TRANSFORMATION IS POSSIBLE: Join us for the High Holidays!

One of the central messages of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that we can all change. We do not magically erase the past, but we can look within ourselves, soften our hearts, ask forgiveness, heal our wounds, repair our relationships, and transform the world.


Jewish tradition calls this radical idea teshuva, which means to change, heal, return, and transform. Tradition also teaches that teshuva itself existed before the world was created. It makes sense: before there was anything, there was the possibility of something new. Transformation is embedded in the very fabric of our existence.


Maybe this year you are looking for forgiveness - or to forgive. Maybe you are looking to let go - or get free. Join the New Synagogue Project for a Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur journey of transformation as individuals and a community.


We’ll welcome the new year 5780 with music, delicious food, introspection, and fun! Whether you want to sing, pray, host or be hosted for a meal, celebrate with your whole family, write, meditate, reflect, make art, learn Torah, move your body, or more, there is something for everyone - and all are welcome. 

 

We are building a community that is spiritually vibrant, radically inclusive, and reflects our vision for a world of justice, equity, and liberation. Be a part of it! Our community includes religious, secular, and atheist Jews, families with kids, partnered and single people, queer and trans people, interfaith families, Jews of color and white Jews, and anyone interested in exploring and experiencing Jewish life. Our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prayer books include full translation and transliteration of non-English text.

Accessibility Information

Registration Information

Membership guarantees a spot at services. If you’re not a member, consider joining! If you are a member, we still need you to register so we know how many people to plan for. We also ask non-members to make a sliding scale gift as they are able. Child care will be available for all programs (pre-registration required). 


Update: While all of our members are guaranteed a seat at High Holidays, we've currently reached our capacity of non-member registrations for Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Morning Services. However, we have reserved an additional portion of our seats for Jews who hold marginalized identities and often feel excluded by Jewish institutions or have other barriers to entry. This is part of how we are working to live out our community’s value of radical inclusivity. If you identify with one or more of the categories below, you may register for one of these seats:  

  • People of Color, Indigenous, Sephardi, or Mizrahi
  • Queer, trans, and/or gender non-conforming
  • Needs ASL interpretation
  • Purchasing tickets elsewhere would put an undue financial burden on me

High Holidays 5780 Schedule of Events

Sunday, Sept. 29

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner

Event Details

Sunday, Sept. 29

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner

Hosted in community members’ homes. Registration closed on September 13th.

Sunday, Sept. 29

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner for People of Color, Indigenous Jews, and Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews

Event Details

Sunday, Sept. 29

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner for People of Color, Indigenous Jews, and Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews

Click here to learn more about our POCISM space.  While  we had to close most of our Rosh Hashanah dinners, we do still have  space at the dinner for People of Color, Indigenous Jews, and Sephardi  and Mizrahi Jews (POCISM). If you are interested in joining this dinner, please email Sangam (confluenceofsouls@gmail.com) directly. 

Monday, Sept. 30

Rosh Hashanah Services

9:30 am - 1:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Monday, Sept. 30

Rosh Hashanah Services

Followed by a light kiddush (refreshments) at 1:30 PM


  • Two children’s services geared towards ages 1-5 and fun for all from 9:30 - 10:30 AM and 11 AM - 12PM
  • Child care available

Communal Tashlich at Rosh Hashanah Morning Services

As you come and go from services, we invite you to stop by the Tashlich Altar, where you can write down or artistically express the harms you’ve caused, the things you want to release, or the ways in which you’d like to transform, on the scraps of paper provided, and then place them in the Pool of Collective Transformation (aka a large bowl of water!). If writing on the holiday is not part of your practice, feel free to write or draw on pieces of paper (with water-soluble markers!) ahead of time, and bring them to services. The words on these papers will dissolve and disperse into the water, and we’ll take the scraps and compost/transform them into a beautiful papier-mâché’d piece of art by Yom Kippur! Our vision for this art piece is to create a frame, inside of which the new year will unfold.

9:30 am - 1:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Sunday, Oct. 6

Tashlich: Collectively Transforming Our Harms

4 pm

Pierce Mill, Rock Creek Park

Event Details

Sunday, Oct. 6

Tashlich: Collectively Transforming Our Harms

Rather than washing our “sins” away, we’re going to collectively – and creatively – transform the harms we’ve done to ourselves, to each other, to our community and to our world in this past year. Here's how we'll do this together: 


Radical Twist on Traditional Tashlich

We’ll gather by the river for a tashlich ritual that will give us the release and strength we need to make transformation possible. Through reinterpreting this ancient tradition, we’ll find our own ways into a meaningful and relevant practice of deep reflection. We’ll sing, read poems, and have extended time for solo reflection or meditation on the banks of the river. Rather than casting breadcrumbs into the water, we’ll toss leaves and sticks that we’ll gather at the site, but we do invite folks to bring something sweet or nourishing for themselves to eat as part of the ritual! 


