This year’s Jewish High Holy Days have been unlike any other.
A drone was used to perform an ancient ritual. People gathered at a drive-in movie theater to watch holiday services. Others sat behind their screens in their living rooms and bedrooms to usher in the Jewish New Year.
The 10-stretch, which began with Rosh Hashana Sept. 18, comes to an end with Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown Sunday and ends at sundown Monday.
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is when Jews fast and reflect on the year past and the year to come.
Synagogues, once again, have had to adjust their normal services to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.
How and where to worship
This is how some synagogues plan to host the holidays.
▪ Chabad of Kendall, 8700 SW 112th St., will host Yom Kippur services indoors and outdoors in shifts. Seating will be limited, says Rabbi Yossi Harlig, and congregants’ temperatures will be taken as a precaution. Masks are required. You can make reservations at www.chabadofkendall.org.
▪ Temple Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach, will be open for members who reserve in advance, says Rabbi Marc Philippe. “Masks will have to be worn at all times. Families will sit together but must be 10 feet apart from other people. Restrooms will be disinfected after each use.” Services will also be livestreamed on the temple’s site and on its Facebook page if worshipers are more comfortable staying at home. For more information, visit www.tesobe.org for log-on details or call the temple at 305-538-2503.
▪ Temple Beth Sholom of Miami Beach will livestream its services — including Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur — on its platform and via Facebook Live. Information: www.tbsmb.org/hhdtbs. Says Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz: “We have re-imagined the High Holy Days to touch people’s lives through music, prayer, inspirational words and virtual gatherings to uplift and heal us in these unprecedented times. Our services will reflect the unique faces and voices of Temple Beth Sholom in song and in prayer.”
▪ Bet Shira Congregation hosts High Holy Days @ Bet Shira virtual services free and open to the community with reservations at www.betshira.org. “We believe in the year of COVID, when so many are hurting in so many ways, that it is wrong to deprive High Holy Day services to anyone — especially if they cannot financially afford it,” said Bet Shira’s Rabbi Benjamin Herman in a statement.
▪ Temple Israel of Greater Miami hosts High Holy Days services virtually via Zoom. Visit www.templeisrael.net for details.
▪ Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center hosts a High Holy Days Drive-In experience on a 40-foot screen at Dezerland Park, 14401 NE 19th Ave., North Miami. Ne’ilah Yom Kippur Night will be at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28. These experiences are included with members’ paid annual commitment, but the center suggests a $50 donation per car and registration is required. Non-members can sign up for $180 at www.atjc.org/event/drive-in. Information on Aventura’s livestreamed services at www.atjchome.org/high-holy-days-online-services.
▪ Alper Jewish Community Center will hold a (Scape) Goat Yoga session, which will include a discussion of the ancient ritual on Sunday Sept. 27. There will be three sessions: family at 9 a.m.; teens at 10 a.m. and adults at 11 a.m. The cost is $22 per person. Registration is required. To register visit bit.ly/scapegoatyoga.
▪ Temple Sinai of North Dade will livestream almost all of its services. For the past month, the synagogue has offered live, digital services, some prerecorded services and opportunities to be together in the sanctuary. Kol Nidre will be at 8 p.m. Sunday Sept. 27. Services will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday Sept. 28 with a family service. For more information on the syanogue’s services for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, visit https://www.tsnd.org/hhd.
▪ Base Miami is offering a holiday companion to help navigate the High Holy Days. The 22-page guide is full of readings, questions to ponder, and even offers holiday recipes.
▪ Temple Judea in Coral Gables will offer livestream services for Yom Kippur, some of which will be available to the public. A virtual Yom Kippur Yizkor Service will be available to everyone at 5 p.m. Monday Sept. 28. For more information visit https://www.judeagables.org/hhd2020.
▪ Dor Chadesh, 9560 SW 107th Ave., Yom Kippur services are available on Zoom for free for members. It will be streamed live on the synagogue’s Facebook page. For more information, visit www.highholidays2020.org.
▪ Temple Beth Or’s Reimagined High Holy Days Journey will feature Yom Kippur services, and other programming, via Zoom. Visit bethormiami.com/high-holidays for information on registering and the various events.