High Holy Days 5781

INTRODUCTION

Who could have imagined the circumstances we are currently facing? When we gathered last year for High Holidays (which seems so long ago), no one pictured the stories to be written in the Book of Life for the past year 5780, would include the fact that we would need to shut down the synagogue in March and that the building would remain closed.  For your reference, here is the PDF of the 5781 High Holy Day booklet that was sent home recently to all of our members via USPS >>

And while the building will need to remain closed for the upcoming High Holidays to safeguard health – our community will create meaningful spiritual and communal experiences for the High Holidays of 5781.

How will we do that?

We will create online services that will be inspiring and allow for participation.  We will also create numerous opportunities to learn leading up to and throughout the holidays.

All of this is in the context of loss – we mourn the health and societal crisis that affects the world and each of us.  When we desperately need to be together, we are unable to gather.  Yet we adapt and in learning new ways to connect are able to find meaning.

There is a lot to think about as you prepare yourself for the upcoming High Holidays.  Please read this book carefully so that together we can create an experience that will lift you up.


ABOUT OUR SERVICES

Please note that 1) All services will be online this year due to San Mateo County’s shelter in place guidelines due to the Co-vid 19 pandemic) and 2) No tickets will be required this year, although online donations are always appreciated to support our unique and valuable programs.) We will send out Zoom links by email so that you can connect to the live services. There will be many options for you to choose from.

After much thought, we selected a live option so that everyone can participate in real time—having aliyot, doing readings, having brief moments of un-muting so that everyone can hear one another. As we see the boxes of different participants, we are able to feel a sense of community.

The disadvantage of this choice is that even in the best of Zoom productions there will be moments when the connection may be unstable, the screen may freeze, the words may garble, or you may not hear a person participating.  We will rehearse with every participant and use every tool within Zoom to make the experience as smooth as possible – but be prepared for a glitch or two.

Zoom Services 

  • Service length/place—attention span on Zoom is more limited than during in person services, therefore we will shorten the services this year.  Services and classes will be streamed from places of worship at CBJ to create a connection with our spiritual home. Dan Leemon will lead The Different Service from a dedicated space in his home as he has been doing with Junior Congregation.
  • Create a space where you will have services.  Think about how to make it a holy space—a comfortable place to sit, in a spot that is quiet.  Many have been going outside for services.  Dress up in holiday clothes. On Yom Kippur, wear white to symbolize sins being forgiven.  For Erev Rosh Hashanah,  have candles to light, a kiddush cup and challah. We will also have Kiddush and Motzi following Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Day 2 services.

Follow along as if you are attending services online:

  • Put on a tallit and kippah (if you need anything, let us know).
  • Stand during the prayers where we stand (be sure to adjust your laptop so we can see your face and not your midsection).
  • Sing loudly!
  • Create your own experience – you might want a snack or cup of coffee, you might to take a break or send a private chat message to a friend wishing them Shana Tovah.
  • Have a machzor (High Holiday prayer book)– While we will post the words of the prayers on the screen most of the time, having your own book will significantly enhance the experience. We will have books available in to check out prior to Rosh Hashanah. We also have congregants who are willing to bring you a machzor. Look for an email coming soon or email rebecca@bethjacobrwc.org.

Zoom Hints

  • Background noise—Be aware that in those moments when we un-mute, that any background noise will be heard. If you are in a place with lots of noise, consider not unmuting.
  • Mute/Un-mute—We will set up the service with people muted. There will be moments when we will un-mute.  Please hit mute again when the communal piece is over.
  • Joining in—When we un-mute you for things like a group Aliyah—know that there will be a time lag between you saying the prayer and what you hear the screen—just keep going.
  • Screen Choice—Choose whether to have a live picture or to turn off video. For those who want to create a sense of community—having your screen on creates connection. Others may want a more private and intimate experience and all the other faces might distract.
  • Practice! – If you have not been to our Zoom services, come to a couple before the High Holidays. You’ll be able to experiment with how you can make the experience more meaningful and with different setting options.
  • Tech support—We have congregants who can walk you through using Zoom before the High Holidays. We will also have someone you can contact on the day of services if you are having problems.
  • Waiting Room—We will utilize a Waiting Room for services, please login early and be patient as we admit everyone as quickly as possible.

