Facing Our Times with Spiritual Audacity

I propose that (we) declare a state of moral emergency….The hour calls for high moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.

-Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1963

High Holy Days 2017/5778


Selichot (September 16)
Erev Rosh Hashanah (September 20)
Rosh Hashanah (September 21)
Second Day Rosh Hashana (September 22)
Kol Nidre (September 29)
Yom Kippur (September 30)
Sukkot (October 4- October 11)
Simchat Torah (October 13)

Family, Youth and Children’s Programming


Past Services
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Rosh Hashanah: September 20-22, 2017

Kol Nidre/Yom Kippur: September 29-30, 2017

Unless otherwise noted, services are held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center (located at 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612). Other services are held at Kehilla Community Synagogue (located at 1300 Grand Ave, Piedmont, CA 94610).

About our theme

Since last year’s High Holy Days, so much has happened. Many things that some of us have taken for granted are under assault. Facing our new circumstances, how do we resist and persist, drawing on our spiritual teachings to stay true to our values of human integrity, and our commitment to this planet and its creatures? Now, we look ahead with awareness of our individual and collective struggles, traumas, gifts and strengths. How can we break free from the impact of our past traumas? How do we offer our gifts with humility, clarity and spiritual audacity? This, like every moment, is novel and requires our creativity, our compassion and a renewed awareness of our spiritual resources. Every High Holy Day cycle brings a powerful invitation to reflect back and to prepare to move forward; this year calls on all that our hearts and minds can offer.



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Selichot (September 16)

Selichot Evening Service

8:00 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

Selichot is our portal into the Days of Awe and the process of teshuva, of turning inward with love and curiosity to face ourselves with clarity and truth. Slichot limbers up our ability to ask for forgiveness. Before we enter the great hall of Rosh Hashana, we gather in the intimate circle of Selichot – just us – to begin the tender and life-giving practice of looking deeply and clearly at our lives.  Join Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Rabbi Dev Noily, and Kehilla’s “bima team” for song, prayer, and story to get us on our way.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (September 20)

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service

6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Center.

Welcome the new year, celebrate the birthday of the world, and gather with our community as we face this moment together, and begin to draw on the practices of this season to sustain us and uplift us in difficult times. Led by Rabbi Dev Noily, Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders.

Sermon by Howard Hamburger

Rosh Hashanah (September 21)

Main Sanctuary Service

9:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Center.

Ketzev Kehilla drumming circle with Debbie Fier opens our service, continuing with Howard Hamburger, Rabbi David Cooper, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders.

Teen Sermon by Jessica Shen-Wachter

Torah Reading: Exodus 3 – Moses at the Burning Bush: the call to service and liberation.

Family & Youth Service

10:00 am – 11:15 am, Scottish Rite Center (third floor).

With Beth Dickinson, Rabbi Gray Myrseth and Jenna Stover-Kemp.  

Stories, music and lots of participation fill this fun, kid-centered experience that includes Shofar sounding, Torah procession and other Rosh Hashanah traditions. Geared for children in grades 1 to 6, and open to all ages.

See our full list of family, youth and children’s services.

Toddler Service (for kids up to age 5 and their grown-ups)

10:15 am – 11:15 am, Scottish Rite Center (third floor).

With Jen Miriam and Alon Altman. Enjoy a Rosh Hashanah experience with puppets, music and lots of fun for our youngest celebrants and the grown-ups who love them.

See our full list of family, youth and children’s services.

Tashlich at Lake Merritt

12:45 pm, at Lake Merritt outside the Scottish Rite Center.

Join Rabbi David immediately after morning services for the tradition of casting into the water the mistakes we’ve made over the last year, and cleansing ourselves to begin anew.

Second Day Rosh Hashanah (September 22)

Morning Service

9:30 am – 12:30 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

With Rabbi Chaya Gusfield and Eve Decker.

Receive the replenishment of contemplative song, story and silence.  Rabbi Chaya and Buddhist teacher and musician Eve Decker use the beautiful complement of Jewish and Buddhist teachings, music and spiritual practices to delve deeply into the essence of this holy day.  A more intimate service for the second day.

Kol Nidre (September 29)

Kol Nidre Service

6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Center.

Geared for adults – all ages welcome (see below for family & toddler Kol Nidre).

On this holiest night of the Jewish year it’s our custom to wear white, to avoid leather, to fast, and to pray wearing a tallit/prayer shawl – the only time in the year that a tallit is worn at night. This service, beginning with the chanting of Kol Nidre, initiates a practice period that will last for the next 25 hours. This year Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat, adding to the holiness of the day.

Led by Rabbi Dev Noily, Avi Rose, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders.

Sermon by Rabbi Dev.

Family Kol Nidre

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

Geared for children in grades 1 to 6; everyone welcome.

Join Kehilla School’s new Director, Rabbi Gray Myrseth, and local treasure and world musician Lior Ben-Hur for this special family experience of Kol Nidre.  Enter into the holiness of Yom Kippur with music, story and tradition that brings families into the experience of this holy time together.

