High Holy Days

As we begin this New Year together, we share this prayer and meditation:

Between the old year and the new year there lies
An open space.
Possibilities, hopes, and dreams lie ahead;
Losses, fears, sorrows lie behind.
What do we carry into that open space of time?

May the Spirit that guides you
Lead you into a New Year of peace.
May the sorrows of the past flavor your life with
Gratitude, wisdom and an understanding of love.
May kindness be what you give and receive.

We look forward to beginning this New Year with you, your family, and all your loved ones.

L’Shana Tova!

As Fall approaches, Jews throughout the world prepare for the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, a unique ten-day period of prayer, self-examination, fasting, and repentance. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, comprise the “High Holy Days” of the Jewish calendar, and are the festivals that begin the new Jewish year.

Please see below for the many services and programs MLRT offers during Elul and the High Holy Days. 

A meaningful evening of study, conversation and worship serves as a prelude to the High Holy Day season. Our clergy and the clergy of Adath Israel, Beth Hillel-Beth El, Beth David Reform Congregation, and Har Zion Temple will lead Havdallah, followed by your choice of concurrent Selichot worship: participatory traditional davening, Reform Mishkan HaLev Service with the Community Choir, or Contemplative Service: Chanting & Meditation.
What is Selichot? Selichot are prayers of forgiveness that help us prepare for the High Holy Days. It takes time to truly effect personal and communal growth, change and transformation.

Sanctuary Services
Early & Late Sanctuary Services are led by our clergy. We look forward to worshiping with you at the time that is most convenient for you.

Contemporary Services
Our Contemporary Service welcomes the High Holy Days with innovative and creative prayers and music. Rabbi Geri Newburge and Ross M. Levy and the Levites lead a highly participatory cutting-edge visual prayer service at the Lower Merion High School auditorium. Only members and children with Contemporary Service tickets will be admitted. 

Family Services
Family Services led by our clergy and ECE team are designed for our youngest children and their families to worship together. Tickets are not required and the community is welcome.

Children’s Activities & Services
Drop your children (age 2 – 3rd grade) off during the Early Adult Services for supervised play with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur themed activities led by our ECE and Religious School teachers. Join your child at 10:30 am for fun and interactive services filled with music and movement led by Rabbi Kevin Kleinman and Chana Rothman.

Immediately following the Family Service, we will observe Tashlich at Shortridge Park. This is a kid-friendly custom, so bring your family!
What is Tashlich? The word “Tashlich” means, “You will cast away.” For centuries Jews have gathered on the first day of Rosh Hashanah at bodies of water and recited the Tashlich prayer, shaking bread crumbs into the water to express our desire to be free of our sins. 

Rosh Hashanah Day Two Study Session
Join Rabbi Newburge for an exploration of the traditional High Holy Day prayer Unatana Tokef.  This haunting poem echoes through the generations and this session will lead to heartfelt discussions about its meaning and relevance in the modern world.

Yizkor, in Hebrew, means “Remember.” We implore God to remember the souls of our relatives and friends who have passed on. During Yizkor, we renew and strengthen the connection between us and our loved ones, bringing honor to their memories.

Ne’ilah means “closing the gate.” As the awesome day of Yom Kippur comes to a close, and our future is being sealed, we ask God to accept our repentance and new resolutions, and that we be sealed in the Book of Life, granting us a new year replete with goodness and happiness.

If you are unable to attend High Holy Day services at MLRT, you now have the option to tune in at home on your computer! Services will be livestreamed during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.