ONLINE FORMS

  1. High Holy Day e-Ticket Form (for non-members only)
    This is a unique year.  Given that services will be online, there is no need for tickets.  We will send you the Zoom links before the services. However, this year presents a unique opportunity to invite loved ones and children who do not live in the area to join us for services online.  This is also an opportunity to invite friends and neighbors who are not connected to a community to join.  People you would like to receive a Zoom link(s) to our High Holiday Service information can provide the information to receive the Zoom links here>>.  We ask for, but do not require, a donation from those who do not belong to the synagogue. For security and capacity reasons, please don’t share Zoom links.
  2. Book of Remembrance Form
    The Yizkor Service on Yom Kippur is a powerful moment to remember loved ones.  We have a meaningful Yizkor booklet – The Book of Remembrance – full of names and memories, which will be mailed to every CBJ household this year.  We hope to add to the stories of you loved ones that are currently published in this book. For your reference, here is the PDF of last year’s Book of Remembrance >>.  Please submit new or additional names by September 11, 2020 using our webform >>
  3. Lulav & Etrog Order Form
    New this year, you can place an order for a Lulav & Etrog set directly from our supplier, The Esrog Headquarters, and they will ship directly to your home.  CBJ will receive 10% of the proceeds. A basic set will cost approximately $65 including UPS Ground shipping to CA.  The deadline to place your order to guarantee delivery before Sukkot is September 18, 2020.
  4. Camp Shofar Information and Registration Form
    Once again, we are pleased to offer our Camp Shofar program for the High Holy Days, this year via Zoom only. Camp will be in session for children from Preschool up to Fifth Grade on the First & Second Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Camp will be in session for children from Preschool up to Seventh Grade on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah only.
    Camp hours will be:
    – 11:00-11:45 am on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah (September 19) and Yom Kippur (September 28)
    – 10:00-10:45 am on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah (September 20)

HIGH HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 

SELICHOT  |  Saturday evening, September 12 

These services intensify the preparation for the High Holidays.  We will join with Conservative synagogues across the country for the experience this year.  We are partnering with Selihot Night Live, on Saturday, September 12th from coast to coast. The schedule on www.cjselihot.org is the most up-to-date. IMPORTANT: In order to prevent any disruption or harassment on zoom, every individual that would like to participate in Selihot Night Live must register at www.cjselihot.org/register. They have 3 zoom rooms and 2 YouTube channels – all at the same time. The zoom rooms will have a large capacity but at times might be full, in which case, the YouTube channels will always be available. Registration is now open on www.cjselihot.org/register for individuals. The program is free and open to all. Registration will close on Thursday, September 10th. After that time, those who have not registered will be able to watch a portion of the programming on our YouTube channels.

PICK UP MACHZORIM (SIDDUR LEV SHALEM – the High Holy Day prayerbook) at CBJ |  Sunday, September 13 from 2:00-5:00 pm and Tuesday, September 15 from 3:00-6:00 pm

Machzorim will be available to pick up at CBJ on Sunday, September 13 from 2-5 pm and Tuesday, September 15 from 3-6 pm.  We will post the pages during the zoom service – but many have shared that having their own books makes the prayer experience more meaningful.  If you cannot come by the synagogue, please email Rebecca@bethjacobrwc.org and we will have ask a volunteer to bring a copy to your home.

EREV ROSH HASHANAH |  Friday, September 18

5:00 pm  –  Family Service led by Bill Futornick and Devin Leslie
Family Services are led by Bill Futornick, Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon and Devin Leslie.  They provide the opportunity for families with younger children to experience meaningful and musical services together.

6:00 pm  –  Traditional Service with sermon by Bill Futornick
Traditional Services are more liturgically comprehensive – although this year this service will be shorter.  Cantor Barbara Powell will lead the prayers with different congregants joining in. Other clergy and congregants will join in to teach.

ROSH HASHANAH DAY 1  |  Saturday, September 19

9:00 am  –  Traditional Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members with sermon by Rabbi Ezray.

9:30 am  –  Meditation & Chant led by Yesh Ballon

10:00  –  A Different Service
A Different Service is led by Dan Leemon on the first morning of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur morning.  As in past years, this popular service will include many English readings, transliterations, modern songs, and familiar prayer melodies, and is also suitable for older children. Rabbi Ezray’s sermon will be posted for you to watch at the end. The service this year will be shortened to about 90 minutes in length.

10:00 am  –  Family Service led by Rabbi Ilana and Devin Leslie
Family Services are led by Bill Futornick, Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon and Devin Leslie.  They provide the opportunity for families with younger children to experience meaningful and musical services together.

10:30  –  Teen Service
Teen Services for grades 8-12 led by Bill Futornick are intimate and joyful.  Bill will bring spirit and community—even over Zoom.

11:00 – 11:45 am  –  Camp Shofar
For Pre-K thru Grade 3

12:00 noon  –  Study Group led by Bill Futornick (new time!)
Discussion and Study Groups will be offered on the holidays.  Please note the times—more information will be sent out as details are fully arranged.

Tashlich
Service details will be sent by email so families can travel to a body of water of their choice for in-person services.

Shofar blowing both during services and at your personal home
Shofar sounding will occur both days of Rosh Hashanah in each online service.  Normally the shofar is not sounded on Shabbat (Day 1 of Rosh Hashanah).  We have decided to include the shofar sounding this year on Day 1 as the symbolism and experience is so necessary this year.

ROSH HASHANAH DAY 2  |  Sunday, September 20

9:00 am  –  Traditional Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members with sermon by Rabbi Ilana

10:00—10:45 am  –  Camp Shofar
For Pre-K thru Grade 7

KOL NIDRE EVENING SERVICE  Sunday, September 27

5:00 pm  –  Family Service
Led by Bill Futornick and Devin Leslie

6:30 pm  –  Traditional Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members with sermon by Rabbi Ilana 

YOM KIPPUR DAY  Monday, September 28

Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the year.  We ask forgiveness for our transgressions during the past year and examine our past behavior, reflecting where we can grow.  We use the ritual of fasting to focus our attention on our behavior—and not worry about food.  We allow the discomfort of fasting to connect us to those who live with food instability  —aware that in this year of coronavirus many are suffering.  Toward that end, we ask that donations be made to tzedakah to help those in need— the hungry, homeless, sick and lonely.

