2019 High Holiday Schedule

Program Details

Additional Info

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Below you'll find the schedule of Kavana's many High Holiday offerings. We know that it's a lot to look at, and we encourage you to spend a little time perusing the options and planning out your Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur experiences... just as you would if you were headed to a conference with a full slate of sessions to choose from! Kavana's mission is to "empower participants to create a meaningful Jewish life" -- which means that the choice is yours to decide where you want to be, and how you want to mix and match from among these offerings to create the most meaningful High Holiday experience for yourself. If you have any questions, please be in touch!

Rosh Hashanah

Sunday, September 29th - Erev Rosh Hashanah

5:30 - 6:30pm: Communal Dinner
A separate confirmation email with location details will be sent out to those who have registered for this meal in advance. 

7:00 - 8:30 pm: Erev Rosh Hashanah Service [Venue B] - We will kick off our High Holiday worship services together with an evening service to welcome the New Year, co-led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum & Rabbi Josh Weisman.  This service is designed to be both traditional and accessible, with congregational singing and a mix of Hebrew and English. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will be delivering a Rosh Hashanah sermon.

Monday, September 30th - Rosh Hashanah (First Day) Morning

Traditional Services, Family Programs, Kids' Discussions at Venue A

9:00 - 11:00 am: Family Services & Program - Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will lead a family service with musical accompaniment, Orin Reynolds, from 9 to 9:45 am in the sanctuary, followed by an hour of theme-based activities from 10 to 11 in the Fellowship Hall, led by our educators.  These offerings are designed for parents and children together; families will be grouped for the activities based on kids' ages: preschoolers, grades K-2, and grades 3-5.

10:00 am - 2:00 pm: Rosh Hashanah Traditional Services - Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and lay leaders from the community will lead traditional Rosh Hashanah services in the Sanctuary.  We will begin with our Pseukei D'zimra/ "dawn chanting" (which features beautiful congregational singing and harmonies), followed by the Shacharit/Morning Service, Torah service, and Musaf.  Shofar blowing will be incorporated into the morning. (This service will be mostly in Hebrew, with some explanation and Torah discussion in English.)

11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Torah Discussions (for grades 6-12) about the themes of Rosh Hashanah - Kavana educators Maxine Alloway and Cara Abrams-Simonton will lead parallel learning sessions for our middle and high school students.  Bring a sack lunch.

Urban High Holiday Spirituality Retreat at Venue B

9:00 - 10:00 am: Yoga 

9:00 – 10:00 am: Meditation 

9:00 – 10:00 am: Writing to Reflect 

10:30 am – 1:30 pm: Musical & Contemplative Rosh Hashanah Morning Service - Led by Rabbi Josh Weisman and musician Traci Marx

10:30 am – 1:30 pm: Open Meditation - Space available for meditation; there will not be a facilitator present.

Tashlich at Venue C

~2:15 pm: Tashlich & Picnic Lunch - Tashlich (the "casting away" of sins in the form of bread crumbs) and a picnic lunch will take place at a local park.  We'll walk over as a group following the service on the first morning of Rosh Hashanah, and anyone who is interested can meet us there for a short ceremony that includes some contemplative time and some singing!  In the past, we've often had great leftovers to share from dinner the night before, or you're welcome to bring your own picnic lunch. 

Tuesday, October 1st - Rosh Hashanah (Second Day)

9:00 am - 1:00 pm: Rosh Hashanah Traditional Services [Venue A] -  These services will follow the same outline as the traditional services for the First Day, but in general day two tends to feel a little more streamlined and intimate, and we try to incorporate even more singing. In addition, please note that we begin (and end) these services an hour earlier than the previous day. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and other lay leaders will be leading these second day services. All are welcome. 

Yom Kippur

Tuesday, October 8th - Kol Nidre/Erev Yom Kippur

4:30 - 5:30pm: Partner Only Pre-Fast Meal (separate invitation has been sent to our partners)

6:00 - 8:00 pm: Traditional Kol Nidre Service (beginning with candle-lighting and Kol Nidre played on cello) [Venue A] - Thoughtfully designed to incorporate both Hebrew and English, song and reflection, this service will move through the traditional Yom Kippur evening liturgy.  This service will be led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and Deb Arnold. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will deliver the same Kol Nidre sermon at this service as the one listed below.  

