High Holidays 5781

This year we are approaching the High Holy Days in exceptional and historic circumstances, confronted and unsettled by the continued presence of Covid-19 and all the uncertainties it brings. But there are some certainties that remain: High Holy Day Services at IJC!

We are celebrating the High Holy Days online as fully as we can and with as much preparation as we can offer. The decision to move all our High Holy Day services online was made with the health and safety of both members and prayer leaders in mind, and in line with many – if not most - Jewish communities around the world.

Ilana will be helping us prepare spiritually for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on two separate evenings (see programme below). We will also have our regular High Holy Day cantor, Marty Eisenstein, who has been working hard to prepare our services from his home in Athens together with myself and Anneke Silverstein (our Ba’alat Tefilah – Prayer Leader – and Gabbai I & II). Marty will join us via Zoom from Athens while Anneke and I will be together in our sanctuary at Beth Hillel. We have also invented a new Gabbai III – our Zoom Operator Jesse G.

The services will follow our new Machzor Mishkan HaNefesh, each page of which will be shown onscreen for participants to follow at home. At different points of the services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, our Gabbai III will also invite some participants to read a short text – always on your screen.

During the Torah service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning, we will honour members of our community with an Aliyah to the Torah. Once again, the text of the blessings will appear on your screen in Hebrew, transliteration and in English.  Anneke will leyn the Torah portion using a special High Holiday trope during both morning services. Other honours (ark opening, Torah carrying, hagbahgelila) will not be possible, but we hope that those asked to do a reading will accept this as a special honour.

For Erev Rosh Hashanah we invite participants to have Shabbat/Yom Tov candles ready to light in their homes. Those who wish to make Kiddush on Rosh Hashanah should have wine and bread at the ready. We will hear the sound of the shofar according to the tradition, but from the homes of our shofar blowers. 

After morning services on Rosh Hashanah, our Zoom channel will remain open for those who wish to schmooze and eat together. So, have food at the ready!

Tashlich this year will also be unique. We invite participants to join in a special online meditation on the year past and choose from a variety of ritual options to be performed at home, near water, and even without water.

We encourage those who share the same social or family bubble to get together in small groups for services if that is possible.

We have been working hard to fashion these exceptional High Holy Day services into moments of prayer, spiritual depth, and communal connection, in spite of the physical distance between us. We hope they will run smoothly, but be patient with us if the Zoom gremlins decide to strike.

Brian Doyle-Du Breuil 

IJC Rabbinical Intern 


High Holiday Services will be hosted on the usual IJC link.

Rosh Hashana Password to be sent later this week.


For Ilana's HH spiritual preparation course-

Please follow this link to register.


IJC Online 5781 High Holiday program will be as follows:

-Spiritual Preparation for Rosh Hashana, Tuesday, September 15, 7pm- 8:30pm

-Erev Rosh Hashana, Friday, September 18, 7pm - 8:30pm

-Shacharit Rosh Hashana, Saturday, September 19, 10:30am - 12:00pm 

-Rosh Hashana Kiddush & Virtual Lunch 12pm - Hosted by Lisa and Ruth 

-Alternative Tashlich, Saturday, September 19, 3pm - 3:30pm

-Shacharit Shabbat Shuvah, Saturday, September 26, 10:30am - 12:00pm 

-Spiritual Preparation for Yom Kippur, Thursday, September 24, 7pm - 8:30 pm

-Kol Nidrei Yom Kippur, Sunday, September 27, 7pm - 8:30pm 

-Shacharit Yom Kippur, Monday, September 28, 10:30 am - 12:00 

-Mincha Yom Kippur for children, Monday, September 28, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

-Yom Kippur Shiur for adults, Monday, September 28, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

-Yizkor & Ne'ilah Yom Kippur, Monday, September 28, 6:30pm - 8:00pm