High Holidays 2022 / 5783

Program Details

Please register for Yom Kippur by Sunday, October 2nd!

Additional Info

Sunday, September 25, 2022
Like all Kavana programs, this event is powered by partners, staff and participants.
Volunteer to helpMeet the staff
We’re excited about starting a New Year – and a new chapter – with the Kavana community! As we enter this year’s High Holiday season, we frame our goals and hopes in our current context: striving towards a new “newness,” rediscovering and reinventing norms, and finding more and innovative ways to connect with one another. 
This year’s plans allow the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to feel like urban spirituality retreats. We encourage you to choose offerings that will help you make the most of these days and engage in the introspective work of the season.‍

Location: For all the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we have secured a beautiful, campus-like venue in NE Seattle, where services and programming will take place in both indoor and outdoor spaces (see the full schedule for more details). Some of these offerings will also be shared virtually, through Zoom. For security reasons, we do not share a venue address online; location details and Zoom links will be shared with registrants in confirmation emails.

Cost: As in the past, we are requesting payment of $18 per partner, $250 per non-partner, to help us cover the many costs of making these holidays happen! In the cooperative spirit, Kavana expects everyone to contribute something; the differential pricing between partners and non-partners reflects the fact that partners already contribute to our operating expenses. If you are able to pay the full suggested amount, we encourage you to do so! If you are able to make an additional contribution to help underwrite this experience for others who can’t pay their own way, all the better! And, if you are unable to pay the suggested amount for whatever reason, please know that we never want money to be the issue… we ask you to contribute whatever you can that feels meaningful and doable for you.

Registration: Advanced registration is required, whether you plan to participate in person or online. We strongly encourage you to register by Wednesday, Monday October 3rd to ensure that you will have a pre-printed name-tag when you arrive for Yom Kippur. Please keep in mind that our staff will be offline and unavailable to answer registration questions or concerns between September 25th and September 28th, and also between October 4th and 5th in observance of the holiday.  

COVID-19 Risk Mitigation:  We are grateful for the Kavana community’s ongoing support of our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy, even as the specifics have continued to shift. Here’s how we’re approaching this High Holiday season:

- Ventilation: We have selected a venue that features many beautiful outdoor spaces. The indoor space is well-ventilated, with seven sets of double doors that will be open and an HVAC/air filtration system that will be on. 

- Vaccinations: We know that the vast majority of the Kavana community is fully vaccinated. We strongly encourage vaccination (including boosters); however, we will not be requiring individuals to show proof of vaccination.

- Masks: Face-masks will be optional this year, although encouraged indoors. 

- Testing: This year, rapid tests are readily available, and they are a great tool that can help our community prevent inadvertent transmission of Covid. Please plan ahead, knowing that we will request every High Holiday attendee to rapid test at home before Rosh Hashanah and again before Yom Kippur. (Washington State residents can order free rapid tests here.) Negative test results do not need to be reported to Kavana. If you receive a positive test result, please stay home and follow CDC guidelines for isolation. 

- Exhibiting symptoms? Please stay home! Enough said.

If you have any other questions or concerns, we invite you to take a look at our Q&A page!


Erev Yom Kippur - Tues., October 4th

5:30pm: Registration Table Open
5:55-6:25pm: Prelude to Kol Nidre: Instruments & Candle-Lighting

We will enter into this holy day with music, as Kavana teens Eva Friedman and Emma Kvart share their violin duet rendition of Max Bruch’s Kol Nidre composition. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum will light a yizkor candle and a pair of holiday candles on behalf of the whole community, as we begin our Yom Kippur together.  

Mode: In-person (outdoors) and Livestreamed.

We will offer two parallel Kol Nidre services this year:

6:30-8pm: Kol Nidre Service

This service is for the whole Kavana community, led by Rabbi Jay LeVine, Jacob Nussbaum and Deb Arnold. Traditional liturgy for Kol Nidre and Maariv (evening) service, with poetry infused.

Mode: In-person (indoor and outdoor seating) and on Zoom.

6:30-7:30pm: Kol Nidre Family Service

Designed for children and adults alike, led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum. Come dressed for the weather – as we’ll be outside regardless. This will be a shorter Kol Nidre service, featuring greatest hits of the Yom Kippur liturgy with some camp tunes and explanations along the way.

Mode: In- person (outdoors)

Yom Kippur - Wed., October 5th

9am-2pm: Registration Table Open
9:15am - 12pm: Traditional Morning Service

We will begin with half an hour of Kavana’s special Pseukei D'zimra – "dawn chanting" – which features beautiful melodies to ease us into the day. After this, we will continue with a full Shacharit/Morning Service for Yom Kippur and a Torah service, ending with Yizkor (memorial prayers). This service will be led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and Jacob Nussbaum, with participation from Kavana partners.

Mode: In-person (indoors) and on Zoom.

9:15 - 11am: Musical & Contemplative Yom Kippur Morning Service

Led by Kohenet Traci Marx, this service offers collective reflection, atoning, and prayer in a loving container. We will lean into key prayers of the morning service and Yom Kippur liturgy, and explore the themes of Yom Kippur more freely. This service is accessible to people with a wide range of comfort levels with Hebrew, from no knowledge to fluency. This space is intentionally egalitarian in prayer choice and language.  

Materials: Please bring a picnic blanket to sit on during the service. We will have chairs if you would prefer. 

