High Holy Days 5782

Last Updated: September 14, 2021 at 10:30PM 

As we near the most holy and awesome time of the year, we are filled with longing for the power of what it means to come together as a community to pray, search, and envision together.

For those who registered to come in person, we are taking the utmost precautions to protect the health and safety of all those in our vibrant community. With this in mind, we want to share an update on our High Holy Days plans, affirmed by our Covid Re-Entry Task Force:

  • We reduced capacity in each of our services to 70 percent to allow for social distancing between households.
  • We consolidated to one main adult service in the BJ Sanctuary for all seven services. With the spiritual leadership all together in this way, we can provide a more powerful prayer experience for all participants, whether they be in person or online. Read more about this decision.
  • To maintain our 70 percent capacity plan, we will require proof of full vaccination and a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to the first Rosh Hashanah indoor service you attend and the first indoor Yom Kippur service you attend.
    • Please bring paper proof of a negative PCR test result from any qualified provider.
  • Proper masking will be required at all times while attending indoor or outdoor services. For the health and safety of each of us, we are requiring at least surgical masks (the typically blue or pink paper masks) or N95 or KN95 masks. Cloth masks alone are not enough. We will have surgical masks available.
  • All family and early childhood services will be outdoors and live streamed. All members over the age of 12 are required to present proof of vaccination for outdoor services. We do not require negative PCR test for outdoor services. In the event of rain, these will be held virtually.

5781 has been a year like no other. Our community has come together in ways large and small to support each other. We have drawn strength from the bonds that unite us, even as we have faced significant challenges. It is a loss to not be able to gather in full. But we could not be more proud and honored to lead this remarkable community, and we look forward to the introspection and spiritual growth that this time of year demands of us. Regardless of where we all are, we will join and pray as one.

Leshanah tovah tikatevu—may we, and all humanity, be inscribed for a good, peaceful, and healthy new year.

Yamim Nora’im At-a-Glance

Date Event Title Start Time
Wednesday, September 15 Kol Nidre 6:30 PM
Kol Nidre: Aviv 20s & 30s 6:30 PM
Kol Nidre: Families (Ages 6 and Up) 6:30 PM
Thursday, September 16 Yom Kippur Morning Services: Shaharit and Torah Service 9:00 AM
Yom Kippur Morning Services: Yizkor 11:45 AM
Yom Kippur Morning Services: Musaf 12:45 PM
Yom Kippur Morning Services: Seder Ha-Avodah 2:30 PM
Yom Kippur Minha and Ne’ila 5:00 PM
Aviv 20s and 30s Rooftop Break Fast 8:00 PM
Family and Early Childhood Services
Yom Kippur Morning Services: Early Childhood Families (Ages 0-5) 9:00 AM
Yom Kippur Morning Services: Families (Ages 6 and Up) 10:30 AM
Yom Kippur Meditation for Teens 2:00 PM
Family Ne’ila 7:15 PM

Quick Glance

All of this is subject to COVID-19 policies and guidance at the time of the High Holy Days, but these are our working assumptions based on the current COVID-19 trajectory.

Adult Services

  • Service Offerings: In person & virtual
  • In-Person Capacity: 70 percent
  • Requirements: Verified fully vaccinated for all indoor services—those who are not fully vaccinated, including children under 12, cannot attend indoor services
  • PCR Test: Required within 72 hours of the first service you are attending (indoor only)
  • Mask Requirement: Yes
  • Social Distancing: Limited capacity will allow for some social distancing.
  • Locations: BJ Campus
  • Reciprocal and Non-member Guests Allowed: Livestream only
  • Aviv 20s and 30s Programming: Yes

Family and Children’s Services

  • Service Offerings: In Person & Virtual
  • Location: All services will take place outdoors, locations to be confirmed
  • Requirements: All members over the age of 12 are required to present proof of vaccination for outdoor services. We do not require negative PCR test for outdoor services.
  • Masks: Required
  • Social Distancing: Yes
  • Children’s Ne’ila Procession: Yes, please register for the family Ne’ila option.

Children and Family Service Offerings

  • Family services: led by Rabbi Anne Ebersman and Rabbi Rebecca Weintraub and the BJ Teens, for families with children 6 and up
  • Early childhood family services: for families with children from birth through 5 years old
  • All Family and Early Childhood services will take place outdoors. Members should look for your High Holy Days registration emails for more details.

*Early childhood services will take place on Yom Kippur.

We will also continue livestreaming our services for those who prefer to join us virtually.


What is BJ’s vaccination policy?

Anyone attending indoor services must be fully vaccinated by the time of the service. 

People are considered fully vaccinated (via CDC):

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Proof of vaccination may be provided when registering and/or presented at the door. Even in these unusual times it continues to be our practice at BJ to not use phones in our prayer spaces on Shabbat and holidays, to maintain the spiritual atmosphere of these sacred days. Therefore, we kindly request that you print your proof of vaccination, or bring your physical card, and not plan to display it on your phone when you are checking in to services.

We hope to verify as many vaccinations as possible in advance to allow for a more streamlined entry. You may upload your proof of vaccination as part of the registration process and through Monday, August 23. 

We still encourage you to bring a paper copy as a backup. We will remind you of this in the final pre-holiday communications. 

Per BJ’s updated Covid-19 policies, children under 12 will be unable to attend indoor services. All family and early childhood services will be outdoors and livestreamed. Locations will be announced shortly. In the event of rain, these will be held virtually.

I am not a member. Can I purchase an entrance card to the High Holy Days?

Seating at our High Holy Days services is limited; therefore entrance cards are issued only to members. Because of the evolving situation with the Delta variant, we have determined that we will not be able to accommodate in-person guests this year. We encourage you to become a member to gain access to High Holy Days services in person.

Our High Holy Days and Shabbat livestreams are always available to the public at no cost.

How many High Holy Days entrance cards do I get with my membership?

Those with individual memberships receive one entrance card. Those with family memberships receive two adult entrance cards and youth cards for any members of the household 26 years of age and younger.

New this year will be a conference-style online registration system, allowing members to select the individual services they wish to attend (subject to availability) for themselves and each member of their household. Upon arrival, members will present a print-at-home QR code for access to services, so there will be no entrance card mailing this year.

What does it mean to be a member in good standing?

To be a member in good standing, your account balance should be paid in full or on a payment plan. If your intent is to send in a check, stock/wire transfer, or a contribution from a donor advised fund, please be in touch with the membership department about the timing of your payment.

Will you need ushers and greeters?

Yes, we will have a need for ushers and greeters, perhaps more than ever. If you want to help create a warm communal energy at our services by serving in this volunteer role, please fill out this form to indicate your interest. We will be in touch later in the summer when service locations have been confirmed and exact shifts are determined. PLEASE NOTE: This form is for indicating usher/greeter interest only, not membership renewal or indicating location preferences.

Will virtual services have a Zoom option or only stream via YouTube, Facebook, or the BJ website?

All services from the BJ Sanctuary, as well as Family and Children’s services will be streamed. We will not have a member-only Zoom option this year.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Email us at 5782@bj.org!

Join or Renew Your Membership

BJ’s 2021-2022 membership season is underway. You can always count on BJ for spiritual guidance, leadership, engagement, and support as we navigate our new, multi-access presence. Join or renew today to select a preferred service to attend for the High Holy Days. Entrance cards are issued only to current members.