Introducing the High Holy Days at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue 2020/5781

As we are now just over a month away from Rosh Hashanah, EHRS's Rabbis, Mark Goldsmith, Debbie Young-Somers and Emily Reitsma-Jurman and High Holy Days Co-ordinator Michael Weber are delighted to introduce the special way that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will take place in 2020/5781 at EHRS, on-line and, in local parks, in person. Click here to watch this seven minute video featuring the EHRS choir.  Update 10th September:  We are sorry that due to new government regulations our option to meet locally in parks in person will now be transferred to an online experience.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Together with the New Year September/October edition of LeDor VaDor, being posted to the community at the end of August, you will find a High Holy Day Handbook for this year, our guide to what's online and in person to enhance your at home experience. Please look out for it coming through your letterbox!

Memorial Services at our Cemeteries and EHRS in Elul, Sunday 13 September
There is a tradition to visit the graves of loved ones in the period before the High Holy Days. This can be done privately at any convenient time. EHRS is also arranging short collective Memorial Services in the Prayer Halls at Cheshunt Western, Cheshunt Woodlands, Edgwarebury Lane and Southgate cemeteries, following which people can visit the graves of family and friends to say a prayer & Kaddish. We will also hold a service at EHRS for those whose relatives were cremated or who are buried elsewhere. The services will take place as follows:

Southgate Cemetery, 10:45 with Rabbi Steven Katz
Cheshunt Western Cemetery, 11:00 & Cheshunt Woodlands Cemetery, 11:45 with Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers
Edgwarebury Lane, 12:00 with Rabbi Mark Goldsmith
EHRS, 12:00 with Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman. This memorial service will also be broadcast live from our Beit Tefillah (Main Sanctuary) on the EHRS Livestream Classic Channel.

If you would like to join these in-person services please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call June on 020 8238 1002. For safety and traceability you will need to register that you would like to join us by Tuesday 8 September and we apologise that we cannot let anyone in who has not pre-registered.
We apologise that numbers will have be limited according to the rules of the cemeteries.

All our High Holy Days services can be accessed from the front page of the EHRS website. Just click on the appropriate box. 

The EHRS Classic Channel
On this channel you can join all of the traditional High Holy Days services throughout Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, broadcast live from the Beit Tefillah, main sanctuary of EHRS.

The EHRS Learning and Soul Channel
This channel includes opportunities to learn, for Jewish meditation, for discussion, for Young Adults to be together, to connect live with Israel, for our popular participative B’Bayit services, for a special Yizkor dedicated to the memory of the people we have lost this year. You can dip in and out of this channel whenever you want to enhance your personal experience of Rosh Hashnah and Yom Kippur.

The EHRS LeDor VaDor Channel
This includes all of our family services specially adapted to being online on the EHRS LiveStream. LeDor VaDor is our Synagogue’s Hebrew name meaning that we are dedicated to every generation. There are super engaging early years, primary age and teenage directed services. There are activities throughout the whole of Yom Kippur including drama and EHRS Youth Centre activities and we end the day with our young people leading us in Havdalah, the ceremony that ends Yom Kippur.

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Friday 18 September

Kuddle-Up Rosh Hashanah, 16:15-16:45     
Go to the Ledor VaDor Channel at 16:15 and join Rabbi Mark and the Shabbat Dinosaur for Rosh Hashanah stories and songs. Best for younger children.

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service, 19:00-20:10 
The Classic Channel opens with the service which brings us into the High Holy Days, led by all of our Rabbis. Sermon given by Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman.

New Year - New Life Discussion, 19:30-20:00   
Join Rabbi Debbie Young Somers on the Learning and Soul Channel. What does the New Year mean for you? What would you like it to mean?

First Day Rosh Hashanah, Saturday 19 September

Classic Channel
Shacharit Service, 10:30-12:10  
The morning service which includes the reading of Torah, the story of Hagar and Ishmael, and Haftarah and with the sermon given by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers.

Musaf (Additional) Service, 12:10-12:45 
The special service for Rosh Hashanah where we hear the haunting and inspiring sound of the Shofar in our full Shofar service and recognise the significance of the New Year.

Rosh Hashanah Kiddush, 12:45  
Just like on Shabbat, we come together as a community for Kiddush on Zoom (please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details). We get the chance to speak with each other and create a real community. Also viewable on this channel.

Learning and Soul Channel
Youth Service, 10:30-11:30
Especially for people aged 11-18 and their families, Rabbi Emily leads our service which takes you into the next year of your life.

Rosh Hashanah B’Bayit, 11:40-12:20  
Join Rabbi Emily LIVE on the EHRS Facebook page, to add your comments, or here on the Learning and Soul Channel for Rosh Hashanah B'Bayit, an engaging morning service with songs, stories, and reflections to give you Rosh Hashanah flavour without the formality. 

