High Holy Days 5782 (2021)

Join us for worship on ZOOM and in the Temple Sanctuary!

With the uncertainties presented by recent COVID spread, we are taking a cautious approach to High Holiday worship. At this time, in-person attendance is limited to Temple members. We will utilize ZOOM for access to services. Registration will be required for both online and in-person worship. An email notice has gone out to congregant families with additional information. Call 802-862-5125 or email the office if you need help.

Important Information About High Holy Day Services This Year

Masks: Please bring and be prepared to wear a mask. See our home page for the latest COVID policy information.

Limited Attendance: Due to ongoing concerns about COVID, we are limiting each service to 150 people in the sanctuary.

Services for Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur: To accommodate our usual community, we will hold our regular services twice on each day, once in the morning and the same service in the afternoon. Kol Nidre will be repeated at 7:00 pm on Erev Yom Kippur.

NOTE: The second Rosh Hashanah service scheduled for 2:00 pm has been cancelled.

Registration: To attend services this year, you must register.   A mailing has gone out to our membership that includes the link for registration. Unfortunately because of recent concerns around the COVID Delta variant, we are unable to accommodate in-person non-member guests. Contact the Temple Office for additional information.

Tzedakah: As a central component of our High Holy Days, we are collecting money and dry goods for the South Burlington Food Shelf. This year, consider becoming a monthly donor.

High Holiday Prayer Books: We will be using our usual machzor, or High Holy Day prayer book, Mishkan HaNefesh, from the CCAR.  Members who do not yet own a hardcopy set may obtain them by calling the Temple office at a cost of $50 for the 2 volume set. Electronic (Kindle) versions of the set or individual books may be purchased from Amazon. (Tip: Use smile.amazon.com and help Temple Sinai!).  If you are purchasing a set from Temple Sinai, or need to borrow one  for high holidays, please contact the Temple Administrator.

Breaking the Fast: At the conclusion of our Neilah service, we will break the fast together in our social hall (unless COVID restrictions dictate otherwise) and outside in our tent. Please join us, and please register on the website. 

A Glossary of High Holiday Words and Phrases

HH Audio, Video and Other Resources

More questions? Please email us or use the Contact Us form on this website.

Services and Events Schedule and Information


S’lichot Service
Saturday, August 28 | 8:00 pm

Leil S’lichot, (Evening of Prayers for Forgiveness) – the Saturday evening a week or so before Rosh HaShanah, is when we turn our hearts toward the High Holy Days and t’shuvah, or “return.” With lowered lights and candles, this lovely service begins with Havdalah, and offers a spiritual space for reflection and penitence, and includes special chants, poems and prayers asking for forgiveness.

Rosh Hashanah

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service – Awe and humility in the face of life’s power and fragility
Monday, Sept 6 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

This year, we have had many reasons to reflect on the fragility of life, and the thin line that separates life from death. As we enter our spiritual new year, let’s appreciate the power of life and the beauty of creation as we renew our relationship with God.

Rosh Hashanah Morning – Young Families Service
Tuesday, September 7 | 9:00 am

The key parts of Rosh HaShanah reimagined for little Jews and their friends. Songs, stories, and key ideas of the New Year with Saragail Benjamin and Rabbi Edleson.

Rosh Hashanah Morning Services I and IIIn the Image of God
Tuesday, September 7 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 2:00 – 4:00 pm (second service has been CANCELLED)

A music and poetry filled worship service with reading of the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. What in your life is binding you? How do you bind yourself to God and community?

Tashlich Ceremony – Casting off the Angst (and sins) of the Past Year
Tuesday, September 7 | 5:00 pm Winooski Falls Overlook

This year, we will symbolically let go of some of the angst and tensions we have built up over the year, and cast our sins symbolically into the water. Those who feel safe gathering outdoors at a local waterfront will join for this ritual. Those who can use our ‘Tashlich do-it-yourself” kit (just add bread!) with audio guide that will be sent to you, along with maps to other places you might go near you to enjoy nature and perform your Tashlich ceremony.

Between RH & YK – Shabbat Shuva Services

Shabbat Shuva “Shirtan” Meditative Chanting Shabbat Service
Friday, September 10 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm

A time to breathe, chant, and listen to the “still small voice within” to help us on the road of t’shuvah, return to a life of goodness.

Shabbat Shuvah Shacharit
Saturday, September 11 | 9:30-10:30 am

Our one-hour Shacharit service is rooted in the traditional chanting of prayers, but includes English readings and song as well so that all can be included. (This service does not include a Torah service.)

Shabbat Shuvah Torah Study
Saturday September 11 | 10:30-noon

Participatory, free ranging study of texts of repentance and t’shuvah.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a time of reflection, confession, and atonement, but it is also a time of spiritual cleansing and renewal.

Kol Nidre/Erev Yom Kippur I and II – Facing Our Broken Promise
Wednesday, September 15 | 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm (2 services, same content)

As we listen to the haunting melody of Kol Nidrei, in the presence of our Torahs, we commit ourselves to being better people and making our lives meaningful.

Yom Kippur Morning Young Families Service
Thursday, September 16 – 9:00 – 9:45 am

The key themes of Yom Kippur reimagined for little Jews and their friends. Songs, stories, and key ideas of the New Year with Saragail Benjamin and Rabbi Edleson.

Yom Kippur Morning Service I and II (2 services, same content)
Thursday, September 16 | 10:00-noon and 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Yom Kippur calls to us in the voice of our ancestors, reminding us of the importance of humility and empathy in the face of a culture torn by polarization, consumption and egoism.

Yom Kippur Yizkor
Thursday, September 16 | 2:00 pm

Yizkor reminds us how much what we have lost still guides us. Join us for Yizkor to remember members of our family and community who have died.

Yom Kippur Neilah – The Closing of the Gates
Thursday, September 16 | 6:00-7:00 pm

Prayers for forgiveness turn to songs of gratitude and celebration at being forgiven and starting the new year afresh. We will also use songs to inspire us to do the work we need to do in the world in this new year full of challenges and opportunities. The day culminates in the final T’kiah G’dola blast of the shofar as the sun sets over the Green Mountains.

Break Fast – “Do Not Separate Yourself from the Community” ~Hillel
Immediately following closing prayers 

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