Menu Washington Hebrew Congregation

Guide to High Holy Day Services & Tickets

Which services should I attend? How do I prepare spiritually for the High Holy Days? What do I do once I arrive at Temple? All of these questions and more must be considered as you get ready for the High Holy Days. Our Guide to High Holy Day Services & Tickets, which can also be viewed as a PDF by clicking here, will help you and your family embark on a sweet 5778.

Below, you will find information on how to reserve your tickets, descriptions of the services being held over the High Holy Days, the service schedule for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and information on services and experiences that round out our fall holidays.

If you have questions about tickets, please contact the Seating Office at seatingoffice@whctemple.org or 202-895-6319. The Seating Office is unable to process requests via phone or email.

We look forward to sharing the beauty and joy of the High Holy Days with you.

Ticket Information

Temple Members
High Holy Day tickets are free for members of Washington Hebrew Congregation and their children under the age of 30, provided the member’s Temple account is in good financial standing as of June 30, 2017.

Questions about your membership status? Contact Lindsay Fry Feldman, 202-895-6321.
Questions about unpaid balances? Contact Petra Tchouante, 202-895-6318.

Out-of-Town Guests?
You may request tickets for visiting friends or family who belong to a congregation out of our area. Your guests must also have their temple fax or mail a Reciprocal Seating Request form to the Seating Office at Temple.

Going Away for the High Holy Days?
WHC members in good standing who will be away for either or both of the High Holy Days may request a Reciprocal Seating form to attend services at another Reform congregation. To request a form, please email seating@whctemple.org or call 202-895-6319.

Not Using Your Tickets This Year?
If you find that you will not be using tickets you have requested for one or more High Holy Day services, please return them to Temple so we can accommodate everyone’s needs and preferences in the most timely manner.

Service Descriptions

General Service Descriptions

Congregational Services
Suggested for: Adults and Teens
With liturgy from Gates of Repentance as a foundation, our clergy connect us to the generations that came before us. Our rabbis challenge the intellect and awaken the spirit with sermons that help us reflect on our past year and inspire us to move forward. Our cantors, joined by the Festival Choir, bring the beautiful music of the High Holy Days to life with voices that lift us up and guide us toward spiritual renewal.

All Congregational services will once again have open seating for worshippers with the exception of WHC’s Historic Seat holders who can request to use their Historic Seats at the 6:00 pm and 9:00 am services.

About Historic Seats: To help finance the construction of the Temple building on Macomb Street in 1955, Washington Hebrew gave its members the opportunity to contribute to our future by investing in High Holy Day seats. The original seats could be passed down one generation, after which they return to the open pool of High Holy Day congregational seats.

Family Services
Suggested for: Families with Children in Grades K – 6 and “Babies to Bubbies”
At Family services, our clergy and song leader — with participation from Religious School students — use a High Holy Day prayer book created especially for elementary school-age children and families. Filled with meaningful prayers, music, and stories, this worship experience brings families together and helps connect children to their heritage and faith.

Preschool Services
Suggested for: Families with Toddlers through Pre-Kindergartners
Through songs, brief prayers, and stories, our clergy and song leaders create a special, warm community worship experience, one-half hour in length, for our youngest congregants and their families.

Young Professionals Services
Suggested for: Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s
Building on the energy and spiritual connection our monthly 2239 Metro Minyan services bring to Washington, D.C.’s Jewish young professional community, Rabbi Miller will lead High Holy Day services designed specifically with millenials in mind. Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre services will be held at First Congregational UCC, located at 945 G Street NW, Washington, DC. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings and on Yom Kippur afternoon, 2239 services will be held at Temple. Temple members should RSVP to Valerie Hillman Bluestein. Online registration for non-members will open soon.

Holiday-Specific Services

Selichot
Suggested for: Adults and Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s
We gather at Temple on Saturday night the week before Rosh Hashanah for Selichot, a beautiful and moving candlelit service that urges us to reflect on the year that is ending and helps us prepare for the days of awe ahead of us.

Cemetery Memorial Services
Suggested for: Adults and Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s
During the High Holy Day season, our clergy lead a memorial service at each of Washington Hebrew’s cemeteries — Memorial Park and Garden of Remembrance. Visiting the graves of loved ones at this time of year gives us a chance to reflect on the lives of those we’ve lost and feel a renewed sense of closeness to them. By connecting to our past, we fortify ourselves to look to the future and realize our generation is but a link in the chain of our Jewish heritage.

Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars
Suggested for: Everyone
Set on the sprawling lawn of the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center (or, in case of rain, in its light-filled indoor worship space), Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars is a contemporary, festive Erev Rosh Hashanah service. It begins at 5:00 pm, but we open the grounds at 3:30 pm with musical entertainment by BlueLine, the award-winning a cappella quintet, and North American Israeli jazz ensemble Seeds of Sun, featuring Mattan Klein. We provide seating, though many families choose to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics. Our clergy provide a “hands-free” worship experience with prayers displayed on jumbo screens, enabling worshippers to appreciate the beauty and community that surround them.

Tashlich
Suggested for: Families with Children in Grades K – 6 and “Babies to Bubbies”
Casting breadcrumbs into a moving body of water is a centuries-old custom of the Jewish people. As the breadcrumbs move away with the currents, we unburden ourselves of regret and symbolically purify our bodies and souls. Our Tashlich ceremony is held outside, behind Temple, immediately following the Rosh Hashanah family service.

Yom Kippur Teen Service
Suggested for: Teens
Topical, interactive, and creative, this service gives high school students a meaningful way to connect to their faith and teshuvah (repentance). Designed each year by and for high school students, it weaves liturgy and music with messages and themes to engage teens (and their parents who sometimes accompany them).

Yom Kippur Study Sessions
Suggested for: Adults, Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s, and Teens
To enhance the spirit of Yom Kippur and enable congregants to extend their personal reflection, we offer a variety of study sessions and panel discussions after each Congregational service on Yom Kippur morning. Advance registration is not necessary. The Study Session schedule will be published prior to the High Holy Days.

Yom Kippur Poetry and Music Hour
Suggested for: Adults and Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s
On Yom Kippur — the holiest of holidays — our cantors, Kol Rinah, and Festival Choir lend their voices to soul-stirring musical pieces and poetry selections giving congregants time to reflect upon their year and teshuvah (repentance) or to simply experience a moment of solitude and personal prayer.

Yom Kippur Afternoon, Yizkor, and Neilah Services
Suggested for: Adults, Young Professionals in their 20s and 30s, and Teens
These three services flow seamlessly from one to the next. Our clergy begin with the liturgy designed for the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Yizkor, the memorial service, follows. This holy day closes with Neilah — the short concluding service which features some of the most beautiful and sacred liturgy of the High Holy Days.

Service Schedule: Rosh Hashanah

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Wednesday, September 20

Rosh Hashanah Under the Stars
5:00 pm (grounds open at 3:30 pm) at JBSC

Congregational Service*
6:00 pm at Temple

2239 Service
7:45 pm at First Congregational UCC
Temple members should RSVP to Valerie Hillman Bluestein. Online registration for non-members will open soon.

Rosh Hashanah Day, Thursday, September 21

Congregational Service*
9:00 am at Temple

Preschool Services
9:30 am and 11:00 am at Temple

Congregational Service*
11:30 am at Temple

Family Service and Tashlich*
2:00 pm at Temple

*Service will be streamed at streaming.whctemple.org.

Service Schedule: Yom Kippur

Kol Nidre, Friday, September 29

Congregational Service*
6:00 pm at Temple

Family Service*
7:00 pm at Temple

2239 Service
7:45 pm at First Congregational UCC
Temple members should RSVP to Valerie Hillman Bluestein. Online registration for non-members will open soon.

Congregational Service*
8:45 pm at Temple

Yom Kippur Day, Saturday, September 30

Congregational Service*
9:00 am at Temple

Preschool Services
9:30 am and 11:00 am at Temple

Congregational Service*
11:30 am at Temple

Study Sessions
Throughout the day, beginning at 11:15 am at Temple

Family Service*
2:00 pm at Temple

Teen Service
3:15 pm at Temple

Poetry and Music Hour*
3:15 pm at Temple

Afternoon, Yizkor, and Neilah*
4:00 pm at Temple

2239 Afternoon, Yizkor, and Neilah
4:00 pm at Temple
Temple members should RSVP to Valerie Hillman Bluestein. Online registration for non-members will open soon.

*Service will be streamed at streaming.whctemple.org.

Service Schedule: Memorial and Selichot

Selichot, Saturday, September 16*
At Temple

Cemetery Memorial Service, Sunday, September 10
10:00 am at Memorial Park on Alabama Avenue
Free bus transportation is available from Temple to the cemetery. The bus will depart at 9:00 am. Contact Nancy Misler, 202-895-6342, to reserve your space.

Cemetery Memorial Service, Sunday, September 24
10:00 am at Garden of Remembrance in Clarksburg, MD
Free bus transportation is available from JBSC to the cemetery. The bus will depart at 9:00 am. Contact Nancy Misler, 202-895-6342, to reserve your space.

Sukkot Festival Service, Thursday, October 5*
10:30 am at Temple

Simchat Torah Festival & Yizkor Service, Thursday, October 12*
10:30 am at Temple

*Service will be streamed at streaming.whctemple.org.