
Sunday, August 30
4:00 PM
Location given via required pre-registration (to come).

Let's come together for the art and the craft of wishing others a Happy New Year! with Mira and Rabbi Guy

Shorashim (3rd to 5th Gr)
Today the World was Created: Scavenger Hunt in the Park
Sunday, September 6
4:00 PM
Location given via required pre-registration (to come).

Anticipating the joy of Rosh Hashanah, birthday of the world, with a game exploration of Creation! with Mira and Rabbi Guy. 

Anafim (6th grade and up)
The World is Created Every Day: Forest Walk 
Sunday, September 13
4:00 PM
Location given via required pre-registration.

Experiencing amazement and looking for miracles, through close attention to Creation, as we head toward Rosh Hashanah, birthday of the world. A fun, active, and contemplative walk through the forest with Rabbi Guy and Mira.


Fri, July 30 2021 21 Av 5781