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High Holy Days

A MESSAGE FROM RABBI CRYSTAL, August 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

On the High Holy Days, we celebrate the joys of the past year, seek to renew relationships, think about the fragility of life, and look for ways to bring healing to the world. 

We have memories of family traditions and High Holy Day moments from the past that have touched our souls. This year the High Holy Days will be different than ever before. We think of:

  • The Retirement of Rabbi Gibson. Although Rabbi Gibson has retired, his devotion to each member of the congregation, commitment to Jewish life, inspiration in leading services and sharing sermons, and his passion for social justice are part of the fabric of Temple Sinai
  • COVID-19. We worry about safety for our families, dear ones, and ourselves because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We grieve for people who have lost their lives and who suffer because of the disease. We are grateful for the work of caregivers and essential workers who have sustained our country.
  • Crises in the United States and the World. Increased awareness of racial injustice after the death of George Floyd, the polarization in society, the rise in attacks by hate groups, the economy, and the coming election touch our hearts and call many to action. 

This year, services for the High Holy Days will be online. Rabbi Keren Gorban, Cantor Laura Berman, Drew Barkley, synagogue leaders, staff members, and I are working together to bring our services and programs online. We have been consulting with Reform leaders and clergy to learn from other synagogues’ experiences. 

How are we creating the High Holy Days online? Services and activities will grow from the spirit of Temple Sinai: Inspired, Innovative, and Inclusive. We have had conversations with the Neshama Center, Intergenerational Choir, disAbility Task Force, and other groups involved with worship as well as the many congregants who have participated in Meet & Greets. We asked these groups the following:

  • When you think back to last year and in the past, what are the most meaningful parts of the High Holy Days to you?
  • What is most important to you about the High Holy Days this year? What are people looking for? What is the meaning of the High Holy Days?

This guide will share with you the vision for the High Holy Days at Temple Sinai this year. Please contact members of the clergy, staff, or synagogue leaders if you have any questions or want to share your ideas. 

May you, your family, dear ones, community, and the world be inscribed in the Book of Life, Health, and Blessing.

Rabbi Darryl Crystal, Interim Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Keren Gorban, Associate Rabbi
Cantor Laura Berman

Mon, November 23 2020 7 Kislev 5781