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High Holiday Tickets 2019/5780




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We are delighted that you will be celebrating the High Holy Days with the SAJ! Whether you come for our main sanctuary service, our family services or teen program, or for our new non-liturgical High Holiday experience, we welcome you and hope you have a meaningful experience. Since space is limited, we ask you to make arrangements for tickets as soon as possible. Below is information on the variety of services and ordering tickets. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me by phone or by e-mail if you have any questions about our holiday services or about SAJ in general.



Rosh Hashanah - Sunday evening, September 29 - Tuesday, October 1.

Yom Kippur - Tuesday evening, October 8 (Kol Nidre) - Wednesday evening, October 9.



All adults need tickets to attend services. Children must have their own tickets to attend the Sanctuary Services. While there is no cost for them, children do need tickets for the Family Services. Teens will also need tickets for the Teen Programming. We request payment in full when ordering your tickets. This can be paid by credit card or check.

 Your confirmation email will serve as your entrance ticket. Please bring a printed copy.      



We are thrilled to have four unique and wonderful choices for your High Holidays this year. Please consider which would work best for you and your family. In addition, please note that there are times when parents are invited into the main sanctuary service, and those who attend our new non-liturgical High Holiday spiritual experience are invited to attend the main sanctuary service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and the afternoon and Ne’ilah services on Yom Kippur.


Makor Sanctuary Services with Sanctuary/Balcony Seating

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann and Cantor Lisa Arbisser will lead the Sanctuary services and will be joined by The SAJ Choir, led by Ben Gruder, and The SAJ House Band. High Holiday services at SAJ have many special traditions, including the celebration of communal milestones on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, and the joyful, song-filled second day service including Naomi Less, which includes thematic reflections on the holidays from three SAJ members. Following services on the second day, we are offering a light Kiddush lunch for all ticket-holders. On Yom Kippur, we recite Kol Nidre, have special programming during the afternoon break between services, and conclude with a special ceremony involving all our children at Ne’ilah. There is also an annual BYO Community Break Fast.

Childcare will be available for children of all ticket holding adults during all morning Sanctuary services, from 10:00 AM until 1:30 PM.


 Makom Family Services in the Social Hall

Join us for joyful, musical and accessible services for the whole family! We continue our tradition of two age-appropriate Family Services, co-led by our Interim Director of Education and Family Engagement, Debra Fricano, and Matthew Check. Matt has co-lead the last three year’s High Holiday Family Services and the Bluegrass Shabbat.

The services are interactive and age-appropriate, incorporating traditional elements of the High Holy Days services with meaningful contemporary elements including storytelling, readings, and discussions.

These service times are:

First Day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings:

  • 9:30 AM - 10:15 AM - Family Service for families with children newborn to grade 3. As a special gift from an SAJ donor, this service is free for attendees. 
  • 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM - Family Service for families with children grades 4-6.
  • 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM - Parents are invited to the main sanctuary to join the larger community for a reflective part of our services, including a celebration of community milestones. This is an opportunity to be in a High Holy Day service led by our clergy. Children will remain in the Social Hall for a children’s program.

On Kol Nidre, Tuesday evening, October 9, there will be one Family Service for all ages from 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM. Rabbi Lauren and Cantor Lisa begin the service with the families. 

All children must be accompanied by an adult (not an older sibling); unaccompanied children cannot be accommodated at the Family Service.



There will be special teen programming from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. Then, from 12:00 - 1:30 PM, teens will have a choice of volunteering in childcare, or attending the Main Service in the Sanctuary.  Teens are invited to the Sanctuary services the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Neilah.


Celebrating the High Holidays: A Non-Liturgical Spiritual Experience

The SAJ is offering an alternative offsite High Holiday experience, led by Rabbi Emeritus Michael Strassfeld. The program will be an experimental, non-liturgical, spiritual experience in a space at West End Collegiate Church, at 245 West 77th Street. Ticket holders to this service are invited to SAJ for the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur day - Afternoon Service and for the Ne’ilah service at the conclusion of Yom Kippur.

