2018 High Holy Days Information Coming Soon.

Below is information about Kehilla’s 2017 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 2017/5778


Selichot (September 16)
Erev Rosh Hashanah (September 20)
Rosh Hashanah (September 21)
Second Day Rosh Hashana (September 22) 
Shabbat Shuvah (September 23)                        Kol Nidre (September 29)
Yom Kippur (September 30)
Sukkot (October 4- October 11)
Simchat Torah (October 13)

Family, Youth and Children’s Programming

Volunteer for Family Services

Glitter Kehilla



Song Shop & Prayerful Preparation
Simcha Torah Klezmer Band

Past Services
Buy Tickets


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Volunteer for High Holy Days

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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NOTE: Doors will open 30 minutes before each service.

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 CenterDoor 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 Rabbi Dev Noily, Sharon Grodin, Sharon Grodin, Hazzan Shulamit, Debbie Fier, Beth Dickinson, Avi Rose, and Julie Nesnansky.

Sermon by Howard Hamburger

Rosh Hashanah (September 21)

Main Sanctuary Service

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

Ketzev Kehilla drumming circle with Debbie Fier opens our service, continuing with Howard Hamburger, Rabbi David Cooper, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Debbie Fier, Julie Nesnansky, and Avi Rose.

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 – 11:30 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.

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 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 23)

 10:30 am at Kehilla Community Synagogue.

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

Kol Nidre (September 29)


Kol Nidre Service

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

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, Debbier Fier, Beth Dickinson, and Julie Nesnansky.

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 CenterDoors open at 9am.

Services open with a meditative soundscape by Debbie Fier, continuing with Sharon Grodin, Rabbi Dev Noily, Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, and Julie Nesnansky.

Congregant Sermon by Aurora Levins-Morales

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, with Faryn Borella, one of Kehilla School’s beloved 6th grade teachers.

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

Yom Kippur Afternoon Workshops

September 30, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Spiritual Audacity in Modern Jewish History 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?

Listening Circles facilitated by Ruth Tavlin and Penny Rosenwasser

On racism, anti-Semitism, hate speech, and the resistance movement.

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.

“Golem” Poetry; Listening and Writing with Lenore Weiss

Written during President Trump’s candidacy and subsequent election, these sonnets tumbled out and helped me deal with my own trepidation about the future. The poems are a re-envisioning of the Golem myth, a Jewish folklore character that is created from inanimate matter.  Traditionally, the Golem was brought to life through the incantation of a rabbi to protect the Jewish people. These poems are transgressive in that a woman creates her own helper from a cheese and cracker mixture left on the dining room table. Come hear the poems and create your own golem for a New Year of hope, peace, and justice. Bring pen, paper, and good listening ears. What do you want your golem to do?

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 (listed above)

4:30 Yizkor Service of Remembrance 

Led by Rabbi David and Kehilla’s Musical Prayer leaders: Debbie, Julie, and Beth.

5:15 pm A Teaching from Rabbi David

5:30 pm A Disability Justice Healing Service with Rabbi Elliot Kukla

A ritual focusing on praying for the access and health care needed for sick and disabled people in our society and celebrating our interdependence and survival. With Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Hazzan Shulamit, Debbie Fier, and Julie Nesnansky.

6:30 Ne’ilah – Closing the Gates

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

8:05 Havdalah followed by pot-luck break-fast 

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

Sukkot (October 4-11)

Erev Shabbat in the Sukkah with Rabbi David

Friday, October 6, 6:30pm

Bring dinner to eat or to share, and enjoy living outside in our community Sukkah.  On the patio.

Shabbat of Sukkot with Rabbi Dev and Hazzan Shulamit

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 10:30 am

Join us for a special Shabbat service while our joy is amplified by the celebration of Sukkot. 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 11, 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.

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

Simchat Torah (October 12)

Jewish Renewal Community Simchat Torah Celebration & Dance Party

Thursday October 12, 6:30 pm

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, Dave Rosenfeld, Jeanette Lewicki!

6:30 Ma’ariv / Evening service, 7:00 Torah Service, 7:30 Dancing with the Torah in the Sanctuary;

6:30 Tot Service with Jen Miriam and Alon Altman in the Fireside Room.

Kehilla School Families! – Stay for dinner at 6:00 pm after Kehilla School and join the party! More info coming!

Learn more here.

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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– ticket purchase required for both members and non-members)
  • Childcare (ticket purchase required for both members and non-members)
  • 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 Holy Days Services.

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

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 natalie@kehillasynagogue.org.

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 21, 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 bdickinson12@gmail.com.


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 dee@kehillasynagogue.org.

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 Thursday, September 21st 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 glitterkehilla@gmail.com or joining our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/glitterkehilla/.

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

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.


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.




High Holy Days Song Shop and Prayerful Preparation

On September 7 at 7pm, join Hazzan Shulamit and our Musical Prayer Leaders for an intimate evening of musical and spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days. We’ll dive into the meaning of the prayers, taking ample time to sign together and explore how the energy of the music moves within us and in the space between us. Learn more.

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.

  • Sept. 4 (Labor Day) with Joshua Horowitz
  • Sept. 11 with Mike Perlmutter
  • Sept. 18 with Dave Rosenfeld
  • Oct. 2 with Dave Rosenfeld (rehearsal)

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.