High Holiday Season Preview

August  2022 Keeping Connected

Dear Friends,

These steamy days of July have me thinking about the cool days of Autumn. I am starting to make plans regarding the High Holiday season, our coming Shabbat services, adult education, school and more. This coming year will be the 2nd year since we have learned to adapt to the changing dynamic of living with Covid. I can’t say that things are “normal” and that we should just return to doing things the way we used to. Why? Well things are not the same. The challenging part is that there are members of our community who continue to need to be cautious about how they participate in public events and for these folks we need to continue to offer spiritual and education opportunities that allow them to participate while still feeling safe. We also learned that some of our new traditions, like the parking lot Rosh Hashanah gathering, outdoor Torah readings, Shofar services and Blessing of the Moon are meaningful, spiritual and even fun. I share all of these insights in order to say that hybrid High Holidays is the new normal.

This year we will continue to have services on-line through Zoom for those who want to participate remotely and we will continue our newer tradition of an on-line Rosh HaShanah Seder for Erev Rosh HaShanah. On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, in addition to our indoor Family and Adult services, we will have some of our afternoon services outside as last year. Also, our beautiful memorial garden will continue to be a place to visit and remember loved ones.

Some things will continue on as in years past. Meryl Gold, Johann Soultes, Scott Nichols and Adam Gold will continue to bring beautiful music to our community. We will still have our Service of Renewal, Yizkor service and hopefully our breakfast as well.

Our congregation has always been a community in which our members participate in High Holiday services. I am reaching out to all of you to ask you to volunteer to make our High Holidays a meaningful experience. I am looking for folks who want to chant or read Torah and Haftarah, volunteer as ushers or as security greeters. I am also hoping that some of you may consider helping in the tech end of things with helping to run some of the Zoom services. Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you would like to participate in any of these areas. My e-mail is rabbi@congregationshalom.org.

I hope that the new year will bring a sense of renewal and hope to all of us.


Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry