High Holy Days

A New Beginning

More choice, more connection, and more opportunities to make the upcoming High Holy Day season personally meaningful

We are excited to offer our Congregational, Family, and Preschool services at both Temple and JBSC on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. You are welcome to attend services at either (or both!) locations throughout the High Holy Days.

No matter which location you choose, you will be able to attend services led by all of our clergy and hear each of their sermons.


Services will feel like home. You will experience the grandeur and beauty of Kaufmann Sanctuary, the elevated music of our organ and High Holy Day choir, and Mishkan HaNefesh — our High Holy Day prayer book — in your hands.


Services will be held outdoors under a tent. Modern melodies accompany our liturgy that will be displayed on large screens, enabling you to look up and take in the natural beauty surrounding you.


Out of town?
Still feel safer at home?
All Congregational Services will be live-streamed, enabling you to participate in worship experiences at Temple and JBSC.

Service Schedule for 2021

View and Download This Year’s Schedule

Health and Safety

Taking care of our community before, during, and after the High Holy Days

Wellness Screenings

Wellness Screenings

We will ask everyone to complete a verbal wellness screening upon arrival at Temple or JBSC.

Vaccines and Masks

Vaccines and Masks

Anyone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated is required to wear a mask at Temple and JBSC. If you have not been vaccinated and are not able or prefer not to wear a mask, we are livestreaming our Congregational Services and invite you to join us virtually.

Socially Distanced Seating

Socially Distanced Seating

If you prefer some space between your family and others, we invite you to attend services at Temple. Section XII in Kaufmann Sanctuary is a designated space for socially distanced seating. We will not have a socially distanced section under the tent at JBSC.

All WHC clergy and staff are fully vaccinated.
As a precaution and for the comfort of our community, our staff will be wearing masks.

All COVID-19 protocols and procedures are subject to change pursuant to government regulations and the medical judgment of our Reopening Task Force.


Handicap parking is available at both JBSC and Temple on a first-come, first-served basis. Please have your valid handicap parking tag or placard to show our staff upon arrival.

For all services at Temple, we have arranged for you to park at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral (2815 36th St. NW). Shuttle buses will continuously run between Temple and St. Sophia’s.

Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be required to ride the shuttle buses.

This & That

Our High Holy Day machzor (prayer book) is Mishkan HaNefesh.

At Temple, we have prayer books for you to use when you come for services. If you have your own copies, you are invited to bring them. Interested in ordering prayer books? Go to ccarpress.org and click on “prayer.”

At JBSC, as we have always done at Rosh HaShanah Under the Stars, prayers, songs, and readings from Mishkan HaNefesh will be displayed on large screens. No additional prayer books are needed.

If you would like to use your Historic Seats, please call the Temple office at 202-362-7100 or email seatingoffice@whctemple.org.

Our religion gives us the opportunity to honor a long life with the beautiful custom of celebrating a second (or first!) B’nei Mitzvah when a person turns 83.

The pandemic prevented us from honoring our 83 year olds last year, so if you celebrated or will celebrate your 83rd birthday between Yom Kippur 2019 (10/9/19) and this Yom Kippur (9/16/21), we invite you to join us on the bimah on Yom Kippur to read the Torah blessings during the morning Congregational Service. To participate in this aliyah, please contact Layne Weiss, lweiss@whctemple.org or 202-895-6307.

On Rosh Hashanah day, we have a wonderful tradition of reading the names of all the babies and children who have come into the lives of our Temple families during the past year.

If you welcomed a new child or grandchild after Rosh HaShanah 2020 and would us like to include them in this reading, please contact Layne Weiss, lweiss@whctemple.org or 202-895-6307, with their name and date of birth.

It is our tradition to remember loved ones who have passed with a tribute in our annual High Holy Day Memorial Book. This year we will publish the book both in hard copy for Yom Kippur services as well as digitally for those who are more comfortable worshipping at home. Please confirm or update your listing via the email link you received by August 6. If you did not receive our Memorial Book email or have questions about your tributes, please contact Michael McFadden, mmcfadden@whctemple.org or 202-895-6329

Accessibility & Assistance

At Temple, there is a wheelchair ramp at the Irwin & Ginny Edlavitch Hall entrance on Macomb Street and a chair glide at the parking lot entrance. Our restrooms and worship spaces are all accessible.

At JBSC, there is a ramp located through the lunchroom that will take you directly outside to the worship area.

We will also have designated seating reserved at both JBSC and Temple for those with special needs. When you arrive for services, please see an usher who can direct you.

We will have licensed paramedics on hand at both Temple and JBSC just in case there is a need.

ASL interpretation will be available at all Congregational Services at Temple including Afternoon Neilah and Yizkor on Yom Kippur. Please contact Rich Gordon with any questions.

At Temple, Kaufmann Sanctuary, Albert & Shirley Small Chapel, and Irwin & Ginny Edlavitch Hall are equipped with infrared listening systems. Wireless headphones, needed to utilize the systems, are available in Hurston Library.

For services at Temple, large print prayer books are available in Hurston Library.

For services at JBSC, prayers, songs, and readings from Mishkan HaNefesh will be displayed on large screens.


We are just a click or phone call away!
Email: seatingoffice@whctemple.org
Phone: 202-362-7100