*A note about accessibility: there is parking at Peirce Mill, and we’ll be gathering on the open, grassy area by the river. There will not be guaranteed seating, but folks can bring their own chairs. The program will last about 20 minutes, and then folks will be invited to go off on their own or in pairs/small groups. For river access (to cast leaves or sticks) folks can either make their way down the bank, or they can walk up on the bridge, where there is a paved (but narrow-ish) sidewalk

4 pm

Pierce Mill, Rock Creek Park

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Kol Nidre Services

6:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Kol Nidre Services

Child care available

6:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Morning Services and Yizkor/Memorial Service

9:30 am - 2:00 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Morning Services and Yizkor/Memorial Service

  • Yizkor, the memorial service, will begin between 12-1pm. 
  • Children’s services geared towards ages 1-5 and fun for all from 9:30 - 10:30 AM 
  • Child care available

9:30 am - 2:00 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Afternoon

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Afternoon

2:30 - 3:15pm

Torah Study: Parsha Acharei Mot, A Study of Ancient Jewish Ritual

Fellowship Hall - Downstairs // Facilitated by Benjamin Uchitelle-Pierce

Join us to study the Yom Kippur Torah portion, which is all about the ritual to be performed in our holy place at the holiest time of the year. In this session, we’ll form chevrutah (learning pairs), and dive into the Torah text to explore the role of prayer, holy spaces and ritual in our own lives.


Exploring Teshuva and Reflecting on 5579: A Writing Workshop

Sanctuary // Facilitated by Hannah Halpern

Yom Kippur offers us a powerful opportunity to dig deep into the spiritual work of teshuva, of returning - to ourselves, to the Divine, to the people to whom we are accountable, and to the work we have left to do. This session is about the journey of teshuva - where we’re aiming to go, and how to travel there. We’ll write as a way to start or continue on that journey, for writing itself is a journey, a process, and a path to transformation.


3:30 - 4:15pm

Embodied Prayer: A Movement-Based Workshop on Spirituality and Tshuvah

Fellowship Hall - Downstairs // Facilitated by Scott Brown & Yael Horowitz of Shmutzik Shmates

 Taking inspiration from the practice of prostrating on the ground during the Rosh Hashanah Aleinu, this workshop will explore how our bodies’ motions shape our spiritual experiences. We will also dive into the physical experiences that accompany Tshuvah to better understand how pleasure relates to transformation and repair.  


'Returning to Our Breath: A Guided Yom Kippur Meditation

Sanctuary // Facilitated by Arielle Mir

The High Holidays are full of embodied practices, from eating apples and honey to fasting, from pounding our chests to prostrating ourselves. In this session, we will explore how being in extended silence and tuning in to our breath provide another way into our bodies and into the work we are doing on Yom Kippur.


4:30 - 5:30pm

Jonah Puppet Show & Program

Sanctuary // Facilitated by Rabbi Joseph & Etai Rogers-Fett

 All are invited to this participatory puppet show performance of the Book of Jonah. Come for the dazzling rainbow fish, stay for the story of personal transformation and communal responsibility!  

2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Ne’ilah/Closing Service

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Ne’ilah/Closing Service

Child care available

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Break-Fast

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Event Details

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Yom Kippur Break-Fast

Join the NSP Community for a light, vegetarian pot-luck style meal to break the Yom Kippur fast. NSP will provide bagels and other light food. Attendees are encouraged to contribute additional food/drinks. Due to space restrictions, registration for Yom Kippur Break-Fast closed on September 20th.

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Israel Metropolitan CME Church, 557 Randolph St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Additional High Holiday Offerings

Tuesdays, Sept. 3, 10, and 17

Elul Writing Workshop: Entering the Jewish New Year with Intention led by Rabbi Sarah Tasman

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

Event Details

Tuesdays, Sept. 3, 10, and 17

Elul Writing Workshop: Entering the Jewish New Year with Intention led by Rabbi Sarah Tasman

 Join Rabbi Sarah Tasman for 3-part Elul Writing Workshop to enter the Jewish New Year with mindfulness and intention. Elul is a time of reflection, meditation, and spiritual preparation for the Jewish New Year. In this three-part workshop, we'll use creative writing practices to let go of the past year as we begin our process of turning toward the New Year. Each session will include spiritual icebreakers, guided meditation, creative writing/art activities, learning, and discussion.

Open to all backgrounds and all genders. Please bring a journal and a pen.