This experience will focus on the themes of change rather than on the traditional liturgy, with three sessions, each 90 minutes long. Through readings, spiritual teachings, singing wordless melodies and quiet reflection, the program will use the gift of the time of these holidays to explore our inner life. 

Rabbi Strassfeld has shared the following description of the program:

The Jewish High Holy Days offers each of us the opportunity for personal change. What can I bring with me into the New Year and what can I leave behind? How can I become more like the person I want to be? This experience will focus on the themes of change rather than on the traditional liturgy. We will gather for three sessions—each only an hour and a half long. Through readings, spiritual teachings, singing wordless melodies, and quiet reflection, we will use the gift of the time of these High Holy Days to explore our inner life. Note that one must have a ticket to attend this offsite service. There is no charge for the ticket, but we are asking that people who attend these services make a donation to help cover costs for this service.
A longer description can be found here.

The three sessions take place at the following times:

  • Rosh Hashanah (Monday, September 30) – 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Kol Nidre (Tuesday, October 8) – 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Yom Kippur (Wednesday, October 9) - 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Those with tickets to this offsite program are invited to join the SAJ Sanctuary service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah and the Yom Kippur afternoon programming, including talks, yizkor, and Ne’ilah services.

Note that one must have a ticket to attend this offsite service. There is no charge for the ticket, but we are asking that people who attend these services make a donation to help cover costs for this special service. There will be a children’s program at this location during these services.



Ticket Type

Price Per Ticket (Payment by Check)

If paying via Credit Card, Suggested Approximate Donation Per Ticket*







Family Service
(Ages 7 and older)



Family Service
(Ages newborn - 7)
Free/Donations Appreciated  

First Time Attendees:

Family Service
(Ages 7 and Older)

Sanctuary Service




(Without Ticket Holding Adult)



Offsite Non-Liturgical Spiritual Experience

Donations gratefully accepted to help cover the costs of this service.

Suggested Donation $36.

2.9% of Donation per Ticket


*The SAJ incurs a 2.9% processing fee for all credit card charges, amounting to approximately $5,000 this year. If you do use your credit card, we would appreciate an additional donation to help defray these costs.



The SAJ has an open seating policy by section, meaning if you have a sanctuary ticket, you can sit in any available seat in the sanctuary, a balcony ticket in the balcony, etc. On the eve of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and at the last service on Yom Kippur (Ne'ilah), adult Family Services ticket holders and balcony ticket holders are invited to the Sanctuary or anywhere in the balcony. Parents are especially encouraged to bring their children to the Sanctuary for the moving end of the Ne'ilah service.



We encourage you to purchase your High Holy Day service tickets below.


Please do not hesitate to contact Rachel Bitterfield at or 212-724-7000 option 1 with questions about buying tickets. If attending High Holy Day services is an economic hardship at this time, please call. You can also contact me about any other concerns. I am looking forward to celebrating the High Holy Days with you.                                                                                      



                                                                      David Greenberg

                                                                      Chair, Board of Trustees



Community Yizkor Service of Memory Yom Kippur Afternoon, October 9, 4:30-5:00pm

This event is open to the public. For security reasons, pre-registration is requested (but not required)

As we pray, contemplate, and atone on Yom Kippur, our thoughts turn to those whom we have loved and lost, in recent days or in years past. In this spirit, we invite you into a space of individual and communal remembrance with a new Yizkor Service of Memory. Alongside liturgy and song, we will invite anyone who would like to space memories of loved ones. 

Youth groups and childcare are offered so parents who would wish to can attend.

You are also invited to join us for speakers and teachers beginning at 2:30pm and for the concluding mincha (afternoon) and ne'ilah (service of the closing of the gates), which ends with a beautiful Havdallah (separation) ceremony and final blast of the shofar.

Fri, July 3 2020 11 Tammuz 5780