Shofar Meditation, 12:20-12:40
The Shofar sound calls us across the millennia, with the sounds that stirred our ancestors, to wake up to the New Year and its possibilities. Rabbi Mark leads a guided meditation with the calls of the Shofar to help us to move forwards into 5781.

LeDor VaDor Channel
Early Years Service, 10:30-11:15   
This service is created for children aged 0-6 and their families, led by Rabbi Debbie and Miriam Goldsmith. Have some apple and honey ready to taste the sweetness of the New Year and enjoy this active service with songs and stories and Shofar especially for you.

Primary Years Service, 11:30-12:15    
Our family service for anyone aged 6-11 and their families, led by Rabbi Mark, with our up close Torah reading using EHRS’s own TorahCam. Please send a
video clip of yourself throwing an apple out of the frame to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to appear in our compilation.  Click here for an example!

In Person
Tashlich in the Park, 17:00-17:30  
This year all our services need to be online for our safety from Covid-19. So that we can safely meet in person, our Rabbis are leading outside events in six local parks over Rosh Hashanah and you are warmly invited to come and join us. Tashlich is the ceremony of throwing bread on the waters to represent washing our sins away on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Mark will be in Lake Grove Recreation Ground (enter opposite 26 Dalkeith Grove) in Edgware, Rabbi Debbie will be in Aberford Park at the duck pond behind the basketball court in Borehamwood, and Rabbi Emily will be at the bridge over the Dollis Brook where Bell Lane becomes Bridge Lane in Hendon. 

The New Government Guidelines and how they will affect our Synagogue Activities – Especially on Rosh Hashanah

Sadly, due to the recent changes in government guidelines, which have restricted gatherings outside to only 6 people, we cannot hold our gatherings in the parks that we were planning on first and second afternoons of Rosh Hashanah.  We are going to be moving our Rosh Hashanah and Tashlich experiences online. We will miss seeing you in the park in person and were so looking forward to the possibility, but we cannot do this now and want to hold on to the opportunity to connect with as many people as possible.

On first day Rosh Hashanah, at 17:00, when we were going to be doing Tashlich in some of our local parks, please do join Rabbi Mark on zoom (details from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) He will be leading Tashlich from a park and you are welcome to take your phone to a local body of water to join him, or to fill a bowl of water at home. The ceremony is on p.17-18 of our ‘Walking the High Holidays Together’ booklet. You are also welcome to bring a slice of honey cake and a cup of tea and join other members for a Rosh Hashanah catch up.

 

 

Second Day Rosh Hashanah, Sunday 20 September

Classic Channel
Shacharit Service, 10:30-12:00  
The morning service which includes the reading of Torah, the Akedah, with Abraham and Isaac, and Haftarah and with the D’var Torah given by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers.

Musaf (Additional) Service, 12:10-12:45   
The special service for Rosh Hashanah where we again hear the haunting and inspiring sound of the Shofar and build upon the significance of the New Year.

Learning and Soul Channel
Torah Portion Study, 10:30-11:10   
Every Rosh Hashanah the story of the binding of Isaac is told. This year, join Rabbi Emily as we go deeper into the text of the Akedah and ask ourselves who is this Abraham from whom we are all spiritually descended?

No Fear for the New Year 5781, 12:00-12:45  
Rabbi Mark is joined live by Rabbi Ofek Meir from the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa, Israel, and Rabbi Marcia Plumb of Congregation Mishkan Tefilla in Boston, USA. How can we move into the New Year with confidence when our nations are in such a difficult situation?

LeDor VaDor Channel
Having a Blast Family Service, 10:30-11:30   
This service is created for young people of all ages and their families, led by Rabbi Debbie and Marian Cohen. Follow the journey of the Shofar through Jewish history up to the present day in this interactive and crafty service.

In Person
Kol Shofar in the Park, 17:00-17:30  
This year all our services need to be online for our safety from Covid-19. So that we can safely meet in person our Rabbis are leading outside events in six local parks over Rosh Hashanah and you are warmly invited to come and join us. On this second day of Rosh Hashanah we invite you to join us to hear the sound of the Shofar blown outdoors and celebrate the start of the New Year. Rabbi Mark will be close to the entrance of Bentley Priory Open Space at the end of Old Lodge Way in Stanmore, Rabbi Debbie will be by the café in the orchard in Shenley Park, and Rabbi Emily will be in Mill Hill Park close to the junction of Daws Lane and Wise Lane in Mill Hill.   

Please wear a face mask and observe social distancing. Please check the EHRS website for possible changes and restrictions if Government guidelines change.

