Rosh Hashanah Family program

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

Sept. 21, 2017  Rosh Hashanah at Unitarian Church of Westport
Sept. 30, 2017  Yom Kippur 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.

We welcome the New Year on Rosh Hashanah eve with a beautiful, contemplative service written by members of our congregation to reflect both the joy and solemnity of the holiday. The service incorporates meaningful elements of Jewish tradition that are consistent with our humanistic worldview. Included are readings, poetry, music and singing, Shofar blowing, Torah reading and commentary, candle lighting, and a memorial service.

Dana blows out the candles.After the service we welcome all to an “oneg,” a refreshment table around which we nosh and socialize.

Our Rosh Hashanah day programs  begin with a Family Service, suitable 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.

Child care is provided. See the schedule for complete details about the daytime programs for adults.

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. The moving strains of the Kol Nidre melody, chj-rochelle-rszperformed 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, suitable for children ages 4 to 14 and their families.

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.

See our 2016  Rosh Hashanah service and Young People’s Rosh Hashanah Service.  Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre Service, Memorial and Closing Services, and Young People’s Yom Kippur Service 

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