Tools for our Time: Teshuvah, Tefillah, Tzedakah

תשובה תפילה צדקה

(Re)turning/repair, reflection/prayer and
acts of righteousness

We are living in a time like no other. We are facing evils that drop our jaws, break our hearts, and raise our fists against systemic oppression and authoritarian leaders. So we are reaching for each other, learning to love harder and celebrate even more joyfully. 

Our ancestors also lived in times like no other. They have wisdom to teach us about how to get through, about how we help each other across the sea. Our times are new, but these tools are still powerful: 

Teshuvah draws us into right relationship with one another, helping us to build more honest, trusting and joyful connections at the heart of our lives. 

Tefillah draws us into right relationship with our souls, quieting the barrage of incoming information, and opening our connection to our inner experience, to our truest selves, and for some of us, to G-d. 

Tzedakah draws us into right relationship with the world, compelling us to challenge oppression and to commit personal resources to the dignity and well-being of all. 

As we prepare ourselves for a year of great challenge and great opportunity, we invite you into shared practice with these tools for our time.

Get Your Tickets Here

Sign up to Volunteer for High Holy Days Here

Services

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 (Saturday, September 21)

Selichot Evening Service: 8:00 pm at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

see service description

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. Selichot limbers up our ability to ask for forgiveness. Before we enter the great hall of Rosh Hashanah, 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, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, and Kehilla’s bima team for song, prayer, and story to get us on our way.

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 29)

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service: 6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite CenterDoors open at 6pm.

see service description

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. Special guest Pastor Mike McBride will be speaking on reparations and teshuvah.
Service led by Rabbi Dev Noily, Avi Rose, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Debbie Fier, Beth Dickinson, and Julie Nesnansky.

Childcare & the Teen Lounge will be open from 6:30-9:30pm. Learn more on Youth Programming page. 

First Day Rosh Hashanah (Monday, September 30)

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

see service description

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. Sermon by Rachel Boch. Torah Reading—Genesis 21: 9-19.

Family Service: 10:00 am – 11:30 am, Scottish Rite Center (third floor).  

see service description

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.

Learn more on Youth Programming page. 

Tot Service (for kids up to age 5 and their grown-ups): 10:15 am – 11:15 am, Scottish Rite Center (third floor). 

see service description

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.

Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

Childcare will be open from 9:30am-12:30pm and the Teen Lounge from 11:30am-12:30pm. Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

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

see service description

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 (Tuesday, October 1)

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

see service description

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 (Saturday, October 5)

Shabbat Shuva Service: 10:30 am at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

see service description

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.

Kol Nidre (Tuesday, October 8)

Kol Nidre Service: 6:30 pm at the Scottish Rite CenterDoors open at 6pm.

see service description

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 Rabbi Dev Noily, 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 Scottish Rite Center. Doors open at 6pm.
Please note this is a change from past years; this services was previously held at Kehilla and is now being held at Scottish Rite Center

see service description

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.

Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

Toddler Kol Nidre: 6:30pm – 7:30 pm at Scottish Rite Center. Doors open at 6pm.
Please note this is a change from past years; this services was previously held at Kehilla and is now being held at Scottish Rite Center

see service description

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.

Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

Childcare & the Teen Lounge will be open from 6:30-9:30pm. Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

Yom Kippur Morning (Wednesday, October 9)

Main Sanctuary Service (all ages welcome): 9:30am – 1:30pm at the Scottish Rite CenterDoors open at 9am.

see service description

Services open with a meditative soundscape by Debbie Fier, continuing with Rabbi Dev Noily, Howard Hamburger, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, and Julie Nesnansky.
Sermon by Rabbi Gray Myrseth.
Torah Reading: Leviticus 16: 21-31

Teen Program: 12 – 1:15pm at the Scottish Rite Center

see service description

Details coming soon.

Story Time with Rabbi Gray (3rd Floor): 9:15-10am at the Scottish Rite Center

Childcare will be open from 9:30am-1:30pm & the Teen Lounge from 10am-1:15pm. Learn more on the Youth Programming page. 

Yom Kippur Afternoon & Evening (Wednesday, October 9)

see workshop and service descriptions

2pm – 4:30pm Drop off break-fast pot-luck offerings at the Kehilla kitchen (or bring them at 7:45pm)

Please bring salads & desserts to share! The main meal will be sponsored by Emily Newfield, Rachael Reiley, and Riley Newfield, in loving memory of grandmother/great-grandmother Anne Guttman, who loved feeding people with all her heart.

3pm – 4pm Yom Kippur Afternoon Workshops at Kehilla Community Synagogue
(please note the first workshop is offsite and has different timing!)

More Yom Kippur Workshop Descriptions Coming Soon!

The Fast I Desire: Yom Kippur Direct Service
***Starts at 2pm at Oakland Scottish Rite Center, Ending: The Pergola
During the pilgrimage around the lake from Yom Kippur morning services to Kehilla’s shul for Ne’ilah, we will be taking the food our community has not eaten – in the form of sandwiches and bottles of water we’ve prepared – and blessing it by offering it to the hungry. More info + get involved here. 