The New Government Guidelines and how they will affect our Synagogue Activities – Especially on Rosh Hashanah

Sadly, due to the recent changes in government guidelines, which have restricted gatherings outside to only 6 people, we cannot hold our gatherings in the parks that we were planning on first and second afternoons of Rosh Hashanah.  We are going to be moving our Rosh Hashanah and Tashlich experiences online. We will miss seeing you in the park in person and were so looking forward to the possibility, but we cannot do this now and want to hold on to the opportunity to connect with as many people as possible.

On second day Rosh Hashanah, at 17:00, instead of blowing shofar in our parks, you can join Rabbi Debbie and a shofar blower on zoom  (details from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) when we will learn a little about the shofar calls, hear the shofar, and again have a chance to check in with tea and cake together.  

Kol Nidre, Sunday 27 September, fast begins 18:31

Classic Channel
Kol Nidre Service, 19:00-21:10  
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, opens with the plaintive song Kol Nidre in this service which sets the pattern for the day. Sermon given by Rabbi Mark Goldsmith.

Learning and Soul Channel
Kal Nidre, 19:00-20:20
Featuring Samuel Weinstein - Cello scholar at Cambridge, join Rabbi Debbie for a reflective service, including moments for learning and exploration of the task ahead as we begin our 25 hour journey together.

Yom Kippur when you are not sure about God, 20:30-21:10  
An opportunity to work with Rabbi Mark as we explore how we can reconcile ourselves on Yom Kippur with God, whether or not you think that God exists. A safe space to discuss belief, doubt and commitment and the spiritual journey that we can make on Yom Kippur.

LeDor VaDor Channel
Teen Nidre, 19:30
This one-of-a-kind service features art, poetry, modern music and discussion to help our teens and their families find a spiritually nourishing place to start their Yom Kippur experience for this year. Led by Rabbi Emily and student Cantor Rachel Weston, this service is perfect for those who are looking for something out of the ordinary.

Yom Kippur, Monday 28 September, fast ends 19:32

Classic Channel
Shacharit, 10:30-13:30
The morning service to take us on a journey of Teshuvah, Atonement, which includes the reading of Torah and Haftarah and with the Sermon given by
Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman.

Musaf, 13:40-15:25
Our Musaf service, as always is the dramatic service in which we remember the Temple service for Yom Kippur and as part of recognising the loss and development from this ritual, we remember those who lost or dedicated their lives for Kiddush HaShem (the sanctification of God’s name). We will include new remembrances from the upcoming Reform Judaism Machzor.

Minchah, 15:25-17:00
The Yom Kippur Afternoon service focuses around the reading of the Book of Jonah. Led by EHRS Emeritus Rabbi Danny Smith and Rabbi Mark.

Yizkor, 17:15-18:00
Our memorial service to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us including the reading of the names of those we have lost this year. Led by EHRS Emeritus Rabbi Steven Katz and Rabbi Emily.   

Neilah, 18:00-19:32
Our concluding service for Yom Kippur – as the Gates of Repentance draw to a close. The sermon will be given by Rabbi Mark Goldsmith.

Havdallah, 19:32-19:40
At the end of the Yom Kippur fast we all join together for the short concluding ceremony for Yom Kippur, led by EHRS’s Young People.

Learning and Soul Channel
Youth Service, 10:30-11:30 
Especially for people aged 11-18 and their families, Rabbi Emily leads this musical Yom Kippur service with real life stories on the theme of forgiveness.

Yom Kippur B’Bayit, 11:40-12:40
Join Rabbi Emily LIVE on the EHRS Facebook page or this channel for Yom Kippur B'Bayit, an engaging morning service with songs, stories, and reflections.

It’s not lunchtime, 12:50-13:30
For growing numbers, fasting on Yom Kippur is quite the opposite of repentance and, in fact, facilitates their struggle with eating disorders. Sharon Rother (Price), a Counsellor specialising in Eating Disorders, and Rabbi Debbie will facilitate an honest and open space to explore our relationship with food. Due to the personal nature of this space we will not be streaming and will only be on Zoom (please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details).

Neshamah Avodah, 13:40-14:20
Experience a meditative journey through the Yom Kippur Temple service using Yoga and Jewish meditation with Lisa Morris and Rabbi Mark. 

No Beer Still a Shiur, 14:30-15:20 
Our Young Adult learning space invites you to join Rabbi Debbie in exploring the Books of Life and Death, and what it means to be written into them.

Talmud study session, 15:25-16:10
Yom Kippur is spent focusing on apologising, but according to experts, a proper apology requires one to understand the mistake they have made. This cautionary tales themed Talmud session led by Rabbi Emily will explore the intersection of shame, anger and regret to prevent you from making the same mistakes as our ancestors.

Yom Kippur Discussion, 16:15-17:00
Join Rabbi Mark for an open discussion following the example of those led for many years by Rabbi Neil Kraft z’’l.

This Year I am remembering - a personal Yizkor, 17:15-18:00
A special Yizkor service in which we will pray and take time in small groups to remember those we have lost. For those who attended our Soul Candles session in the 10 days this will be an opportunity to light your candle.

Cornerstone - The gates are open to Judaism, 18:00-18:45
Do you want to invest more in your Jewish learning in the coming year? Join our taster session of our introduction to Judaism course, exploring teshuvah and when the gates of judgement really close.

Meditative Neilah, 18:45-19:30
Join Rabbi Mark for an opportunity to experience the closing of the gates in a quiet space with prayer, poetry, Kabbalistic mystical text and Jewish meditation, enabling us to take the closing hour into our souls.

LeDor VaDor Channel
Early Years Service, 10:30-11:15
This service is created for children aged 0-6 and their families, led by Rabbi Mark. If you can, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send to EHRS your own picture of Jonah inside the whale, by Thursday 24 September, to help illustrate our central story and enjoy this active service with songs and Shofar.

Primary Years Service, 11:30-12:30
Our family service for anyone aged 6-11 and their families, led by Rabbi Debbie, with our up close Torah reading using EHRS’s own TorahCam.  

Yom Kippur Open Space with EHRS Youth, 14:00-15:25
Drop in for ten minutes or the whole afternoon for great Youth Media Moments with our Youth Worker Murray and Marian Cohen.

Jonah’s in the House, 15:40-16:20
Join Rabbi Debbie as she dives into the belly of the Whale (more literally than you might imagine!) as we explore the story of Jonah together and wonder what it was like inside a huge fish, and what might Jonah have gained from being in there. Ideal for ages 3-7 and their families.

When life sends you Lemons, 16:20-17:00
This year has been especially hard for teens in our community who have had to miss out on extra-curricular activities, parties and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Rabbi Emily is here to listen and to help you find some meaning in the toughest challenges in life.

Kuddle-Up Story Time, 17:15-17:35
Rabbi Mark and Sarah Koster share a story and songs to make you think about how we can help each other to be happy this year.

Neilah for Young People, 18:45-19:30
EHRS Youth Worker Murray and Marian Cohen bring Yom Kippur to a close with a special session or talk, prayer and craft to help young people of all ages to make sense of the day. They will also help to create Havdallah for the whole community at 19:32 so please have a candle ready to light (with parent’s help!).

We will build a Sukkah at the Synagogue this year and publish a schedule of activities to take place in it so that members of the congregation can visit it in safe groups. Building it will be a challenge as there is no Sunday between Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Please do help out during the week at a point that works for you.

Friday 2 October
Sukkah Decorating Party, 15:00-18:00
Volunteers are needed to cut and/or collect laurel & help build the Sukkah and all offers of help will be warmly received. Please call the Synagogue office on 0208 238 1000 if you have any laurel that we might use, we are always looking for new sources. Gifts of fruit, vegetables and flowers for the EHRS Sukkah will be welcomed from Wednesday 30 September (08:30-14:30). 

Kuddle Up Sukkot, 16:15-16:45 
Experiencing the magic of the Sukkot festival for our youngest members with our Rabbis and Shabbat Dinosaur.

Sukkot Evening Service, 18:30

Saturday 3 October
Eco-Shiur, 09:15
Over this extraordinary year the Earth has had something of a rest from regular damaging human activity. What difference has this actually made and what are can we do as Jews to improve the ecological future of the world? With Rabbi Mark

Sukkot Morning Service, 10:30
Our traditional Sukkot service led from the Beit Tefillah

Shabbat B’Sukkah, 10:30
Shabbat B’Bayit heads into the Sukkah to bring you a very special Shabbat B’Sukkah LIVE from EHRS! Join us on Facebook Live.

Sukkot Family Service, 11:30
Tune in on Facebook Live for a fun and friendly family service complete with songs and stories with a Sukkot theme!

Friday 9 October
Kuddle Up Simchat Torah, 16:15-16:45
An introduction to our Sifrei Torah for our youngest members with our Rabbis and Shabbat Dinosaur.

Rolling out a Whole Sefer Torah, 17:30-18:30
See a whole Sefer Torah opened as our B’nei Mitzvah this year see how all of their portions fit together.

Simchat Torah Evening Service, 18:30

Saturday 10 October
Simchat Torah Service, 10:30
Including the Hakkafot where we dance with the Sifrei Torah, virtually or in person. Our Chatanim and Kallot Torah and Bereshit this extraordinary year will not be individuals but rather groups within our congregation who have made a difference in the lives of their fellow members, the wider community or have coped amazingly with the challenge of Covid-19.

Family Simchat Torah Activities, 10:30
Our young people get ready for the joy of Torah with Rabbi Debbie.