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High Holy Days 5781

This year we have the unique ability to celebrate the High Holy Days, virtually, as an entire congregation with family and friends from all over the world. We will have a mix of live-streamed and recorded services, and learning opportunities via Zoom. For more information, see our service schedule below. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are not necessary this year.

Most of our larger High Holy Day services will be live-streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube. The necessary links will be emailed to our community, and posted publicly here, before each holiday service. 

If you have trouble accessing technology, please email us, or call us at 206-525-0915, so we can help you join our live-stream and recorded opportunities.

Mishkan HaNefesh: Rosh HaShanah

Mishkan HaNefesh: Yom Kippur

Friday, September 18, 7 PM-8 PM
Facebook Live | YouTube

Saturday, September 19, 9:30 AM-10:45 AM
Facebook Live | YouTube

Saturday, September 19, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Facebook Live | YouTube

Saturday, September 19
Full Young Family Service with Story (Vimeo)
Short Rosh Hashanah Story (Vimeo)
 “Always a You” worksheet

Saturday, September 19
(See care package for DIY instructions)

Friday, September 25, 6:15 PM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Saturday, September 26, 10:30 AM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Sunday, September 27, 7 PM-8:30 PM (live-stream)

Monday, September 28, 9:30 AM-11 AM (live-stream)

Monday, September 28, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM (live-stream)

Discussion Program Aleph
1 PM-2:15 PM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Opening the Gates of Communication
We will read the Tower of Babel parsha, then go into breakout rooms to discuss God's response.  We will examine our communication with God, with each other, and what we tell ourselves. We may touch on how technology has changed the way we communicate.

Discussion Program Bet
2:15 PM-3:45 PM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Days of Awe - Our Life Cycle Experiences
We will read quotes about positive and negative aspects of technology, and then go into breakout rooms to reflect on how Zoom has affected our Days of Awe during this High Holiday season. We will also examine the pandemic's effect on life cycle events such as B'nai Mitzvah, funerals and shivas, births and weddings, and the different ways our congregants have shared them.

4 PM-6 PM (live-stream)


Friday, October 2, 6:15 PM (live-stream)
Lowen Kaplan award presented to Shelly F. Cohen

LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Sukkot Morning Service, 10:30 AM (live-stream)
Bat Mitzvah of Amara Weinstein, child of Sara Jensen and Jonathan Weinstein

LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Sunday, October 4, 7 PM
(REGISTER HERE in advance)
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA


Friday, October 9, 6 PM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA


Morning Service with Yizkor, 10:30 AM
LIVE in the Temple Beth Am Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 257 761 0964, passcode: TBA

Traditional and Informal Services

This year, Temple Beth Am will conduct two styles of virtual Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services: Traditional and Informal. 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Evening and Traditional Services:
Our virtual worship experience will bring together the traditional liturgy, music, and themes of the season. Alongside our Rabbis, and accompanied by beautiful music and prayer leadership from members of our community, we will experience the High Holy Days, including many of the Temple Beth Am rituals you are accustomed to, from the comfort of our own homes. The Traditional service will be the most aligned with our previous in-person, sanctuary services. 

Informal Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Morning Services:
Join our Rabbis for a new, more casual spin on the Jewish music, themes, and practices of the High Holy Days. With music and reflections from our community members, this family-friendly, interactive service will explore how we think about the High Holy Days in this virtual moment.  This service will include the liturgical highlights of the season woven together with meditation, interactive components, and hearing the voice of our prophets come to life, reflecting upon the issues of our day.

High Holy Day Services: FAQs

How do I access your services?
Our larger High Holy Day services will be live-streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube. We will email the necessary links to all members, and add the links to our website, on Erev Rosh Hashanah afternoon. Some smaller services and our Young Family Services will be on Zoom and through Vimeo, with the links also emailed and posted on our website. 

Are our services live or pre-recorded?
We will broadcast our pre-recorded Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services on Facebook Live and YouTube, at the times listed on our website. If you join the service broadcast after it starts, you will enter at whatever point the service has reached when you join (not at the beginning). The services will remain available on Facebook and YouTube after the broadcast if you wish to watch part or all of them again, or see what you missed if you joined late. Because the services will be live, you will not be able to rewind or fast-forward the service until after the broadcast is over. 
Whom do I speak with if I am having trouble accessing services?
During the live-streamed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, we have phone and email tech support available. For Zoom services, we will only have email tech support. If you have trouble accessing technology, please email us or call us at 206-525-0915 so we can try to assist you.

Is closed captioning available for services?
Yes! For those hard of hearing, closed captioning is available on YouTube. Instructions for turning on closed captions can be found here.

How do I access prayer books for services?
Flipbook versions of the machzorim are available at the top of this page.

Will there be congregant participation?
Yes! We have been collecting congregant recordings for several weeks. 

Will the choir be participating?
Yes! We have done some safe, small pre-recordings in the sanctuary and some larger recordings from Zoom. We will play much of your favorite Temple Beth Am music throughout our High Holy Days services.
How were these decisions made?
At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Temple Beth Am established two key objectives that have guided all of our practices: (1) the health and welfare of our congregants, and (2) ensuring equitable access to worship, learning, programming, support, and connections. We also follow the practices below that align with our mission, and with Jewish values:

  • We follow the phased approach to reopening, including requiring masks, limits to how many people can gather both indoors and outdoors, and safe social distancing. 
  • When state or national guidelines/recommendations make exceptions for religious organizations based on politics rather than science, we always take the side of science.
  • We review on a daily and/or weekly basis the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC, OSHA, King County Department of Health, Washington State Department of Health, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and local and national news sources to remain apprised of pandemic trends and possible funding sources.
  • When in-person worship, learning, and community programs are both allowed and deemed safe, they must also simultaneously be available online for those that want to safely participate from home.

H2R Simchat Sukkot

Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 7 PM


After the High Holy Days have passed, we celebrate Sukkot. The sukkah, a symbolic structure representing our homes, reminds us of our origins as wanderers in the desert. The homeless population in our midst survives in a desert-like environment, without the security and comfort many of us take for granted. Leviticus teaches us to share the corners of our fields with wanderers and those in need.

Simchat Sukkot provides an opportunity to help reduce family homelessness. Covid-19 has given our work an increased urgency. Late last year, before Covid-19 struck, we expanded the work of H2R to include eviction prevention assistance. Little did we know how timely that would become.

This year, Simchat Sukkot will be an interactive Zoom gathering, and we hope you will attend from your sukkah or your home. Our featured guest, Susan Enfield, is the Superintendent of the Highline School District, a diverse and challenging district. She will address the importance of homelessness-prevention in youth education, especially during these challenging times. 

Wed, September 23 2020 5 Tishrei 5781