6:00 - 8:00 pm: Musical & Contemplative Kol Nidre Service (beginning with Kol Nidre on violin) [Venue B]  - This service will be co-led by Rabbi Josh Weisman and musicians Chava Mirel and Traci Marx, and Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will be delivering the same Kol Nidre sermon at this service as the one mentioned above.

6:30 -  7:30 pm: Kids' Kol Nidre Service (more details coming soon)

Wednesday, October 9th - Yom Kippur Day

Traditional Services, Family Programs, Kids' Discussions at Venue A

9:00 - 11:00 am: Family Services & Program (for preschool and elementary school children and their parents) - Rabbi Rachel will lead a family service with musical accompaniment, Orin Reynolds, from 9 to 9:45 am in the sanctuary, followed by an hour of theme-based activities from 10 to 11 in the Fellowship Hall.  These offerings are designed for parents and children together; families will be grouped for these activities based on kids' ages: preschoolers, grades K-2, and grades 3-5.

10:00 am - 3:00 pm: Yom Kippur Traditional Services - We will begin promptly at 10 am with our Pseukei D'zimra/ "dawn chanting," followed by the traditional Shacharit/Morning Service, Torah service, and Musaf.  Yizkor (a memorial service for loved ones who have died) will take place towards the end of the Torah service, shortly after noon. Traditional Yom Kippur elements including Avodah (the service of the Kohen Gadol) and Martyrology will be embedded in Musaf in the early afternoon. Services will be led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and a number of volunteers from the Kavana community, and will be conducted mostly in Hebrew, with some explanations and Torah discussion in English.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Torah Discussions (for grades 6-12) about the themes of Yom Kippur - Kavana educators Maxine Alloway and Cara Abrams-Simonton will lead parallel learning sessions for our middle and high school students.  Bring a sack lunch.

Urban High Holiday Spirituality Retreat at Venue B

9:00 - 10:00 am: Yoga

9:00 - 10:00 am: Meditation

9:00 - 10:30 am: Writing Apology

10:30 am - 1:30 pm: Musical and Contemplative Yom Kippur Morning Service and Yizkor - Led by Rabbi Josh Weisman and musician Traci Marx.

10:30 am - 1:30 pm: Meditation - Space available for meditation; there will not be a facilitator present.

1:45 - 2:45 pm: Yoga Nidra - Join Kavana partner Alex Rosenblum, certified yoga instructor, for yoga nidra practice on Yom Kippur day. Yoga Nidra is a deeply restorative state between waking and sleeping, known as yoga sleep, which is cultivated through a guided meditation that begins in the external world and moves to inner space. The practice begins with gentle movement to ease the body. Come prepared with a mat, blankets/towels, bolster or pillow for under the legs, eye bag/eye mask (if desired), etc…

1:45 - 2:45 pm: Discovering what death can teach us about living more fully - Yom Kippur can be seen as a rehearsal for death. This confrontation with our mortality is an opportunity to consider how to live more mindfully and connect to our truest selves. Join Kavana partner Julie Kohl for a facilitated conversation based on Frank Ostaseki’s book The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Us About Living Fully. We will look at excerpts from the book, as a springboard to talk about how we might apply them in our lives. You are not expected to read the book before the session.

1:45 - 2:45 pm: Contemplative Walk

3:00 - 4:00 pm: Hebrew Kirtan Chanting -  Chanting is a singing meditation. Join Kavana musical prayer leader Traci Marx these High Holy Days to drop into a moment of connection with our deepest longings and truths. In the format of call and response, and repetition, we will use breath and voice to embody the spirit of the High Holy Days. No experience is required and everyone is welcome.

Venue A 

5:00 - 6:00 pm: Book of Jonah Text Study and Discussion - We'll do a close reading of the Jonah story, and dig into our own interpretations.  With Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, in the Sanctuary.  All are welcome, and texts will be provided in both English and Hebrew.

6:10 - 7:21 pm: Neilah/Closing Service - Led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, we will end the day as a single community again, as we recite the Yom Kippur liturgy for the final time and mark the "closing of the gates."  Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will deliver a Neilah sermon. We'll conclude with the final shofar blast of the holidays and a quick Havdalah ceremony.

7:25 pm: Communal Break-the-Fast Meal (no special RSVP required; all are welcome) - As in recent years, we will have quick grab & go snacks available at the back of the sanctuary following the end of Yom Kippur (juice boxes, etc.).  Then, all are welcome to stick around and join with the Kavana community for a light meal (bagels, juice, fruit, cheese, coffee, etc.) in the Fellowship Hall, to end the Yom Kippur fast.  

Program Staff

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