High Holy Days



וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם

“And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)

When we cannot come to Temple Israel, Temple Israel comes to us.

The High Holy Day experience this year will be quite different than usual; however we are striving to create meaningful, memorable, and comforting services to capture the spirit of the Days of Awe.

A Vision for the Temple Israel High Holy Days

  • Meaningful, memorable, and comforting services accessible to members and guests.
  • Traditional melodies, voices, and prayers.
  • A familiar and comfortable setting, with as many services as possible being streamed from the sanctuary.
  • Abbreviated virtual services so that nothing runs longer than 60 minutes.
  • Opportunities for as much interaction as possible via Facebook and Zoom, and ease of access via YouTube (without password restrictions or need for Zoom download).


July 21, 2020. The Temple Israel Board of Trustees:

  • Heard a presentation from Rabbi Komerofsky about a vision for the High Holy Days and provided initial guidance and feedback. See below for an overall vision that reflects the Board conversation.
  • Endorsed the creation of a Task Force to solicit input from the congregation and help Rabbi Komerofsky determine a plan for the details of services and programming. The Task Force includes: Cathy Atleson, Jim Barnett, Adele Gelb, Madelyn Gratop, Toni Olenick, Stan Rosenblatt, Barb Spera, John Spera, Mark Tenenbaum & Jonathan Wilkof 

July 29, 2020. The Task Force met for the first time.

  • Made some initial determinations about formats and timing of services (see preliminary schedule below).
  • Determined that there will be multiple options for members to receive prayer books and other materials, with a poll to be conducted in late August.
  • Determined that the High Holy Day food drive will continue, with creative ways to distribute bags and collect donations.

July 31, 2020. Food Bank Update

  • Temple Israel will again participate in the Jewish Federation Food Bank these High Holy Days. Arrangements are in the works for the distribution and collection of bags, compliments of Fishers Foods. Bags will include a list of items requested for the Food Bank, especially cleaning and paper products that are not covered through the food assistance program.

August 4, 2020

  • We are now ready to collect submissions for the Book of Memory, which will be printed and available for drop-off or pick-up (stay tuned for information on how to indicate your preference).  You can submit your listings for the Book of Memory at www.templeisraelcanton.org/memory.  (Paper submissions will also be available for those members who do not use technology – spread the word).

August 6, 2020

  • Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

August 12, 2020

  • Tashlich (the ceremony at a body of water for symbolically casting away sins) will tentatively be at Stadium Park. The liturgy is available for download (CLICK HERE) for those who would prefer to observe the custom on their own.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    • Why are we streaming the services online instead of having them in person?
      • Guidance from public health officials indicate that indoor gatherings are not safe, particularly large crowds with singing and loud speaking. A large tent with a large crowd would pose the same risk, as these services are all singing and speaking.
    • Why can we not have multiple services at different times, in person, with smaller groups of people?
      • For the same reason that we cannot gather in large crowds, we would be ill-advised to congregate in smaller crowds, in person, in an enclosed space. Rather than segregating the congregation into those who choose to risk gathering and those who do not, it is better to ensure that everyone has access to the services in the same way, at the same time, from the safety of their own spaces.
    • Why are some services being recorded and not streamed live in real time on the holy days?
      • Five of our services (Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah Morning, Erev Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur Morning, and Yizkor/Memorial) will be pre-recorded and edited for a clear and smooth presentation. These services will include the professional musicians who are part of Temple Israel’s traditional services, and must be prepared in advance so that the liturgy can flow appropriately. The services that do not involve the professional musicians will be streamed live in the same way as our regular Friday night services.
    • What will the music be like?
      • We will again be inspired by the talents of Alexandre Marr and Daveed Buzaglo for our pre-recorded services. We will have a quartet choir for a few of the musical selections.
    • What prayer books are we going to use?
      • We will use Mishkan Hanfesh, the same book we’ve used the last several years. The texts will appear onscreen, and we are arranging ways for members to get the hard copies of the books before Rosh Hashanah so that everyone can follow along. We will also be using the prayerbook for the Yom Kippur afternoon study sessions. You can also see online versions of the prayerbook at the bottom of this page.
    • Do I need special software to see the service?
      • No. Services will be streaming to YouTube for ease of access. Some services will also stream on Facebook and others on Zoom. 
      • We will have several demonstrations before Rosh Hashanah to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the technology before the holy days. Watch your Tidbits for information on these online sessions.
    • What about people who do not use computers or tablets or cannot access the internet?
      • We will have a phone-in option for all services, and everyone will have access to the printed prayerbook to be able to follow along. If you know of people who need assistance with the technology, please reassure them that they will not be left out.
    • Food Bank Collection
      • We will again participate in the Food Bank collection through the Jewish Federation. More details are elsewhere on this page (in the “Updates” section) and will be publicized with the distribution of prayer books.

High Holy Day Prayerbooks

Click each book for the digital flip version