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Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah5781-2020

etrogs in rows

The fragility and vulnerability of the structures we rely upon has rarely been so apparent as in this pandemic year. But so is the joy of resting in the Divine Presence and being guided by Torah. We can connect to some of that joy this year, even in different forms, because the Source is the same.

The FTJC Sukkah will be in its usual location. There is no signup or scheduling for meals. But anyone who wishes to use it MUST pre-register and agree to our Covid safety guidelines. As usual, please clean up and leave no trace, so we don't have skunks as ushpizin (guests)! No smoking or alcohol of any kind.


Lulav & Etrog Pickup

Pre-orders are now closed. If you have pre-ordered a lulav and etrog, Pickups are Thursday October 1, 5:00-7:00 PM on the Lawn at Cabrini Shrine, 701 Fort Washington Ave., during the construction of the FTJC Sukkah. Please ask a friend to pick it up for you if you can't be there yourself at that time. We will not be able to hold it for you later or elsewhere.

Rimonim Youth & Family Celebrations (Zoom)

Welcoming Sukkot with Rimonim
Friday, October 2
4:00-4:30 PM

Families with children of all ages welcome! Please see below for an outline of our time together: 4:00-4:05 Welcome with singing 4:05-4:10 Breakout Rooms for grown-ups and kids to socialize. 4:10-4:15 Shabbat and Sukkot songs and Brachot 4:15-4:25 Sukkot Story 4:25-4:30 Singing to conclude.

Welcoming Simchat Torah with Rimonim
Friday, October 9
4:00-4:30 PM

Families with children of all ages welcome! Please see below for an outline of our time together: 4:00-4:05 Welcome with singing 4:05-4:10 Breakout Rooms for grown-ups and kids to socialize. 4:10-4:15 Shabbat and Simchat Torah songs and Brachot 4:15-4:25 Simchat Torah Story 4:25-4:30 Singing to conclude.


Rimonim Youth & Family Programs (Outdoors, Pre-Registration Only)

Nitzanim "Sukkot in Motion"
Saturday, October 3
3:00-3:45 PM

Join Nitzanim (PreK-2nd) outside of the Sukkah for Sukkot movement, games, and stories.

Zera'im "Sukkot Song Circle"
Saturday, October 3
4:00-4:45 PM

Join Zer'aim (newborns to 3K) Singing, music, joy, and community as we enjoy the Sukkah and being outside together.

Shorashim "Building Edible Sukkot"
Sunday, October 4
3:00-3:45 PM

Join Shorashim (3rd-5th) as we learn about the laws of building a Kosher Sukkah and make our own Kosher Sukkot!

Anafim "Sukkot Jeopardy"
Sunday, October 4
4:00-4:45 PM

Join Anafim (6th-8th) for an outdoor, interactive, Sukkot trivia, where we will learn all about Sukkot and get the chance to hang out with friends.

Ritual Programs for Adults (Zoom)

Reading of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) and Completion of the Torah
Tuesday, October 6
8:00-9:15 PM

A recitation of this ancient and confounding book of wisdom and life experience, read in synagogues during Sukkot. (FTJC will read Kohelet only on Zoom, not at our outdoor services.) Introduced with a brief teaching from our member Avigayil Halpern. Concluding with chanting of Vezot Haberachah, the last portion in the Torah.

Yizkor for Shemini Atzeret
Thursday, October 8
8:00-8:45 PM

With psalms, readings, and the liturgy of mourning, we call to mind those who have left our world. We wrestle with the blessings and burdens of their lives and our remembering.

Tikkun Leil Hoshana Rabbah
Thursday, October 8
9:00 PM - ?

Experience the age-old custom of rereading the entire Book of Deuteronomy on this night before the last day of Sukkot!


Community Programs for Adults (Outdoors, Pre-Registration Required)

Sukkot Nature Hike and Learning
Sunday, October 4
4:00-5:45 PM

A social stroll through beautiful Fort Tryon Park and the Inwood Hill Forest (and back, about 1.5 miles each way). At our destination in the forest, a brief text study with R. Guy about the halachah of waving the lulav and the spiritual dynamics of Sukkot.

Simchat Torah Sermon Slam
Sunday, October 11
3:30-5:00 PM

Members of the shul will give 3-minute Divrei Torah, with lots of good fun and audience participation. Interested in sharing some Torah? Here are the guidelines: 3 minutes long. Must include the phrase “I would like to suggest that ...”  Must include the posuk “Torah tzivah lanu Moshe morasha kehilat Yaakov” incorporated in a surprising, unexpected way (the more unexpected the better!). The audience will try to shout these phrases along with you (think Rocky Horror Picture Show) — you can try to make this as hard (or easy) for us as you want. To sign up or ask questions, e-mail Jamie Weisbach, See also:


Prayer Services (Outdoors, Pre-Registration Only)

Sukkot Day 1
Saturday, October 3
9:30-11:30 AM

With Hallel. On Shabbat, we do NOT bring lulav and etrog. 

Shemini Atzeret
Saturday, October 10
9:30-11:30 AM

With Hallel and Geshem (the annual prayer for rain). Not included: Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) or Yizkor. 

Regrettably, we are not able to offer services this year for other days of Sukkot or Hoshana Rabbah, nor for Simchat Torah. We pray for an end to the pandemic and a return to our sanctuaries, and for good health and endurance to stay connected until then in the many ways we still can.

Sun, June 20 2021 10 Tammuz 5781