Our High Holidays

Our High Holidays

Rabbi’s Message – September 29, 2020

Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz

As we reflect on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there are so many things to be thankful for and I am so proud of our community.  First, thank you to all of our congregants who participated in making these holidays so meaningful by filling it with your talent, as well as your fun and friendly faces.

 
Second, thank you to the creative teams of the Imprint Group DMC for their masterful work on producing our services and to The Ohlmann Group for their spectacular Welcome Video. Special thanks to Monika Shroyer and Beth Styles for helping us sound so good and a shout out to Andy Snow, as well, for his generosity of time and expertise.
 
Third, a heartfelt thank you goes to our Temple Israel senior staff team and our incredible families that have supported us. Rabbi Tina Sobo, Courtney Cummings, Grant Halasz, and Suzanne Shaw – this could never have happened without your many talents and gifts. Nobody could ever know just how large of a task it has been getting us to this moment.  Thank you also to our support staff – Ellen Finke-McCarthy, Annette Stogdill, and Scott Francis.  

 
Even though these holidays are behind us, the content we shared and created together over the last several days is still available.  If you have not yet watched our Welcome Video, please take a few minutes to share in our joy of this season with the special greetings of our community members at https://services.tidayton.org.  If you have not checked out the supplemental Torah and Haftarah readings and translations, please do so. And be sure to take a moment to listen to the Yom Kippur Afternoon Haftarah translation of Jonah, by Saul and Nathan Caplan. (It is fantastic and no Yom Kippur feels complete without that story.)  You may also revisit the healing service from Yom Kippur afternoon, our sermons from both holidays, and the special musical video productions with the choir.
 
As we see Sukkot and Simchat Torah on the horizon, we look forward to continuing our holiday celebrations with you.  Sukkot Services will be LIVE from home this Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. on Zoom.  To celebrate the joy of this season and see each other again in person, we are hosting a Sukkot & Simchat Torah Drive-Thru Experience on Friday, October 9 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  You will have a chance to drive through a large sukkah and fulfill the mitzvah of shaking the lulav and etrog, pick up a few goodies, return borrowed prayer books, drop off food donations, be serenaded by our Rabbinic Intern, Grant Halasz, and more.  The Rosh Hashanah Drive-Thru was such a success – you don’t want to miss this experience.     
 
L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’techatemu – May you be written and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year.

High Holidays During the Covid-19 Pandemic

New Year & New Online Platform

Rabbi’s Message – September 15, 2020

Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz

For the last few months we have all been wondering what High Holidays would look like in a pandemic.  A lot of dreaming and hard work since the spring have culminated into an immersive holiday experience.  And I’m excited to unveil the fruits of our labor – today!  

I realize that nothing can substitute for in-person services.  Nothing beats the real thing.  Yet we hope you will come away with a sense of renewal and even satisfaction for having navigated what it means to engage in this ancient ritual in 2020.  We hope to provide you with the most accessible, reliable, and spiritually uplifting opportunities to share our familiar and iconic Temple Israel High Holiday moments together. 

Our High Holidays will be hosted at http://services.tidayton.org, a custom page accessible from our Temple Israel website.  It is just like walking in our front doors and taking your seat.  The page is essentially your virtual Great Hall, complete with shout outs from some of your favorite ushers and familiar faces!

Once you enter, everything else will be taken care of for you.  Are you missing a prayer book?  No problem, just click on the red link next to that service.  Need to join a Zoom room for Children’s Services?  Just click the children’s services tab and explore your options.

All of our regular services will be live streamed.  This means that at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, you will simply need to go to the website and click the PLAY button on the image in front of you.  If you have any trouble, we have an online technician ready to answer your questions.  You will also be able to access all types of supplemental resources, including a beautiful Rosh Hashanah Seder crafted by Judy Heller and Rita Dushman Rich.  We will continue to add service highlights, extra worship opportunities, and supplemental materials that you can access on demand.  

Feel free to cater your experience to your own needs.  If you prefer to pray from the comfort of your living room, take a moment to learn how to “cast” the webpage onto your Smart TV.  If you wish to be surrounded by the voices and faces of your friends and loved ones, start your own Zoom room to simultaneously participate in services.  You can even do it with out of town friends and family!  Now is the time to start preparing for Friday if you haven’t already.  Check out the webpage, buy your fruits and vegetables for a Rosh Hashanah Seder, and make sure your loved ones know how to participate with you.  

I look forward to wishing all of you a happy New Year on Thursday and Friday for our Rosh Hashanah Drive Thru Experience! 

Shanah Tovah.