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Here's what we've heard so far, and how we're responding in time for Yom Kippur. 

Some of our attendees want to be able to have dedicated moments during the services where they can see others on camera and interact with each other. 

We're going to add scheduled times where we can "schmooze" with one another- during these times, everyone attending the service will have the option to turn their camera and audio on. No one will be forced to turn on their camera, of course! The first of these will be before Kol Nidre, from 5:45pm to 6pm on Sunday September 27th. We'll announce more in the coming days. 

Some of our attendees noted that the Machzor text was difficult to read and sometimes too small, and wanted to be able to zoom in on the text and pages. This came up both in the screen-shared pages on Zoom, and in the digital Machzor provided to our members. 

We've looked into this issue, and found that when you open Zoom in a smartphone app, you can zoom in on the shared screen. Similarly, if you download the digital Machzor and open it on a separate screen/device, you can zoom in on the Machzor pages there too. 

We realize that there may be other problems that you experienced, that we didn't find out about.

These tools are not perfect and neither are we, but we want to do everything we can to address any issues you might have experienced. One way to reach us immediately is to send a private chat message in Zoom, to Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock- that's the service host who will be monitoring messages and issues as they come up. You can also send an e-mail to admin@tbila.org to let us know about any problems you're having accessing the services or during the services, or any problems that came up while you were attending. 

Here's what you need to know:

-Services will be held on Zoom, and links will be provided here and via e-mail for you to join in

-There are no tickets for this year's High Holiday services, and all are welcome to join us

-We will share the digital Machzor (High Holiday prayer book) over the Zoom webcast for you to follow along, and we will provide more information on how to access the e-book from your own screen

-We will provide a detailed breakdown of each service, so that you can reliably join us for specific prayers, rituals and services 

-TBI members will receive a care package of High Holiday treats and a printed guide to the services 

-We ask that you use your full name when you join in each service

-Family programming details will be announced very soon!

Scroll down to read some frequently asked questions about how High Holidays will work this year, what will be covered in the services, and how TBI is responding.

Frequently asked questions

Cut to the chase! Will there be in-person High Holiday services this year? 

In accordance with current guidelines, we will not be hosting indoor, in-person services in our sanctuary- all programming will be online. 

We believe that over and above the guidance set forth by the state, county and City of Los Angeles, that it would put our clergy and some of our members at undue risk to hold services indoors even with social distancing in place, and so while this was not by any means an easy decision to reach, we do not believe that we would seek to hold in-person services even if the official, legal guidance were to change in the weeks between now and the High Holidays.

 

Will the mitzvot of the High Holidays be fulfilled? 

Absolutely.

Rabbi Rosner has been working alongside clergy from across the region to ensure that our modified practices will still meet the needs of the community, and fulfill our religious obligations. 

 

Will the Rabbi, Cantors and congregants still chant important prayers like Kol Nidre? 

Yes!

It may not be in-person as we are used to, and it may not be with all of us in the same room, but we are working our hardest to preserve the parts of the service that we all, cherish. 

 

Will we still hear the Shofar blown?

Count on it.

These traditions are among the most important to us as a community, and we will find creative ways to share in them this year as in years past. The High Holidays committee is actively re-thinking the logistics of a Shofar service, such that we could enable our members to hear the Shofar blasts while remaining socially distanced.

 

If in-person services are not feasible, will the alternative be a 3-4 hour Zoom call? 

Not exactly.

We've heard from our membership already and want to hear more- it seems to be that there is a desire both for the complete service to be made available, and for a modified, accessible, digestible program to be offered. We are hoping that if in-person gatherings are not feasible, that we can do all of the above. 

 

Will TBI charge the same ticket/membership prices for modified services and programming? 

This year's high holiday services and programming will be free. Tickets will not be required, and services and programming will be open to members, non-members and guests.

In acknowledging the significant changes that we are all facing and the financial hardships that have resulted from the pandemic, the TBI board elected not to increase membership fees for the coming year. Similarly, we have decided not to charge our guests and non-members who typically spend the High Holidays with us. We'll ask instead for donations in lieu of High Holiday tickets as part of this year's fundraising campaign.

Where will the finalized details be posted? 

Once the plan for this year's High Holidays has been finalized, you'll find the details right here. In the meantime, this page will be updated with more detailed information as we have it- check the top of the page to see when the last updates were made. 

Fri, October 23 2020 5 Cheshvan 5781