High Holy Days at Temple Beth-El

Yamim Nora’im 5781/2020

Home For The Holidays

Our Jewish values mandate that keeping our community healthy and safe is our highest priority. Therefore, our High Holy Day services will reflect our care and caution during these unprecedented days of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As always, we welcome all members and friends to our High Holy Day services. Our Yamim Nora’im services will be a combination of webcast, interactive Zoom and socially distanced live. For security purposes, all members and guests must register before the holidays to receive Zoom links and complete service information

Register Here


Leil Selichot

Saturday, September 12

  • 7.40pm Program begins
  • 8.00pm Musical program and discussion with guest artist, Beth Hamon
  • 8.45pm Selichot Prayer Service



Erev Rosh Hashana

Friday, September 18

  • 6pm Candle lighting and Welcome
  • 6:15pm Rosh Hashana Seder. If the Pandemic has interfered with your family dinner, join us for a live Zoom Rosh Hashana seder. We will eat specific foods associated with new year’s blessings with song and good company. Gather the foods below or enjoy your own traditional holiday foods as we create our own version of this ancient Sephardic custom.
    • Apple
    • Honey
    • Round Challah
    • Wine or Grape Juice
    • Dates
    • Fennel
    • Pomegranate (seeds)
    • Carrots
    • String Beans or Sesame Seeds
    • Beets or Spinach
    • Leeks, Chives or Scallions
    • Pumpkin, Gourd or Squash (Pumpkin Pie is fine!)
    • For the more adventurous among us: A Lamb’s Head or a Fish Head (A Head of Lettuce or a Head of Cabbage will do, too.)
    • Please remember: No nuts
  • 8pm Erev Rosh Hashana Prayer Services


Rosh Hashana, Day 1

Saturday, September 19

  • 10-11.20am Rosh Hashana Morning Prayer Services and Tekiyat Shofar
  • 11.20-11.50am Break for journaling, nature, reflection or rest
  • 11.50am-1.05pm Torah Service, Sermon, Tekiyat Shofar and prayers
  • 1.30-2.30pm LIVE at the Temple: Shofar “Drive-by.”
    • Perform the mitzvah of hearing the shofar live from the safety of your car as we blow the Shofar from the steps of the Temple. Parking on Kennedy Blvd will be reserved for us, so pull up in your car and get the full Rosh Hashana experience. Masks and social distancing required if you choose to walk up to the Temple. The building interior will remain closed and will not be accessible. 
  • 3-4pm Rosh Hashana Family Services

Rosh Hashana, Day 2

Sunday, September 20

  • 10am We will re-webcast the prayer service from the first day of Rosh Hashana
  • 12 Noon Tashlich LIVE at Liberty State Park. We will gather for song, prayer, community and to symbolically cast our transgressions into the sea. We’ll meet near the picnic tables at the foot of Morris Pesin Drive. Masks and social distancing will be required.



Kol Nidrei

Sunday, September 27

  • 6pm Kol Nidrei

Monday, September 28

  • 10am Morning Prayer Service
  • 11:45am Sermon, Torah Service, Prayer Service
  • 1:25pm Family Services
  • 2:30pm Community Forum – An interactive discussion with Pamela Johnson of the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County. She will discuss the work she does for our city’s underserved residents, advocacy for policing reforms and against police brutality and help us understand what we all can do to assist in the shared work of improving our community for all who live here.
  • 4:00pm Community Yizkor for a Year of PandemicAn interactive memorial service for a year of loss like no other. An opportunity to share and hear personal reflections. All are encouraged to attend.
  • 5:40pm Mincha (Including Torah Service and Haftarah of Jonah)
  • 7:00pm Neilah (Closing) service, Tekiat Shofar, Havdalah and Break Fast
  • Yom Kippur and our services end at 7.31.


Other Important High Holy Day Information:

  • Need technical help? Volunteer to help an elderly or technically-challenged member access Zoom, email or for membership information: membership@betheljc.org
  • Yom Kippur Food Donations: Since we will not be collecting bags of food this year, please donate to our Food Pantry with either food or a financial donation equal to the food you will voluntarily forego on Yom Kippur. Donate Here
  • To memorialize a loved one with a listing in our Yizkor Book, go to: To make a donation
  • Yom Kippur Break Fast: When the sun sets at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, we all will break our fast.  We will have an opportunity to break our fast together.  Let’s meet on zoom, in small groups of 4 or 5 people to eat and schmooze after our day of prayer and fasting.  Send Lari your interest in joining a communal Break Fast: Lari@betheljc.org
  • It is time for you to own your own machzor. We recommend you consider purchasing your own prayer books. While many of the prayers will be displayed on the screen during our services, many of you will prefer to follow the service at your own pace and reflect on the many meaningful readings and footnotes of our prayer book. Since many have reported the flip book as clunky to use, the CCAR has offered our High Holy Day machzorim as downloadable ebooks for $8.99 each. This would also allow you to follow the prayers on a different screen (like a tablet). Alternatively, you may prefer your own a physical book, offered at $37. Go to CCARnet (link: https://www.ccarnet.org/publications/hhd/) to order either option. The ebook will direct you to Amazon.
  • To support TBE: To donate to our Kol Nidre Appeal, the Fund for Permanent Livestream Technology or our Sustaining Fund, Donate Here
  • For other queries and general Temple information, contact Bob, Kahan, our Office Manager at admin@betheljc.org

We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and meaningful shana tova!

Start times for all services and Zoom links will be sent before the holiday to all who register. Register here.


The Holidays Continue!

Watch our Weekly E-newsletter and our Website for Sukkot and Simchat Torah celebration details.

  • Tuesday-Friday September 29-Friday Oct. 2:

Bring and hang your home-made sukkah decorations in our communal sukkah.

  • Friday, October 2: Erev Sukkot Services
  • Sunday October 4: BYO lunch to the Temple Sukkah for a socially distanced lunch in the Sukkah
  • Saturday October 10: Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

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