Tikkun HaNefesh: Repairing the Soul, Dismantling White Supremacy
Rabbi Shifrah Tobacman & Chaplain Laura Fitch

As we approach our final dive into the teshuvah of High Holy Days, this workshop will offer a loving and challenging place in which people with white privilege can reckon honestly with ways we’ve been complicit in maintaining white supremacy; work with and move through associated feelings of shame, pain, grief and anger; and help untangle the sticky web of racism and privilege that keeps white supremacy in place. Our kavanah is to provide space for honest reflection, and opportunity to identify how the insights gleaned can enhance our relationships with and activism on behalf of people of color.

As a spiritual framework, we use a three-fold path taken from the Ba’al Shem Tov’s teachings on healing and being present to grief and trauma, as presented by Rabbi Burt Jacobson in his book “This Precious Moment: The Wisdom of the Ba’al Shem Tov.” This includes: Hachna-ah, full immersion in difficult experiences and feelings; Havdalah, Distinguishing between historical trauma and present day, day-to-day realities;Hamitookah, the sweetening. We lean into the gratitude and hopefulness that emerge through honest reckoning, and look toward being more powerful allies for people of color.

This workshop mirrors a process we have been offering for members on a monthly basis, which is in turn connected to Kehilla’s larger effort to de-center whiteness within and beyond the congregation. All are welcome!

Embodying our Spiritual Commitments
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 an alive stillness.

The emphasis is on connecting internally during this sacred time. Embodying our spiritual commitments can help them become an even deeper part of our Being and practice.

Anyone wanting to attend is welcome to come as you are, and we can adapt any movements to fit your own needs. Feel free to bring any props you think might support your practice.

Jewish Values in Practice: How Do We Take On Our Lethal County Jail?
Kehilla’s Economic Justice Committee

In Psalm 146, we are reminded, “The Eternal One frees the prisoners.” Join the Economic Justice Committee on Yom Kippur, Wednesday, October 9 at Kehilla, 3 pm – 4 pm, for a workshop dedicated to helping free or protect people currently detained in Santa Rita Jail and at risk for deteriorating health or death. We will show a deeply affecting short film, “What Happened to Dujuan Armstrong?” as part of our reflections on our holiest of days for engaging in tzedakah for some of our forgotten family, friends and neighbors.

If you have questions, please contact Karen, karenrachels@gmail.com

Teshuvah and Psychology
Rabbi Burt Jacobson

Teshuvah has many different meanings. One of them would define teshuvah as psycho-spiritual maturation, that is, opening oneself to the deeper currents of one’s soul and developing greater depth and wholeness. In this workshop we will examine a parable of the Ba’al Shem Tov having to do with this aspect of teshuvah, in the light of depth psychologist Carl G. Jung’s understanding of individuation.

4:30 pm Yizkor – Service of Remembrance

Led by Rabbi David Cooper, 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

Sukkot Gatherings at Kehilla

Information about the 13th Annual Faith Trio Harvest Dinner coming soon.

Sukkot Dinner in the Sukkah with Rabbi David
Friday, October 18, 6:30-8:45 pm

see details

An evening with blessings and potluck dinner, conversation and celebration in Kehilla’s Sukkah. Join Rabbi David to do the special blessings for Sukkot and the shaking of the lulav to all directions and dimensions.

Shabbat Morning of Sukkot with Rabbi Dev and Hazzan Shulamit: Saturday, October 19, 10:30 am-12:30 pm

see service description

Join us for a special Shabbat service. 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 16, 7:50 am

see description

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 21)

Jewish Renewal Community Simchat Torah Celebration & Dance Party: Monday, Oct 21st, 6:30 pm @ Kehilla

see description

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! (see information about joining the band below)

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

See information about joining the Klezmer band!

Join Kehilla/Chochmat Ha Lev/ Aquarian Minyan members in a community offering of musical celebration! This opportunity is open to all with a basic facility on an instrument. We will get familiar with the music from charts and/or recordings before rehearsal, and then meet up to solidify and fine-tune our ensemble. Our wonderful band leader Mike Perlmutter is back to shape the sound, with Jeanette Lewicki singing and playing accordion, and Ivan Velev on percussion. Mike has been hard at work preparing the set list, transcribing and transposing, recording, and generally doing the advance work to be able to present us with a repertoire library of charts and recording. Some of it is new, and some will be familiar to those of us who have played the gig in past years.

Each participant will contribute $18 for the repertoire resources and then we’ll each get to work starting to learn the material in a dedicated Dropbox file (you’ll get the link when you sign up). Mike will join us for two rehearsals, and we’ll each pay $25 for each of those rehearsals. We’ll offer two more “playtimes” (optional rehearsals, participant-led) for free, when we can get together and get solid, and then a dress rehearsal (no charge) and the gig.

This is a wonderful opportunity to dip into Klezmer style and play with other community members while being part of the foundation for a fabulous dance party!

Register for Klezmer workshops here

Youth Programming

Children and teens 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. See details here. 

Volunteer

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 maya@kehillasynagogue.org.

Parking

see details

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:

Parking in the lots will be complimentary during the following times:

    • Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 29): 5pm-10pm
    • Kol Nidre (Tuesday, October 8): 5pm-10pm
​Parking is NOT complimentary during our day time services (business hour services between 8am-5pm). Parking is still available at these lots, but at your expense and Kehilla will NOT be responsible for any parking tickets on these days:
    • Rosh Hashanah (Monday, September 30)
    • Yom Kippur (Wednesday, October 9)

See below for information about reserved parking for disabled participants.

Accessibility

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.

Seating

 

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.

Music

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:

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