Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Eve at Unitarian Church of Westport
With Jews everywhere, the Congregation gathers together to celebrate the significance of Rosh Hashanah, “The Head of the Year.” This first day of the month of Tishri begins a ten-day period of reflection, introspection, and renewal, starting with Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur.
Our Rosh Hashanah evening keynote speaker this year is David Shufrin, Vice President of CHJ. His topic is “Finding Our Village.” David will also lead the discussion “From Reaction to Action” the next day.
On Rosh Hashanah Day, please do come early for the Family Service at 1 p.m. (especially for children ages 4 to 14 and their families). Our family services have been carefully crafted over the years to represent to our younger members the congregation’s philosophy of Humanistic Judaism. If you have children, these services are a wonderful way to create a family experience of the holidays. Following the Family Service is a short Tashlich service by the river. Closing the day will be a discussion led by a panel of “doers” in the Congregation, titled “From Reaction to Action: Making the Decision to Make a Difference.” Child care is provided during adult activities.
Yom Kippur, the most solemn holiday in the Jewish calendar, is associated with services that many Jews consider traditional and longstanding. Yet Yom Kippur observances have evolved over the centuries in fascinating ways. For our congregation, Yom Kippur concludes the period of self-reflection begun on Rosh Hashanah. In the Evening Service, the moving strains of the Kol Nidre melody, performed on cello and piano, invite us to reflect on our values and commitments, both as individuals and as a community. Throughout this evening service, music, readings, and rituals strike a balance between our connections to the broad stream of Judaism and our secular humanistic view of Jewish culture and customs.
Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur Day programming begins with a Family Service at 1 pm, suitable for children ages 4 to 14 and their families. It features the shofar plus storyteller Marcia Kosstrin presenting “In the Shuk.” Discussions and workshops for adults follow, with child care provided. As the afternoon winds down, we come together for our Memorial and Closing Yom Kippur Services. The day concludes with a Break-Fast, open to all.
These services and programs, like all our High Holiday events, are open to the public at no charge.