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High Holidays 2020: Holy at Home

silhouette of woman sounding shofar

Although we will so much miss being together with great numbers and vibrant song, this year offers us a High Holidays experience that will be quieter and more personal, reflective and contemplative, and certainly memorable. FTJC has many resources and celebrations to help us stay supported, connected, and ready to begin the blessings of the New Year! We are one community, although separated now by circumstances and scattered by location. Our commitment continues to be to strive to address the spiritual needs of our entire community. See below for a wide range of offerings and opportunities.

Elul Programming

With High Holiday services inaccessible or limited this year, 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.

Below are some Elul highlights. For a complete list of classes, workshops, and more, please see our Elul page here.

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 and required pre-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.

Home Resources for the High Holidays
Machzor Distribution and Delivery
Sunday September 13, 1:00-3:00 PM
Hebrew Tabernacle, 185th Street entrance

Straight from FTJC to your home, borrow a two-volume set of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur machzors, in a brand new FTJC tote bag, plus our new "Companion to the High Holidays" resource book. Drop by and say hi. If you can't leave home but live local, you can request a delivery by filling out this form ASAP. 

A Companion to the High Holidays: Resource Book
downloadable and hard copy
available now

This companion has something for everyone. Guides for praying at home, interpretive poetry for the season, Rabbi Guy Austrian’s sermons, reflections on the Torah and Haftarah readings, a teshuvah worksheet, and much more. Hard copies available at Machzor Distribution on Sunday Sept 13, 1:00-3:00 PM, at the Hebrew Tabernacle. PDF available for download here. If you are unable to leave home to get a hard copy, please request a local delivery using this form.

Video Recordings of High Holiday Highlights

Enjoy moving and joyful highlights recorded by beloved FTJC prayer leaders, plus Rabbi Guy's sermons, Torah readings from the scroll, and shofar! All videos are now posted here.

Online Prayer and Ritual (Zoom)
A Taste of Erev Rosh Hashanah
Friday, September 18
5:30-6:00 PM

May the new year and its blessings begin! Welcome the holiday with classic melodies, Torah, and community!

Yizkor for Yom Kippur
Thursday, September 24
8:00 PM

Reflections, memories, and prayers led by Rabbi Guy. Note: Yizkor will take place only on Zoom, and will not be included in the abridged liturgy at our in-person outdoor services .

Kol Nidrei
Sunday, September 27
6:00-6:45 PM

The whole community gathers for Kol Nidrei led by Jack Seidenberg, with a brief sermon from Rabbi Guy.

Community Break-Fast
Monday, September 28
7:45 PM

Celebrate and reconnect with R. Guy and friendly faces after the fast (official end: 7:23 PM). Bring your own nosh!

Rimonim Youth & Family Celebrations (Zoom)
Welcoming Rosh Hashanah with Rimonim
Friday, September 18
4:00 PM
Welcoming Yom Kippur with Rimonim
Friday, September 25
4:00 PM
Rimonim Youth & Family Resources
Zera'im (0-3 yrs)
Nitzanim (PreK-2nd) and Shorashim (3rd-5th)
Anafim (6th-8th)
Rosh Hashana Family Movie Night

We have created a discussion guide for the movie Groundhog's Day and how it relates to Elul themes of teshuvah. Groundhog's day can be found for free on Amazon Prime, or it can be rented on Youtube for $3.99. The movie is rated PG, but you can find a synopsis here to make sure this movie feels appropriate for your family to watch together. You can find the discussion guide here.

Shofar and Tashlich, Outdoors
Tashlich and Shofar at the Little Red Lighthouse
Sunday, September 20
2:00-5:00 PM

Volunteers will be on hand the whole time with Tashlich booklets and a smile. Shofar will be sounded at 3:00 PM by FTJC and 4:00 PM by the Beis Community. Thirty blasts to fulfill your mitzvah to hear shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

Shofar in Bennett Park
Sunday, September 20
2:00-5:00 PM

Shofar will be sounded at 2:30 PM by the Beis Community, 3:00 PM by Hebrew Tabernacle, and 3:30 PM by FTJC. Thirty blasts to fulfill your mitzvah to hear shofar on Rosh Hashanah.


In-Person High Holiday Services, Outdoors (Pre-registration only, limited attendance)

Limited outdoor in-person services represent one additional way in which some members of our community can observe the holidays during this difficult and unusual year. It’s important to know that much like our experiment with Shabbat morning services, these holiday services will be nothing like, and cannot substitute for, the celebratory FTJC High Holidays experience that we’ve come to know and love. Even so, we hope that the community will feel heartened by the hope and progress that these limited services represent, and that those who participate will enjoy a different kind of davening in a quiet setting surrounded by grass and trees.

Full details about the services, abbreviated liturgy, attendance limits, and the registration and lottery system, along with a registration form, will be shared by e-mail by Monday September 7.

Rosh Hashanah Day One
Saturday, September 19

7:00 AM - 10:30 AM Shacharit and Musaf, Service A

10:45 AM - 2:15 PM Shacharit and Musaf, Service B

Rosh Hashanah Day Two
Sunday, September 20

7:00 AM - 10:30 AM Shacharit and Musaf, Service A (with shofar)

10:45 AM - 2:15 PM Shacharit and Musaf, Service B (with shofar)

Yom Kippur
Sunday, September 27 and Monday, September 28

7:15 PM - 9:00 PM Ma'ariv (without Kol Nidrei)

7:00 AM - 9:00 AM Shacharit, Service A (without Yizkor)

9:15 AM - 11:15 AM Shacharit, Service B (without Yizkor)

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Musaf, Service A

1:45 PM - 3:45 PM Musaf, Service B

5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Minchah and Ne'ilah (with shofar)


Mon, September 27 2021 21 Tishrei 5782