Space is limited and advance sign up is required to reserve your spot. Details and registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/elul-writing-workshop-entering-the-jewish-new-year-with-intention-tickets-64635716167

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

Sunday, Sept. 22

Align: An Art & Spirituality Workshop for Rosh Hashanah led by Rabbi Sarah Tasman

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

Event Details

Sunday, Sept. 22

Align: An Art & Spirituality Workshop for Rosh Hashanah led by Rabbi Sarah Tasman

 

Align is a monthly series incorporating Jewish spirituality, seasonal wellness & creative expression. Join us to kick off our fall Align series with a special session in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.  Will include meditation, art, and a water ritual. Open to all backgrounds and all genders. Space is limited and advance sign up is required to reserve your spot. Details and registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/align-art-spirituality-series-tickets-64665588516

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Center for Mindful Living, 4708 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016

Wednesdays, Sept. 18 and 25

Elul with Contemplative Talmud Bet Midrash, learning in the SVARA method with Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

6:45pm - 8:45pm

Adas Israel, 2850 Quebec St NW, Washington, DC 20008

Event Details

Wednesdays, Sept. 18 and 25

Elul with Contemplative Talmud Bet Midrash, learning in the SVARA method with Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Looking to do some learning to prepare you for the High Holidays? Join Rabbi Lauren Tuchman, SVARA fellow, for rigorous, accessible Talmud learning as a deep spiritual practice in service of teshuva and transformation leading up to the Days of AWE-some.


In each stand-alone session, we dive into a text from the Talmud that relates to themes of this season: teshuva (forgiveness), our ethical and social responsibilities, what kind of person the Jewish tradition wants us to be, what kind of people we want to be, how the ancient rabbis dealt with the slippery and messy reality of human relationships, and how the complexity of their world invites us to consider the complexity of our own world.


We'll learn a complete text from the Talmud from start to finish each week, all in the original language (without the use of translation). All you need is the ability to decode your alef-bet (i.e. sound out your Hebrew letters), and you’ll be learning Talmud in the original Hebrew/Aramaic within your first hour. All are welcome in this mixed-level learning space: whether you're a Talmud newbie or an experienced SVARA-nik we can't wait to learn with you!


Details and registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSceAXMycGGc1BWkJwwqQOQQF_fZKEA2dhHkbaJnFsCUNvg8Cw/viewform

6:45pm - 8:45pm

Adas Israel, 2850 Quebec St NW, Washington, DC 20008

About the Rabbis and Service Leaders

Rabbi Joseph Berman

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Rabbi Joseph Berman is the rabbi of the New Synagogue Project. Rabbi Joseph grew up outside Kansas City and received his Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. A Wexner graduate fellow, Rabbi Joseph was ordained in 2010 by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, an unaffiliated and pluralistic seminary in Boston. Following ordination, he served for five years as the Rabbi of Temple B’nai Israel in Revere, Massachusetts. He has also worked as a farmer, chaplain, community organizer, and advocate for justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis. He is the co-founder of Ruach Guild, a skill development and support group for activists who provide spiritual care to social justice movements and organizations. He is passionate about joyful Jewish observance, gardening, ultimate frisbee, and the power of community to create both personal and societal transformation.

Batya Levine

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 Batya Levine is a Jewish educator, ritual leader, facilitator, and musician. She leads spirited prayer and song in a variety of communities, including Isabella Freedman, Linke Fligl, SVARA, and Kavod Boston. She is a co-founder and organizer of Let My People Sing!, a national gathering that brings together a diversity of Jewish cultural and ethnic music for the sake of learning, sharing and creating liberatory singing space. Batya writes original music and her songs have traveled across prayer spaces and street protests, connecting people to themselves, each other, and spirit. Coming from a lineage of Jewish musicians, she has learned to use music as a powerful tool for healing and transformation. Batya is dedicated to carrying this practice forward, building resilience and interconnection on individual and communal levels. 

Rabbi Sarah Tasman

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Rabbi Sarah Tasman is the founder and CEO of the Tasman Center for Jewish Creativity which offers in-person and online resources for those seeking meaningful, accessible, and personalized Jewish learning, community classes & gatherings, and private spiritual coaching and rabbinic support. Rabbi Sarah is a dynamic and creative educator, spiritual leader and life cycle officiant based in Washington, DC and is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. She believes in the power of Jewish practice and learning to help us flourish and live more centered, meaningful and integrated lives. Whether she is teaching, leading or officiating, Rabbi Sarah specializes in making Judaism creative, personalized and accessible. Rabbi Sarah brings warmth, a rich knowledge of tradition and inclusivity to meet couples, families, and students wherever they are in order to create a meaningful experience. Previously, Rabbi Sarah was the InterfaithFamily/DC founding director, serving the needs of interfaith couples and families throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. She has also served as Senior Jewish Educator at Maryland Hillel and has taught at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Adas Israel Congregation and many area organizations. She was ordained by the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in 2012. She also holds a master of Jewish Education and a certificate of non-profit management.