The High Holy Days, also known the Days of Awe, is a significant period in the Jewish cycle of time. The days are comprised of Rosh Hashanah (the “head” of the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). The High Holy Days are a time for reflection, introspection, and repentance, and are an opportunity for us to reconnect with our faith, our community, and our traditions.
We celebrate this harvest festival by decorating our communal sukkah, and learning together about the traditions of this holiday of joy and gratitude. After the intensity of the High Holy Days, Sukkot arrives to bring us together in fragile yet beautiful structures, honoring the cycles of nature and giving thanks for abundant blessings.
We celebrate the completion of the Torah reading cycle and immediately begin again, by unrolling a Torah scroll around our historic sanctuary, learning about the Torah from our upcoming B’nai Mitzvah students, and celebrating the beginning of the religious school journey for our youngest students. We proudly dance with our Torah scrolls, making sure that all who want to dance with a Torah have the opportunity to do so.
In the darkest month of the year, we celebrate our people’s insistence on creating and sharing light, and we commemorate the re-dedication of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration. We gather for communal lighting of menorahs/chanukiyot, enjoy music of our band and choir, and enjoy sufganiyot (jelly donuts), latkes, and other traditional Hanukkah delights.
With a carnival for all ages which supports our preschool, a Purim Shpiel in which we make each other laugh (and laugh at ourselves), a Megillah reading that is fun for all, and participating in the mitzvot (sacred obligations) of giving to those who are in need, and exchanging gifts with one another through our mishloach manot exchange, we celebrate this raucous commemoration of the survival and resilience of the Jewish people.
Our community gathers on the second night of Passover for a beautiful, song-filled seder full of meaning and rich conversation.