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 Paul Golin, Executive Director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, speaking on Celebrating Jewish Diversity. Golin will explore how intermarriage strengthens Judaism and provides a conduit for meaning and growth within Jewish traditions. The service itself includes traditional and modern readings, poetry, music and singing, Shofar blowing, a Torah reading and commentary, candlelighting, and a memorial service. After the service we welcome all to an “oneg,” a refreshment table around which we nosh and socialize.
On Rosh Hashanah Day at 2 pm Paul will return to lead a discussion about the Future of Liberal Judaism. How can Jewish congregations become relevant for unaffiliated Jews? What benefits of belonging might people find within Humanistic Judaism or other congregations? Join CHJ for a lively discussion about engagement and participation in Jewish life today.
Please do come early for the Family Service at noon (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. This year it will be followed by a LUNCHEON for members and non-members. We close the day with a short Tashlich service by the river. Child care is provided.
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 1pm, suitable for children ages 4 to 14 and their families. It features the shofar plus storyteller Marcia Kosstrin presenting Jonah and the Whale. 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.