Click here for the 2018 High Holy Days Page

This page is for the  2017/5778 High Holy Days

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


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

Youth and Children’s Programming
Transportation and Accessibility
Past Services

Buy tickets (coming soon)

Most of our services are held at the Scottish Rite Center

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.


Selichot Evening Service

September 16, 2017 8:00 pm @ Kehilla

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 Hashana

September 20, 2017 6:30 pm @ 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 Hashana Morning

September 21, 2017 9:30 am-12:30 pm @ Scottish Rite Center

Main Sanctuary Service

9:30 am 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 – 11:15 am, 3rd 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 Hashana traditions. Geared for children in grades 1 to 6, and open to all ages.

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

10:15 – 11:15 am, 3rd Floor

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

Tashlich at Lake Merritt

12:45 pm

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 Hashana Morning

September 22, 2017 9:30 am-12:30 pm @ Kehilla

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, 2017 6:30 pm @ 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

September 29, 2017 6:30 – 8:00 pm @ Kehilla

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.

Toddler Kol Nidre

September 29, 2017 6:30-7:30 pm @ Kehilla

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.

Yom Kippur Morning

September 30, 2017 9:30 am-1:30 pm @ Scottish Rite Center

Main Sanctuary Service (all ages welcome)

9:30 am 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

Yom Kippur Afternoon Workshops @ Kehilla

September 30, 2017 2:30-3:30 pm

Please check back. Workshop offerings will be updated soon.

Yom Kippur Afternoon & Evening @ Kehilla

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

4:30 Yizkor service of remembrance led by Rabbi Dev and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer leaders

5:15 – 6:30 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!

More information coming soon.