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

9:45 - 11:45am: Yom Kippur Family Service and Program

Our Yom Kippur Family Service is back in person by popular demand this year. Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and Joseph Nussbaum will lead a community of Kavana’s children and their accompanying adults in a meaningful and energetic prayer service for about 50 minutes, designed to cover all the “greatest hits” of the liturgy.

Following the service, Director of Education Rachel Osias, Maxine Alloway, and Rachel Nagorsky will lead another hour of interactive, theme-based activities for families with three groups: preschool, early elementary (K-2) and older elementary (3-5) school children. Hands on arts & crafts meets prayer study and discussion. Come dressed for the weather – as we’ll be outside regardless – and ready to participate actively!

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

11-12: Torah Study with Rabbi Jay LeVine

Rabbi Jay LeVine will facilitate a deep dive text study on Leviticus 16. We will explore the Torah’s description of the ancient Yom Kippur rituals through selections from Itturei Torah, an anthology of chassidic teachings. 

Mode: In-person (outdoors) 

11 - 12: Morning Yoga with Nicki Sadow-Hasenberg

Nicki Sadow-Hasenberg, Kavana partner and certified yoga teacher, will lead an all-levels yoga class. We will spend an hour together bringing awareness to body, mind, breath, and heart, renewing, and resting. All are welcome!

Materials: Please dress in comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and block, if you have them.

Mode: In-person (outdoors)  

12:15 -1:15pm:  Self-Guided Meditative Nature Walk 

Our beautiful venue can help this Yom Kippur become a multi-sensory experience! At your own pace and either alone or with a friend, we invite you to visit the Fragrance Garden (near the entrance), or use this time to meander down trails to the 74-acre Union Bay Natural Area, which provides publicly accessible wildlife habitat (more than 200 bird species have been sighted there).

12:15-1:15pm: Text Study & Discussion on Mussar with Bruce Kochis & Rabbi Jay LeVine

The powerful liturgical poem Untaneh Tokef describes the precarity and perils of being a human, but then assures us that “tzedakah (righteous giving), tefillah (prayer), and teshuva (repentance) lessen the severity of the decree”. Kavana partner Bruce Kochis and Rabbi Jay LeVine invite you into conversation around tzedakah (righteous giving) and nedivut (generosity) from a Mussar Jewish ethics perspective. We will learn from the Mussar classic, Orchot Tzaddikim. How might generosity and giving help us grapple with uncertainty and the stress and anxiety that seems all too common right now? 

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

12:15-1:15pm: Kavana Art MakerSpace: Nature-crafting as the gates close w/Laurie Reed & Julie Kohl

A playful, creative activity using found natural objects to create ephemeral works of art. We will provide some materials, and you can collect elements from the local area. You can work individually, or as part of a group. No artistic ability or previous experience expected. Appropriate for all ages. 

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

12:15 - 1:15pm: Youth Torah Discussions (for grades 3-12) about the themes of Yom Kippur 

Join Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum and Kavana educators Maxine Alloway, Avital Krifcher, and Rachel Osias as we explore the big question of “What’s this all about?” Youth will be split into three pods based on age. Working in parallel, the groups will dive into a multi-faceted exploration of one of Yom Kippur’s root texts – from the story of the Golden Calf and Moses’s second trip up the mountain – with brain, body & soul learning prompts. 

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

1:30-2:30pm: Musical/Contemplative Yizkor (Memory) Service with Kohenet Traci Marx 

All are welcome for this ritual gathering for collective remembering. Whether or not your parents are living, you are welcome. Through loving song and prayer, English and Hebrew, we will remember and honor our loved ones who are no longer here in body and those who came before us. 

Materials: Please bring a picnic blanket to sit on during the service. We will have chairs if you would prefer.

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

1:30-2:45pm: Traditional Musaf Service, including Avodah and Martyrology 

Traditional Yom Kippur elements including Avodah (the service of the High Priest) and Martyrology will be embedded into our Musaf prayers, together with other classic Yom Kippur liturgy. This service will be led by Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum, with community participation. 

Mode: In-person (indoors and outdoors seating), and on Zoom.

3:00-4:30pm: Reflective Conversation and Writing: “Your one wild and precious life”

Kavana partners, Julie Kohl and Stacy Lawson, will offer a space on Yom Kippur afternoon to help synthesize the experiences of the day—fasting, prayer, study, contemplation, and the asking for and granting of forgiveness. We will discuss practices for living an examined life to reduce our own suffering and the harm we cause to others. We'll check out an all-time favorite poem of Mary Oliver's, and then break into groups for either writing or more discussion.

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

5:15-6:15pm: Book of Jonah Text Study with Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum 

Each year, we return to our old friend Jonah and, as we read his story closely, wonder aloud about points of connection between him and us. All ages, backgrounds, and perspectives are welcome!

Mode: In-person (outdoors)

6:30-7:26pm: Traditional Neilah Service, ending with a final Shofar blast and Havdalah 

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." We'll conclude with the final shofar blast at 7:26pm and a quick Havdalah ceremony. 

Mode: In-person (indoors and outdoors seating) and on Zoom.

7:26pm: Break-the-fast

At the conclusion of the day, we’ll set out a spread of bagels and drinks so everyone can break the fast in community.

Mode: In-person (outdoors)


Program Staff

No items found.