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Message from Rabbi Levinsky

I am happy, proud and excited about everything that we have created for you for the High Holy Days this year. Temple Har Shalom has always been committed to two things during the Holy Days—content and community. We strive to offer you meaningful religious and ethical content, whether it be in our services or in our classes. We also strive to bring you together as a community.

This year both of those things will be brought to you in a different way. Given the safety measures created by the Medical Professionals Task Force, I am excited about what we have developed over the past months for our online Holy Days. Our whole professional team—Michael, Deb, Audrey, Wayne, Paul, Richard, Cantor Bandman—as well as our volunteers—The High Holy Days Committee, Women of Har Shalom, The Religious Life Committee—have all given of themselves to create a meaningful High Holy Days experience.

Yes, it will look different. Services will be online. They have been professionally produced by Zach MacDonald, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t include our community. We have more honors than ever, and anyone could sign up for them. We have congregants wishing us a Happy New Year. You still will get to see some of the people that you love at Temple Har Shalom during the broadcast.

We also will have a number of live, participatory elements in the services. The services will be broadcast on Zoom, so myself and a board member will get to say “shanah tovah” before we begin our broadcast. During the broadcast, we will be able to see each other on the screen, if we choose. We also will have a chat and private chat function, which will make it even easier to talk to each other during services! We will have a get together on Zoom after services as well.

We will have a number of additional live events on Zoom during the Holy Days. Family services will reach you this way. Selichot services will be brought to you by Women of Har Shalom this way. Classes will reach you this way. We have made them as interactive and participatory as possible. We also will have a drive-in Tashlich service in the Temple parking lot, and a drive-through sukkah. Our hope is that these live events will help create the sense of community that makes Temple Har Shalom special.

I really think that we have done wonders balancing Temple leadership’s commitment to public health with serious content and heimische community. If you talk to someone on staff or to a volunteer, please thank them. They have worked so hard to bring these holy days to you. Shanah tovah … I wish all of you a healthy and happy New Year.

Rabbi David

Sat, December 5 2020 19 Kislev 5781