applesFor me, a teacher and educator for more than 18 years, there is something  very special and symbolic about the convergence of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and the beginning of school.  Rosh Hashanah reminds us to always take the time (and space) to step back and reflect on both the past and the future.  There is no better time than the beginning of the school year to think about the year that has passed – looking at the good and the challenges.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What do we want to bring into our life? What do we want to let go of?   What a gift at this very busy time of year!

The most wonderful part of all this is how personal and individualized this reflection can be.  It is quite incredible that it can be “all about me” within the constructs of a community experience.  As a mom, I often wonder how to make this experience meaningful for my children and family.   I always make a big deal about setting the holiday table … making sure that each of my children gets to participate in making the holiday beautiful. Sometimes we have the time to make centerpieces or place cards (check out these cute apples).  I always ask for their advice about holiday menus and seating arrangements (although, truth be told, I may not always follow their advice). After much debate and discussion, we decided to try this recipe for Chicken with Cardamom Rice from the new Jerusalem Cookbook this year.  These small family rituals add meaning and memory to the entire experience for us all.  What are some of your family’s traditions?

Many parents ask me about all of the different High Holiday Offerings at Temple Ohabei Shalom.  Below is a quick guide to help you decide which services and activities are most appropriate for you and your family.  I look forward to seeing you and your family in the coming weeks.  Wishing you and your family a sweet new year!

L’Shanah Tovah.  Happy New Year,



TOS High Holy Days Explained

Worship in the Sanctuary

Rosh Hashanah:  Thursday, September 5, 10:00 AM

Yom Kippur:  Saturday, September 14
10:00 AM Sanctuary Service
2:00 PM Study Session – Penn-Spero Hall
2:00 PM Meditation- Lissner Hall
3:00 PM Afternoon Service, Sanctuary (Yizkor and N’ilah)

Rabbi Sonia and Cantor Schloss’ inspirational and eloquent presence is infused with the warmth and drama of the beautiful music of the Holy Days. We invite all of our families to join us for worship in the Sanctuary, featuring the majestic sounds of our professional choir, led by our amazing Music Director, David Sparr.

Children are always welcome to worship in the sanctuary.  Supervised childcare for young children is also available on the 2nd floor of the school building (TCEE classrooms).

All children will be invited to join the shofar blowers on the bimah during the shofar service. This is an exciting way for our children to enhance their experience of the holiday! Adults and children alike who have a shofar of their own are invited to bring their shofar and will be invited to join our clergy on the bimah for the final shofar blast on Yom Kippur.

Youth Service Montague Chapel

Rosh haShanah Morning and Yom Kippur Morning, 11 am

Join Larisa Klebe  for a fun-filled service led by our ARS students, including our amazing Micah Katz-Zeiger guitarist extraordinaire!  Everyone can participate and contribute to this interactive, age-appropriate service for our religious school children.  Parents and caregivers are welcome to join us (or children can attend on their own).

Family Tot Service

Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, 2 pm

Families with children PreK – Grade 2 will delight in these musical intergenerational services with Rabbi Sonia and Cantor Schloss.


2:45 pm Rosh haShanah afternoon

“Tashlich” means to cast or throw metaphorically, discarding sins by tossing crumbs of food into a moving body of water. We have prepared a brief, beautiful service for this moving ritual. We will meet at TOS at 2:45 pm on Thursday afternoon to walk together to the Muddy River for a 3:00 pm ceremony on Rosh Hashanah afternoon.


Click here for a full schedule of services