July 5, 2020 |

High Holidays – General Information

Shana Tova— wishing you a sweet new year!  We look forward to celebrating with you on the High Holidays this year.

If you are new to the area or to Temple Israel, please come by and visit or contact our office for more information about the temple and about celebrating the High Holidays here.

We offer a variety of services for all age levels to meet the spiritual needs of our diverse community. Our High Holiday services are warm, inclusive, egalitarian, and fully participatory and are led by Rabbi Daniel Liben and Cantor Ken Richmond. We use the Lev Shalem Mahzor; this inclusive and accessible resource makes it easy to follow along with the service in Hebrew and English and provides an engaging and relevant in-depth commentary.

In addition, we hold fantastic age-appropriate services for children, preschool-age (with at least one parent in attendance), and engaging drop-off youth services for grades K-7.  On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, in addition to our traditional service in the Sanctuary, we offer a broad-based Family Service in the tent, geared for families with children of all ages, led by Rabbi Liben and Rav Shira Shazeer.  Family Service FAQs are found here.  Babysitting is also available for children 18 months and above with prior registration

High Holidays: Quick Links!


To help prepare for the High Holy Days, please join us as Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth Sholom, Temple Israel and Congregation Or Atid join together for a joint Selichot observance.

The shofar calls us to “wake up” to hear the voice of the Eternal, to hear our own voice and to hear the voice of those around us.  Learn how to “be like a shofar” through prayer/study, music and mindfulness.  Details for 2020  will be published when they become available.


 The Tashlich service offers a physical means toward the spiritual task of renewal. During this service, which traditionally takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashana, (or the second day if the first is a Shabbat) we toss pieces of bread into a living body of water. (any stream, brook, lake or river will do) These crusts of bread represent the sins and regrets which we wish to throw away. The water then carries away our mistakes, and we emerge from the ceremony cleansed and prepared for renewal. The practice is based on a verse from the book of the Prophet Michah  (Michah  7:19) …

V’tash-likh bim-tsulot yam kol hatotam

“And you shall cast all your sins into the depths of the sea”

There are no special prayers for Tashlich, however, there are several readings relating to teshuvah (repentance) and selichot (forgiveness) that are very appropriate.  Families with young children are encouraged to introduce them to this lovely aspect of the holiday. We will be gathering at the Temple at 5:00pm and walking together to the brook on Boden Lane for the Tashlich service.

  • Tashlich at Temple Israel Details
  • Tashlich: Casting Our Sins away
  • Tashllich Musings

Handicap Information

This year we have once again set aside the entire lower back parking lot of the synagogue for those with HP designated plates. Please be respectful of those people who do require these spaces. You will be asked to move your car if you do not have the appropriate license plate or handicap mirror tag. If you require a handicap parking space or special arrangements for handicapped or wheelchair seating, please call the Temple office (508-650-3521 ext 100). Form for 2020 will be published in the near future. 

The rear entrance to the synagogue foyer is wheelchair accessible. Those needing assistance entering the building may be dropped off in circular driveway at the front of the building. Our sanctuary is equipped with a hearing assistance listening system and a limited number of large print Mahzorim are available. When you arrive at services, please ask an usher for either item. In the case of a medical emergency, an AED is located in the Chapel ark – immediately to the right of the Torahs.

Communication & Medical Emergency

Congregants are asked to not bring cell phones or beepers into services. If you are a health care professional on-call, please put your cell phone/beeper on “vibrate”. If you are fasting and feel ill, Jewish law permits you to cease fasting. Juice and challah will be available in the kitchen during all services for those congregants who require food with their medication.

Children & Family Services

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah  and on Yom Kippur   we will have Youth Services for children in grades K-7; children who attend Jewish day schools should join the appropriate age group. Services will begin promptly at 10:45am and conclude at 12:45pm.

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah   and Yom Kippur  , the Young Family Service will start at 9:00am and end at 10:30pm. This service, for children of preschool age, is the only service where one or both parents are required to stay with their children for the entire time. This interactive, unique and lively program will integrate worship, music and storytelling; a healthy snack will be provided.

We will again hold a Family Service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah  in the tent. Beginning at 10:00am and ending at 12:00pm, this warm, meaningful creative service is filled with joy, song, stories and of course, shofar blowing; it will be led by Rabbi Liben and Rav Shira and is geared for families with children of all ages

All of our services are carefully planned and staffed to provide a safe, meaningful and age-appropriate High Holiday experience. The children will learn about the High Holydays through crafts, music, stories and prayer. Kosher snacks will be provided. Please complete all necessary reservation form(s) promptly

In general, young children are invited to join their parents at services in all locations prior to the start of children’s services – however – we ask that you respect the needs of those praying around you by removing your child promptly should he/she become noisy or fussy. We suggest you may want to sit near an exit in order to be able to leave quickly and quietly. There is no better time than Rosh Hashanah to begin teaching our children directly, and by example, the principal Jewish value of derekh eretz, civility and respect for other human beings.

Please remember – in order to maintain overall decorum and a sense of spirituality during services, we ask that you take responsibility to assure that your children are either in their assigned program or with you at all times. Please do not let your children wander around the building or loiter in the foyer or outside. Your vigilance in this area will allow all of us to celebrate a very rich and dignified High Holiday experience

TEEN Programming – GRADES 8-12

On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur we will have services and/or programming and discussions available during the mornings.  Please watch for a schedule once the holidays are closer.


High Holyday preparations are in high gear and the building and grounds are in top-notch condition. We need your cooperation in our efforts to balance the protection of the congregation while maintaining the open and welcoming character that we are known for.  Today, security is a critical factor that we consider when planning any synagogue event.  With regard to High Holyday services, the Board of Directors has been actively involved in creating a safe secure environment. We continue to have conversations with Police, Fire, and Safety Marshall personnel from the town of Natick.  They have been both cooperative and sensitive to our situation and needs.

We will continue our practice of having security personnel patrol both inside and outside of the building during holiday services. At certain high traffic times, Police will help direct the flow of cars. The Police Department has also assured us they will step-up their “pass through” drives at the synagogue at off peak hours during, prior to, and after the High Holydays and Chaggim.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR TICKETS EACH TIME YOU ENTER THE BUILDING. Everyone arriving with a ticket will be admitted immediately. Anyone who does not have a ticket and who is not listed on our Membership Roster could be screened and under certain conditions, there is a possibility those people will not be admitted to the building. Tickets are for the family member(s) named and are not transferable. Continuing the precautions instituted in the last few years, any items brought into the synagogue may be subject to search.

Special Ticket Circumstances

For Temple members, in good standing, who may be traveling during the High Holydays and wish to attend another Conservative congregation, there are courtesy seating request forms available. Please call the Temple office for help in making these arrangements. Out-of-town guests who are members of a United Synagogue affiliate, must have their synagogue administrator send a letter (on letterhead) to Temple Israel stating they are members in good standing and we will provide complimentary tickets (surcharge will apply). Complimentary tickets for active duty military personnel are available upon presentation of a valid military identification card. Additionally, if you know that your seats will not be used, don’t let them go to waste; please inform the Temple office. Your mitzvah will enable a college student or someone else with need to attend services at this most sacred time of year.

The High Holydays are also a prime season for “shul shoppers.” Please suggest Temple Israel to your friends/family who might be in this group. For those who attend High Holyday services and subsequently join Temple Israel by the end of the (secular) year, the price of their ticket(s) will be applied toward their first year’s membership dues. Where there is financial hardship, dues can be adjusted – no one is denied membership due to fiscal restraints. Those who need financial consideration will have their privacy and dignity respected