High Holidays - 2020 / 5781 - Info & Registration

We are excited to offer in-person services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year. Details of this plan are below, subject to change as the situation develops. We welcome your questions and feedback. Please feel free to contact us at contact@kehilathadar.org.

Plan Highlights

  • Kehilat Hadar and Shaare Zedek will each hold their own in-person services, consistent with our plan when we began Joint Operations last year, to accommodate the needs of each community. We will come together as a larger community for outdoor and remote programming.
  • Kehilat Hadar’s in-person Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be held at Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. at 120th St., with limited capacity, social distancing, and masks required.
  • Registration for services is strictly required. Due to limited space capacity and social distancing, we cannot guarantee that everyone who requests a place will receive a place for all of davening.
  • We will modify the service to prioritize safety, including, sadly, forgoing all communal singing.
  • Our fall fundraising campaign will be separate from High Holiday registration this year. Learn more and donate.

Registration for services is now closed. 

How do I sign up to attend?

Register online to request a place at Kehilat Hadar in-person services. We will review registrations on a rolling basis, and plan to, at first, accommodate registrants from the Kehilat Hadar community. All registrants will receive one email within five days indicating whether or not they’ve received a place at Rosh Hashanah services, and a second (later) email indicating whether or not they’ve received a place at Yom Kippur services. 
If you receive a place, you will be required to complete a symptom check the day prior to the holiday (Friday, September 18 for Rosh Hashanah and Sunday, September 27 for Yom Kippur). This symptom check includes confirming that you have taken your temperature and will not attend if you develop a fever. It also requires that if you develop symptoms or test positive within two weeks of attending any service, you will let us know so we can inform those who were present. Your privacy will be maintained. 
Individuals from the same household (e.g. couples, roommates) are requested to register together if they intend to sit together. Individuals in the same household may request to share a single place and each attend half of services (e.g. one attends Shacharit and the other attends the Torah service and Musaf), and must specify this request on the registration form.

Who can attend?

Our space can accommodate up to 90 people at each service. Please do not attend if any of the following are true:
  • You are sick.
  • You have felt sick in the past two weeks.
  • You have been in close proximity with someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID in the past two weeks.
  • You have been asked to self-isolate.
  • You have returned from a state on New York’s quarantine list in the past two weeks.
Unfortunately, children younger than 12 will not be permitted to attend, and we will not offer babysitting. Older children must stay with an adult household member for the whole service. The Kids Team is organizing an outdoor service on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and is working on plans for additional outdoor programming. Email kids@kehilathadar.org to learn more. 
In addition, we discourage those in higher risk subgroups from attending. When appropriate, please discuss your decision with your medical provider.

Health & safety policies

We will rely on each member of the community to uphold the following safety guidelines and will enforce it if necessary. 
  • Masks are required (covering both nose and mouth) at all times, and participants must bring their own. Masks with valves are not permitted.
  • Social distancing rules (6 feet) must be maintained, except among those in the same household.
  • According to building policy, a staff member at the church will take every person’s temperature upon entry using a non-contact thermometer. 
  • Elevator use is restricted to 1 household at a time. The room we’re meeting in is one floor below street level, with bathrooms on the same floor.
  • Restroom use is restricted to up to 2 people at a time.
  • Attendees are expected to stay in the main room throughout the service (other than to use the restroom) and are asked not to shmooze in the hallways or entryway.
  • Anyone not adhering to these policies or following the instructions and reminders given will be asked to leave.
Additionally, we’ve determined the following plans for our use of the space at Riverside Church.
  • We'll be spreading out chairs so that participants only sit with members of their household.
  • The amud will be located at the front of the room rather than the center.
  • There will not be a kiddush.
  • At the end of services we will ask everyone to leave directly, while remaining distanced.
  • Riverside Church recently updated its cleaning procedures and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system, in many cases exceeding the guidelines set by the CDC, NY State, and NYC. New filters throughout the system have a MERV rating of 14, placing them in the highest filtration category (according to industry experts ASHRAE). The system will be running for the entire time people are in the building. Additional fresh air will be brought into the room through this system.


Ritual Changes

Consistent with our principle of maintaining halachic observance in accordance with safety guidelines, we’ve planned the following changes to our services. 
  • Davening will be led at a quick pace and kept to at most 2.5 hours. To keep to this timeframe many traditional piyutim will have to be skipped. 
  • The shatz (leader) and the people reading Torah and Haftarah will chant the respective liturgy & texts, but there will be no communal singing. 
  • The Torah service will be modified to enable social distancing.
  • We will be skipping the Rosh Hashanah shofar service indoors and will arrange for opportunities to hear shofar immediately following services as well as at other times and locations on Sunday, September 20. 
  • There will be no d’var Torah in person. Check out Hadar Institute’s High Holiday learning resources.
  • Participants are asked to please bring their own talitot and kippot, as we won't be providing them. You’re welcome to either bring your own machzor, use one of ours during services, or request to borrow one to take home for the duration of the holiday season. If you’re registering for in-person services, you can make that request on the registration form. If you won’t be at in-person services and want to borrow a machzor, you can request one here.
We look forward to being able to daven together, even though shul will feel very different from what we’re used to.

Registration is now closed. Shannah Tovah!


Remote & Outdoor High Holiday Programming

As we resume in-person services, we remain committed to continuing remote programming to stay connected as a community. Kehilat Hadar and Shaare Zedek are joining forces for all remote and online High Holiday programming. In addition to the programs described below, we are also planning an online program before Yom Kippur, as well as outdoor in-person tashlich. Stay tuned for more information! 
If you’d like to get involved in any of these efforts, please email Haley Schulman
- Private group -