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Dear Friends,

While this year's Jewish High Holidays will look unlike any other, we've also been gifted the opportunity to reimagine our relationship to our tradition's holiest days. Below, please find a (growing) list of varied opportunities to engage with the JCC this holiday season - including an incredible four-part series to help you find your footing in preparation for celebrating this year; some virtual service- and prayer-adjacent experiences; and through our fun and meaningful High Holiday Subscription Box, which will provide you with ritual items, treats, activities, and conversation starters to enjoy at home (or wherever you may find yourself). 

As always, we hope you are able to see yourself in our offerings, but if you do not - please be in touch with us at so we can learn more about how to serve your spiritual needs this Fall and beyond. 

In community,

The JCC Harlem + JCC Manhattan Jewish Life Team


As we count the moments until the start of 5781, the Jewish New Year, many of us feel a sense of loss. Like other parts of our lives, we might yearn for familiarity of years past. This year, let’s take advantage of these times to spark the creativity of what is available, safe, and inspiring for us. “Sheltering in Sacred Space” is a four-part series that brings you resources and activities that will support you in reflecting on, and planning for, how you will celebrate this year.

Presented in partnership with JCC Manhattan, Shamir Collective, and the creators of the Azazel Chapbook. All sessions are hosted by Sarah Chandler, founder of Shamir Collective.

challahDevotional Distancing: Meaningful High Holidays at Home
To kick off our series, we talk with Rebecca Missel of about their new resource “HighHolidays@Home” and Aya Baron, Shamir Collective’s rabbinic fellow and co-author of the Azazel Chapbook: A guide for your Yom Kippur (socially-distanced or solo) Journey. Participants will learn tips for maintaining and making meaningful connections while participating “virtually,” with family and housemates, and even on your own, unplugged.

Wed, Sep 9, 7–8 pm, $10 ($5 with code CABBAGE5)
For more info and to register, click here.

babyMy Home is a Sanctuary: Especially for Families
Whether you’re preparing to watch a service on Zoom or gather with your household to blow the shofar, this year the sanctuary is your home. Join Carla Friend of Tkiya for a fun series of activities to help you gather props, learn songs, and set up your space as a family. Whether your entire household will celebrate together or you just want some ideas for getting all ages on board, this session is for you!

Sun, Sep 13, 4–5 pm, $10 ($5 with code CABBAGE5)
For more info and to register, click here.

treesPraying in Nature, Nature in Our Prayers
For centuries, Jews have prayed in the natural world as a way of getting close to God. Our earliest ancestors built their sacred spaces and blew their shofarot under the sky. Medieval kabbalists had visions in apple orchards. Hasidic masters prayed in the woods and fields, believing that the plants, animals, and stones add power to our prayers. In some places, it has been traditional to hold Jewish weddings outside under the stars. Especially now, when we can’t gather in buildings to pray in large groups, we can experience the beauty of the outdoors as a way to open our hearts to prayer.

Tue, Sep 22, 7–8 pm, $10 ($5 with code CABBAGE5)
For more info and to register, click here.

cabbageComeback Cabbage: Seasonal Sukkot Cooking with The Gefilteria
It's Sukkot! Come nerd out with Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern of The Gefilteria, as they invite you to take a deep dive into one of the quintessential fall vegetables, the cabbage. Attendees are encouraged to grab a head of cabbage and some kosher salt and get hands-on with vegetable fermentation. Then, inspired by the stuffed-foods often found on Sukkot menus, Jeffrey and Liz will demonstrate some wild ways to stuff your cabbage. Recipes provided! Get ready for Sukkot with this blend of history, storytelling, and culinary empowerment in which we’ll peel back the layers of our favorite member of the Brassica family.

Wed, Sep 30, 7–8 pm, $10 ($5 with code CABBAGE5)
For more info and to register, click here.


Experience a Virtual Musical Rosh HaShanah (Alternative) Service for Families
This program will be held virtually. A link will be emailed to you before the program.

MusicTalks singers and musicians will offer unique pairings of prayers with songs by Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone and Naomi Shemer with liturgical commentary by Rabbi Matthew Green of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. Together we will sing and dance to Klezmer, Ladino and Israeli music and celebrate renewal, diversity and hope. Performed at our very own JCC Harlem!

Virtual Kol Nidre with Rabbi Joy Levitt
This program will be held virtually. A link will be emailed to you before the program.

This virtual service, led by the JCC's own Rabbi Joy Levitt, will be rooted in traditional liturgy in Hebrew, complemented by English poetry, additional readings, and instrumental accompaniment. The service will begin promptly at 6:45pm with the chanting of Kol Nidre. The service will last approximately 75 minutes.=

Virtual Yizkor Memorial Service with Rabbi Brian Fink
This program will be held virtually. A link will be emailed to you before the program.

Yizkor, which translates to "remembrance" is a special Jewish memorial service and prayer to honor the deceased. It is most commonly said for a parent, child, sibling or spouse, but can also be recited for any relative or close friend. Yizkor serves as a time of reflection for those participating in the service, helping us remember our loved ones, keeping them present in our minds and hearts.  Yizkor is founded on two fundamental Jewish beliefs; one, that the prayers and actions of people in this world can have an elevating spiritual effect on the souls of the departed, and two, that it is our mission to make the world a kinder, better, more beautiful place. In Jewish life, this pursuit of kindness is known as olam chesed yibaneh, "to build a world of kindness." Join us for an afternoon Yizkor service for all of us experiencing loss.  A pdf of the prayer booklet will be emailed to registrants beforehand to allow printing a physical copy, and will also be screen-shared during the service itself.

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