The month of Elul begins the High Holy Day season. Our High Holy Day observances begin with Selichot and continue through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah.
Selichot: We begin our spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days by attending The Selichot service which is held on the Saturday evening before Rosh Hashanah. At the Selichot service, we begin to examine our deeds of this past year, seeking forgiveness from God, and promising to improve our behavior in the New Year.
Rosh HaShanah: Mark the Joyous Celebration of our New Year and focus on the exciting changes that a new year brings. Our services include the melodious voice of our Rabbi Mariana Gindlin, as well as her inspiring words.
Tashlich at the Beach: We head to the ocean to observe the Tashlich ritual. As part of our service, we will symbolically cast our shortcomings into the water, leaving ourselves strengthened for the future.
Yom Kippur: On Rosh Hashanah, we joyously enter the New Year and on Yom Kippur we think about the changes we need to make to improve not only ourselves but our relationships with our family, friends and community. Experience Yom Kippur at Congregation Shir Chadash, which begins with the “Kol Nidre,” with its marvelously plaintive and touching melody. Throughout Yom Kippur we reflect on forgiveness and change concluding with Yizkor/Neilah followed by a break-the-fast with refreshments and honey cake.
Sukkot: Sukkot begins just days after we conclude the High Holy Days. For us the eight-day holiday is a chance to invite guests to participate in this festival of joy. Beside services, we also invite you to join us for a festive outdoor meal in our lovely decorated sukkah during the week. Here we can have the opportunity to eat, schmooze, sing and once again take part in the special mitzvot of waving the lulav & etrog.
Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah: Celebration – Let us mark the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle! This joyful and festive occasion includes dancing and singing with the Torah and is a perfect celebration for the whole family.
For non-members of our congregation High Holy Day tickets are necessary for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Please contact our synagogue office at 562-429-0715.
If you thought that Passover was the only “Seder” of the year, think again. On Tu B’Shvat, you can ponder a world of fruits. Please join us for this very special Seder and fun filled afternoon, for the whole family. A brief Tu B’Shvat Seder will celebrate natural foods found in Israel and will remind us of our responsibility to care for the environment. That will be followed by games for all ages and, of course, snacks!
Jews all over the world celebrate Purim on Adar 14th. Join us for our Shir Chadash Purim Service, complete with prayers, the reading of the Megillah and the presence of liquid refreshment that may make it difficult to distinguish between Cursed be Haman!” and “Praised be Mordecai!”
Then join us for an original musical Purim Shpiel. Our Purim Shpiels have been based on the music of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Stevie Wonder”, “Grease”, “Mary Poppins” and more. Let our members and clergy entertain you with an evening of joy and laughter.
This eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.
At our annual Pesach Seder, every person sees oneself as if they were going out of Egypt. Beginning with our Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we recount the Jewish people’s descent into Egypt and recall their suffering and persecution. We are with them as G‑d sends the Ten Plagues to punish Pharaoh and his nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds. We witness the miraculous hand of G‑d as the waters part to allow the Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions. Please be sure to join us.
A celebration of the formal establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Israel’s Memorial Day, to honor its fallen soldiers.
Holocaust Remembrance Day – which we mark with reflection, the recounting of survivor testimonies, and, in Israel, a two-minute siren that stops commerce and conversation across the State.
Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of G‑d’s gift, the Torah.
The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot. The holiday of Shavuot is a two-day holiday, beginning at sundown of the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan.
Join us on the first day of Shavuot to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. Oh and don’t forget the cheesecake or ice cream or cheese blintzes. Traditionally we eat dairy on this Holy Day. Since Torah is likened to milk, as the verse says, “Like honey and milk [the Torah] lies under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Just as milk has the ability to fully sustain the body of a human being (i.e. a nursing baby), so too the Torah provides all the “spiritual nourishment” necessary for the human soul.
On the second day of Shavuot, the Yizkor memorial service will be recited.
On Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, we mourn in commemoration of the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, many of which have occurred on the ninth of Av. In synagogue, the book of Lamentations is read and mourning prayers are recited. Tisha B’Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.
We celebrate Chanukah — the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. We celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materialism. More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucid (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G‑d. When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity. To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.
Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil — latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there”); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.
At our annual LatkePaLooza Chanukah Celebration here at Shir Chadash we bring our Chanukiah (menorahs) and light candles prior to enjoying a festive community dinner.