See our full list of family, youth and children’s services.

Toddler Kol Nidre

6:30pm – 7:30 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

Geared for tots and babies and the grown-ups who love them.

Jen Miriam and Alon Altman bring their warm, loving and puppet-filled world to a musical Kol Nidre experience for little ones up to age 5 and their grown-ups.

See our full list of family, youth and children’s services.

Yom Kippur (September 30)

Main Sanctuary Service (all ages welcome)

9:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Center.

Services open with a meditative soundscape by Debbie Fier, continuing with Sharon Grodin, Rabbi Dev Noily, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders.

Guest Sermon by Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man

Torah Reading: Numbers 19 – Looking at what lies ahead and meeting fear and opportunity

Youth Service (geared to 6th – 8th graders)

10:00 – 11:00 am at the Scottish Rite Center.

See our full list of family, youth and children’s services.

Yom Kippur Afternoon & Evening Events

September 30, 2:00 pm – 8:05pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

  • 2:00 – 4:30 pm Drop off break-fast pot-luck offerings at the Kehilla kitchen (or bring them at 7:45)
  • 2:30 – 3:30 Workshops (Please check back. Workshop offerings will be updated soon.)
  • 4:30 Yizkor service of remembrance led by Rabbi Dev and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer leaders
  • 5:15 – 6:30 Programming:
    • Teaching with Rabbi Burt Jacobson
    • Healing service with Rabbi Elliott Kukla
    • Dukhanen (Priestly Blessing) with Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman
  • 6:30 Ne’ilah – Closing the Gates with Howard Hamburger, Rabbi David Cooper, Hazzan Shulamit and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders
  • 8:05 Havdallah followed by pot-luck break-fast

please bring a vegetarian dish to share!

Sukkot (October 4-11)

Sukkot Shabbat

October 6, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

Join us for a Sukkot Shabbat Service. Kiddush to follow.

Simchat Torah

Information about Simchat Torah services coming soon.

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Family, Youth and Children’s Programming

Children and youth are welcome at all of Kehilla’s High Holy Days services. We have also created a wide variety of options for families and children of all ages, including:

  • Celebration for Toddlers and Young Children (geared to kids up to age 5 and their grown-ups)
  • Family Services (geared to school age kids, kids and adults of all ages welcome)
  • Youth Service (for 6th-8th graders)
  • Youth Lounge (for teens)
  • Childcare (reservations required)
  • Open play space for kids accompanied by their grown ups

We invite you and your children to participate in as many of these opportunities as possible.

See the full list of Kehilla’s family, youth and children’s High Holiday Services.

Buy tickets for family, youth and children’s programming.



Services for Erev Rosh Hashana, Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur will be held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center (located at 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612). Douglas Parking has generously donated the following complimentary parking lots to be used during these services:

  • Lot 69 at Harrison and 15th Streets
  • Lot 46 at Harrison and 15th Streets, across the street from Lot 69
  • Lot 8 at Harrison and 19th

The complementary parking lots will be available during the following times:

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah (Wednesday, September 20th): 6pm-10pm
  • Rosh Hashanah (Thursday, September 21th): 9am-10pm
  • Kol Nidre (Friday, September 29th): 6pm-10pm
  • Yom Kippur (Saturday, September 30th): 9am-2pm

See below for information about reserved parking for disabled participants.


Reserved parking for disabled participants

There are limited number of reservable parking spaces available in the rear parking lot of the Scottish Rite Center for drivers with disability parking placards and with the greatest need. Parking reservations for disabled community members can be requested by clicking here.

If a drop off is planned: one of our wonderful volunteers can meet you at the curb in front of the building and provide assistance getting inside, as long as you are dropped off by 15 minutes before the start of services at the latest. As always, carpooling is strongly encouraged, and in any case please allow plenty of time to arrive and find seats.


Accessible seating options will be available on a first-come basis. The amount of reserved-area seating will be based on our experience of the community’s needs. If you have particular needs for seating accommodation please contact Dee at Dee@kehillasynagogue.org.  At services, volunteers will help you find a spot in the appropriate designated area when you arrive at services.

  • Arriving early will mean greater choice for you and will help us make suitable arrangements for everyone. Later in the service, empty seats will be released to others who may no require any accommodation.
  • Arriving scent-free will increase the availability of seating choices for everyone. As in previous years, the left half of the main floor, the loge, and the first quarter of the balcony (on the left closest to the bima) will be designated as scent-free seating.

For more information about accessibility for High Holy Days, email Dee@kehillasynagogue.org or call 510-547-2424 x100.


In preparation for High Holy Days, you can enjoy listening, learning, and singing along with these beloved High Holy Day melodies here. Read Hebrew, transliterations, and translations of the liturgy.



Past High Holy Days

As you prepare to observe High Holy Days with us, take a look at our sermons from past High Holy Days:

See below for a video from last year’s High Holy Days: