art by Micah Bazant

High Holy Days 2018/5779

Selichot (September 1)
Erev Rosh Hashanah (September 9)
Rosh Hashanah (September 10)
Second Day Rosh Hashanah (September 11)

Shabbat Shuvah (September 15)

Kol Nidre (September 18)
Yom Kippur (September 19)

Sukkot (September 23 – September 30)
Simchat Torah (October 1)
Family, Youth and Children’s Programming

Glitter Kehilla
Song Shop & Prayerful Preparation
Simchat Torah
Klezmer Band
Past Services

Get Your Tickets Here

High Holy Days 5779 – 2018 

Emet ~ Truth ~ אמת

מִי־יָג֣וּר בְּאָֽהֳלֶ֑ךָ מִֽי־יִ֜שְׁכֹּ֗ן בְּהַ֣ר קָדְש? הוֹלֵ֣ךְ תָּ֖מִים וּפֹעֵ֥ל צֶ֑דֶק וְדֹבֵ֥ר אֱ֜מֶ֗ת בִּלְבָבֽוֹ:

Who lives within your tent? Who settles on your holy mountain? One who walks with integrity, and who acts justly, and who speaks truth in their heart.

Psalm 15:1-2

Our High Holy Day theme this year is “truth”.  

The Days of Awe bring us together in a community of spiritual practice that celebrates truth-seeking. We seek deeper understanding of the truth of our own experience and relationships. We seek to align ourselves with the moral and spiritual truths of our world. We seek courage in community to face the truths of our lives that can lead us toward greater wholeness. The many Jewish names for G-d can be understood as our people’s attempts, bound by the limits of our language and consciousness, to name the shared, ongoing truths of being alive. Seeking and being with truth is how we understand ourselves, each other and our world.

The spiritual practice of the Days of Awe is itself an act of resistance — especially in these times. By practicing together, we strengthen our muscles for discerning truth, we grow our capacity to recognize and name what is untrue, and we build our courage to speak truth to power.

Get Your Tickets Here

Sign up to Volunteer for High Holy Days Here

Rosh Hashanah: September 9-11, 2018

Kol Nidre/Yom Kippur: September 18-19, 2018

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).


Selichot (September 1)

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 Rabbi Dev, Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, and Kehilla’s “bima team” for song, prayer, and story to get us on our way.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (September 9)

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service

6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite CenterDoors open at 6pm.

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 Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Debbie Fier, Beth Dickinson, Avi Rose, and Julie Nesnansky.
Sermon by Rabbi Gray Myrseth.

Rosh Hashanah (September 10)

Main Sanctuary Service

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

Ketzev Kehilla drumming circle opens our service, continuing with Howard Hamburger, Rabbi David Cooper, Rabbi Dev Noily, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Debbie Fier, Julie Nesnansky, and Avi Rose.
Teen Sermon: Josh Bernard-Pearl
Torah Reading: Exodus 32: 1-12

Family & Youth Service

10:00 am – 11:30 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.

Tot 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 11)

Morning Service

9:30 am – 12:30 pm at Kehilla Community SynagogueDoors open at 9am.

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.

Shabbat Shuvah (September 15)

 10:30 am at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

Practice in the power of this one Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the Shabbat of Turning. Led by Howard Hamburger and Julie Nesnansky.
Kiddush sponsored by Amy Bat Tzipora & Beth Weinberger.

Kol Nidre (September 18)

Kol Nidre Service

6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite CenterDoors open at 6pm.

Geared for adults – all ages welcome (see below for Family & Tot 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.

Led by Avi Rose, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Debbie Fier, Beth Dickinson, and Julie Nesnansky.

Sermon by Rabbi Dev Noily.

Family Kol Nidre

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

Geared for children in grades 1 to 6; everyone welcome

Join Kehilla’s Director of Youth Programs, 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.

Toddler Kol Nidre

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

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 19)

Main Sanctuary Service (all ages welcome)

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

Services open with a meditative soundscape by Debbie Fier, continuing with Rabbi Dev Noily, Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, and Julie Nesnansky.
Congregant Sermon by Hillary Brooks.
Torah Reading: Leviticus 16: 21-31

Teen Services (geared to 6th – 8th graders)

At the Scottish Rite Center

Time TBD, with Noa Grayevsky.

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

Yom Kippur Afternoon Workshops

September 19, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

The Kotzker & The Besht – Two Hasidic Takes on Truth with Rabbi Burt Jacobson

Eighteenth-century Hasidism was a response to one of the worst periods of carnage ever suffered by the Jewish people. The Ba’al Shem Tov refused to be despondent and instead introduced a new Judaism of joy, love, and compassion that gave his people a deep sense of hope and courage. How can the lessons taught by the Ba’al Shem Tov strengthen our resolve in this dangerous time, when our country is in the hands of a right-wing government headed by a president who flirts with fascist ideas and values?

Justice Focused Workshop

More information soon

Qigong Practice with Diana Lion

Come join us for a relaxing Qigong practice, which will support us to harmonize our bodies, heart-minds, spirits, and life force.  We will combine movement and stillness, in sitting, lying, and standing postures. The emphasis is on connecting internally, so anyone wanting to attend is welcome to adapt any movements to fit their own needs. Some props will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own.

Yom Kippur Afternoon & Evening @ Kehilla

September 19, 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm 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)

3:00 – 4:00 pm Workshops (listed above)

4:30 pm Yizkor – Service of Remembrance

Led by Rabbi David, Hazzan Shulamit, and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer leaders: Debbie Fier, Julie Nesnansky and Beth Dickinson.

5:15 pm A Teaching from Rabbi David J. Cooper

5:30 pm Healing Service

With Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Hazzan Shulamit, Debbie Fier, and Julie Nesnansky.

6:30 pm Ne’ilah – Closing the Gates

With Howard Hamburger, Rabbi Dev, Hazzan Shulamit, and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer Leaders: Debbie Fier, Avi Rose, Julie Nesnansky and Beth Dickinson.

8:00 pm Havdalah followed by pot-luck break-fast

Please bring a vegetarian dish to share with at least 8-10 people!

Sukkot Gatherings at Kehilla

13th Annual Faith Trio Harvest Dinner in the Sukkah with Rabbi David
Friday, September 28, 6:30-8:45 pm

Join Kehilla, the Islamic Cultural Center, and Montclair Presbyterian for a special evening of shared food and connection, as well as conversation and teachings on supporting the Sanctuary movement and immigrants from all three traditions. KEHILLA FOLKS: Bring a main vegetarian dish to serve at least 6 people in addition to your party.

Shabbat Morning of Sukkot with Rabbi Dev and Hazzan Shulamit
+ Baby Welcome and Blessing
Saturday, September 29, 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Join us for a special Shabbat service while our joy is amplified by the celebration of Sukkot and the welcoming of Rabbi Elliot Kukla and Abby Weintraub’s new baby. We’ll sing Hallel, extra songs of praise, joy, and longing, and make hakafot, circular processions with lulavim– if you have one, bring it along to shake! Please bring a veggie dish to share for a festive kiddush in the Sukkah after services.

Outdoor Morning Meditation Sit in the Sukkah with Rabbi Dev
Wednesday October 3, 7:50 am
Gather at 7:50 a.m., short teaching at 7:55 a.m., silent sit from 8:00 – 8:30, mourner’s kaddish and announcements at 8:30. Please enter through the patio off Fairview Avenue.

Simchat Torah (October 1)

Jewish Renewal Community Simchat Torah Celebration & Dance Party
Monday, Oct 1st, 6:30 pm @ Kehilla
Kehilla, Chochmat HaLev, Aquarian Minyan and Beyt Tikkun come together at Kehilla to end and begin the Torah and to dance, dance, dance with our community-enhanced Klezmer band led by Mike Perlmutter!

6:30 Holiday Tot Service with Jen Miriam and Alon Altman in the Fireside Room
6:30 Ma’ariv / Evening service in the Sanctuary
7:00 Special Torah Service
7:30 Dancing with the Torah in the Sanctuary with Live Music

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) on Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 10- at Scottish Rite Center) and Kol Nidre (Sept. 18- at Kehilla)
  • Family Services (geared to school age kids, kids and adults of all ages welcome) on Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 10- at Scottish Rite Center) and Kol Nidre (Sept. 18- at Kehilla)
  • Teen Programming on Yom Kippur at Scottish Rite Center (Sept. 19)
  • Story time with Rabbi Gray for elementary aged students (or older) and parents on Yom Kippur at Scottish Rite Center (Sept. 19)
  • Youth Lounge- available during all services at Scottish Rite Center (for teens– ticket purchase required for both members and non-members)
  • Childcare- available during all services at Scottish Rite Center (ticket purchase required for both members and non-members)

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 Holy Days Services.

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

Volunteer for Family Services

It takes a community to make High Holy Day Family Services happen! Sign up to help at either Rosh Hashanah or Kol Nidre. For more information about volunteering, email

Parents: We are aiming to find some supportive hands to help us make the Family Services on Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre the amazing, uplifting, smooth running services we know they can be. Do note that volunteering to help at either/both services will contribute to your Avodah (service) hours! Sign up to volunteer for High Holy Days family services.

Teens: We are looking for some fantastic teen assistance with our Rosh Hashanah Morning and Kol Nidre Family Services! Come process with the Torah and participate in our interactive service! No preparation required, but sign up for the service(s) you are interested in helping with so we know you’re coming! B’nei Mitzvah program graduates (and soon-to-be graduates!) have always had a great presence at this service, and the more teens there, the better!

Rosh Hashanah Morning: Scottish Rite Center on September 10, at 9:50am (service starts at 10:00am and goes until about 11:15am). Stories, music and lots of participation fill this fun, kid-centered experience that includes Shofar sounding, Torah procession and other Rosh Hashanah traditions. If you have any questions about the Rosh Hashanah family service, feel free to contact Beth Dickinson at


High Holy Days can’t happen without the help of our many dedicated volunteers. Volunteering at High Holy Days counts toward your Avodah hours. Register to volunteer.

For more information on volunteering, contact

Glitter Kehilla

Glitter Kehilla invites Jews in their 20s and 30s of all genders and sexualities to come together for High Holidays with the Kehilla community. Tickets for Glitter Kehilla are sliding scale — a meaningful contribution as you’re able is appreciated, but no one is turned away for lack of funds

We’ll be sitting together at the Scottish Rite Center in the balcony to the right. We’ll have the space marked with signs and something shiny.

Join us for Glitter Tashlich on TBD at 6:00pm. We’ll be meeting at 17th St. and Lakeside Drive on the grassy knoll. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share!

For more information, join our mailing list by emailing or joining our Facebook group at

Glitter Kehilla is building a radical Jewish community of people in our 20s and 30s of all genders and sexualities coming together for meaningful Jewish ritual, social justice work, learning, and more.



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
  • Madison and 13th Street (Circular Lot)

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

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 9): 6pm-10pm
  • Rosh Hashanah (Monday, September 10): 9am-10pm
  • Kol Nidre (Tuesday, September 18): 6pm-10pm
  • Yom Kippur (Wednesday, September 19): 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  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 or call 510-547-2424 x100.


There are a number of ways to prepare for High Holy Days music participation.

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.

Klezmer Band

On Simchat Torah, our dancing with the Torah will be to the beats of our awesome community klezmer band! Mike Perlmutter, Dave Rosenfeld, and local klezmer great Joshua Horowitz will be offering a series of klezmer workshops where they’ll pass on this amazing traditional music and will prep us to be part of a community-infused celebration band for Simchat Torah. All workshops will be held on Monday nights from 7 – 9pm at Kehilla, please come to all the workshops if you can.

You need to come to AT LEAST TWO workshops if you want to play with the band on Simchat Torah. Cost of the workshops is $20 – $30 per session, sliding scale. Please pay on the high end if you can; if you need financial assistance email Rabbi Dev.

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:

Buy tickets for this year’s High Holy Days services.