  • JFCS Food Bank Barrels will be at CBJ from September 10 thru October 11.
  • Details regarding a 2nd Harvest Holiday Fundraiser will be available soon.

If you have any health concerns where you need to eat, please know it is a mitzvah to eat on Yom Kippur to preserve life.

9:00 am  –  Traditional Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members with sermon by Rabbi Ezray

9:30 am  –  Meditation & Chant  |  Led by Yesh Ballon 

10:00 am  –  “A Different Service”   |  Led by Dan Leemon 

10:00 am  –  Family Service
Led by Rabbi Ilana & Devin Leslie followed by Camp Shofar

10:30 am – Teen Service  Grades 8-12  |  Led by Bill Futornick

11:00 – 11:45 am  –  Camp Shofar
For Pre-K thru Grade 3

12:00 pm  –  Study Group  |  Led by Bill Futornick (new time!)   

Additional Study Groups at 1:00 pm; 2:00 pm and  3:00 pm

4:00 pm  –   Traditional Mincha Service

4:00 pm  –   Meditation & Chant   |  Led by Yesh Ballon

5:30 pm  –  Yizkor Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members. Yizkor is a powerful moment to remember loved ones.  We have a meaningful Yizkor booklet—The Book of Remembrance—full of names and memories.  We will mail a copy to every household this year.  We hope to add to the stories of your loved ones that are published in this book.  Please submit new or additional names by September 11 on our webform. 

6:00 pm  –  Ne’ilah Service
Led by all clergy and CBJ members.

Sukkot |  Saturday & Sunday, October 3 & 4 

9:00 am –  Traditional Service both days

Shemini Atzeret  |  Saturday, October 10

9:00 am – Traditional Service (includes Yizkor)

Simchat Torah

Saturday, October 10 at 6:00 pm  |  Evening Service

Sunday, October 11 at 9:00 am  |  Morning Service and Celebration

Simchat Torah is a joyous festival when we rejoice in the Torah. We celebrate the completion of our annual cycle of Torah reading. During the Torah service, we read the last section of the Book of Deuteronomy and the beginning of the Book of Genesis as we start the annual cycle of Torah reading once again. This is our affirmation of our commitment to celebrate and learn Torah.


HONORS/TZEDAKAH

We will honor groups with aliyot (caregivers, teachers, new members, volunteers, etc) during the Torah service.  Please un-mute yourself and stand for the aliyah.

As in the past we will also honor those who serve in the armed forces, veterans, civil servants, and public offices with leading the Prayer for our Country.

We will honor those who visited Israel, are planning to visit Israel or have children in Israel leading the Prayer for Israel.

As in past years, we ask you to support our partners in Israel to continue the inspiring work they do – Aleh Negev (https://tinyurl.com/y2j6xxab),  AICAT (http://www.aicat-arava.com/ ), IsraAID (https://www.israaid.org/).

There are also opportunities to lead English readings. If you would like to read a prayer during services, please contact Rabbi Ezray: rabbi@bethjacobrwc.org


PRAYERS FOR THE ILL 

Please submit names of people you would like to have mentioned for the prayer for the ill to Bill Futornick: futornick@bethjacobrwc.org. We will not be asking people for names during the service, although if you post a name in the Zoom chat it will be read.


CAMP SHOFAR

We are delighted to offer quality programs for our children from preschool through 7th grade.  This year, we are offering our Camp Shofar program in Zoom format. The program will be full of activities connected to holiday themes and as well as an opportunity to say the prayers.  Our outstanding CBJ Religious School educators will conduct Zoom sessions during Camp Shofar.

Camp Shofar will be in session Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and  Yom Kippur from 11:00–11:45 am, following the Family Service. On Rosh Hashanah Day 2, Camp Shofar will be in session from 10:00-10:45 am.

Registration is available through our website >>. There will not be a registration fee, however a donation of $18 or more would be greatly appreciated to help cover the cost of three days of art packages for participants as well as stipends for our educators.

 


TICKETS/INVITING PARTICIPATION 

This is a unique year.  Given that services will be online, there is no need for tickets.  We will send you the Zoom links before the services.

This year presents a unique opportunity to invite loved ones and children who do not live in the area to join us for services.  We also have the opportunity to invite friends and neighbors who are not connected to a community to join us.

People you would like to receive a link and our High Holiday information can sign-up on our website. We will ask, but not require for a donation for those who do not belong to the synagogue. For security and capacity reasons, please don’t share Zoom links.

Please make sure we have your most up-to-date email address as we will be sending the Zoom meeting details shortly before each holiday begins. We will send information to the same email address to which we send the weekly Shabbat Shalom update.