High Holy Days 5778

Yom Kippur


Friday, September 29 | Kol Nidre/Erev Yom Kippur
6:30 PM Kehillat Yom Tov Service
6:30 PM Early Sanctuary Service
8:30 PM Late Sanctuary Service

8:30 AM Tot Holiday Service
9:30 AM Early Alternative Service at BCC
10:00 AM Sanctuary Service
10:00 AM Bet Am Service This service is at capacity
11:30 AM Late Alternative Service at BCC
1:00 PM Discussion Groups
2:15 PM Healing Service
3:15 PM Mincha (afternoon) Service
4:45 PM Yizkor (memorial) Service
5:30 PM Neilah (concluding) Service
6:45 PM Congregational Break-Fast



Discussion Groups begin at 1 PM

Discussion Group #1: The Artistry of Worship–Through the Eyes of the Musician
Carole Tafoya Evans (Violinist, NSO) and Mark Evans (Cellist, NSO) moderated by Tara Sonenshine
We will explore the role of the worshiper in the experience of prayer by exploring similar dynamics from music. Musicians perform a set score but each musician brings their own talents and interpretations to the same score. Musicians practice and often perform better with more practice. They also work together and each one playing a part to create a more beautiful whole. Likewise prayer involves set liturgy but each person brings their own understandings and prayer is often “better” with more practice. Our artists will help us explore the practice and meaning of worship through their uniquely talented experiences in music.

Discussion Group #2: Pursuing Truth
Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine), Matea Gold (The Washington Post), and Michael Schmidt (The New York Times) moderated by Rabbi Hannah Goldstein
Yom Kippur is about stripping away the artifice and confronting our truest selves. Additionally, it is a time when we set honest intentions about how we will strive to better ourselves in the coming year. Reporters can play a critical role in uncovering the truth in our society, we will explore what we can learn about pursuing truth from those who do it for a living. In a time when the media is under particular scrutiny, we will discuss what it takes to uncover the truth and separate fact from fictions.

Discussion Group #3: Anti-Semitism in America Today
Doron Ezickson, ADL, Washington, DC, Regional Director
A look at anti-Semitism today with a particular focus on the significance of Charlottesville and the threat from neo-Nazis, white supremacists, as well as the rise of less violent but still concerning acts of vandalism and on-line intimidation. We will also discuss the broader landscape of hate groups and threats including Antifa, BDS, and more. From those insights, we will see how much can be applied to our “conversations” with God in prayer and how much can we use in our interpersonal teshuva.

2:15 PM: Healing Service
Yom Kippur is a time of prayer and introspection, and it is also a day when we are asked to stand before God as our most vulnerable selves. Our healing service will be open to all who seek a comforting and peaceful place to ask God for healing of body, mind, and soul. The service will incorporate our healing liturgy with moments of music, silence, and meditation. Tickets are not required.

3:15 PM: Afternoon Services (Mincha, Yizkor & Neilah)
“A Modern Jonah Story: Jeremy Ben-Ami” with guest speaker Jeremy Ben-Ami, Founder and President of J Street
The Book of Jonah, read yearly on Yom Kippur, is a story of one person’s struggle to confront wrong doing in the world, his experience of being storm-tossed and sinking low, and the frustrating burden of being a prophet. In conversation with Rabbi Jonathan Roos, Jeremy Ben-Ami will explore similar themes from his own life and experience. Jeremy has been named as one of the most influential Jews of our day by publications like Haaretz, The Forward, and the Jerusalem Post. His work has reshaped the American Jewish landscape vis-à-vis Israel. At the same time, Jeremy Ben-Ami has been vilified and attacked by many in the Jewish community. His father Yitzhak, from the other side of the political spectrum, had a similar experience when he came to the US in 1939 to lead the Irgun’s efforts to mobilize American Jews and raise money for immigration to Palestine. Yitzhak Ben-Ami found an American Jewish community that rejected and angrily tried to stop him. Jeremy will reflect on both his own and his father’s experiences as we try to understand the deeper lessons of the Book of Jonah and Yom Kippur.

The Yizkor (memorial) service will follow at 4:45 PM. At approximately 5:30 PM, we begin the Neilah (concluding) service. At the end of the Neilah service, we will continue our tradition of a communal “Tekiah Gedolah” (Great Sounding) of shofars, when all members and guests who have brought a shofar with them will be invited to join in the final blast. We expect to end Neilah and break fast as a congregation at approximately 6:45 PM. Tickets are required for the afternoon services; all are welcome at no charge.

Congregational Break-Fast
To conclude Yom Kippur, the Temple Sinai Women of Reform Judaism will sponsor a light congregational Break-Fast in the social hall. All are welcome.

For information about Sukkot and Simchat Torah, see the High Holy Day Guide.

Helpful Information

Prayer Books
If you are attending services at Temple Sinai, please bring your own copies of The Gates of Repentance to services. Service booklets will be provided at the Alternative Bethesda Services.

Parking at Temple Sinai
The temple parking lot is reserved for those who received a handicapped parking pass from the temple. Please remember to display yours on your dashboard. When parking in the neighborhood, please be respectful of our neighbors and mindful of parking regulations; do not block driveways or hydrants. No parking is permitted at the Ingleside Retirement Community next door. Parking in the Carnegie Institution lot behind the temple is permitted for evening services only.

Parking at BCC High School
Limited parking is available on the BCC campus. Metered parking can be found in the Waverly Garage, which is a short walk from the school. Please do not park on nearby residential streets, which are limited to local residents. Note: The BCC campus is currently under construction and parking may be more limited than in past years.

Please call our main office at (202) 363-6394, if there is anything we can do to assist you in preparing for a meaningful High Holy Day experience with our Temple Sinai community.

High Holy Day Resources 


Contains our complete schedule of services along with service descriptions and other useful information.


Contains ticket order form along with Child Care, Memorial Book, and other Dedication order forms along with an Usher Volunteer form.


Ticket order form only.


If you are not currently a member of Temple Sinai, please use this form to request tickets to our services. Please note: non-member tickets are not available for all services.


If you are a TSNS family but NOT a member of Temple Sinai, please use this form to request tickets to our services. Tot Service tickets are complimentary for TSNS families, tickets for other services are available at the non-member rate.


You may email completed forms to highholydays@templesinaidc.org, fax to (202) 363-6396, or mail to 3100 Military Rd NW, Washington DC 20015. Any payments must be made by check.