High Holiday Youth Programs and Family Services
Debra Fricano, Director of Education, with musical contributions by Matthew Check leads our two services for two different age groups. They will bring you joy and inspiration. Together we sing, pray, listen, share, dance and reflect on the past year, and plant seeds of hope for the coming year!
Our first service (9:30am-10:00am), on Rosh Hashanah Day 1, and Yom Kippur Day, is for our youngest families, with children ages 7 and younger. The services will be musical, and use movement, and some puppetry.
Our second service (10:15am-11:15am), on Rosh Hashanah Day 1, and Yom Kippur Day, is geared for families with children ages 7-15. We will use the interactive features of Zoom, including the chat, breakout rooms, and spotlighting videos. Music is a blend of live and pre-recorded music, and our custom Mahzor will be used for additional writing activities.
After either of these services, we invite families to the main service for beautiful prayers, sermon, and a celebration of congregational milestones.
SAJ will be offering a pre-Kol Nidre/evening of Yom Kippur (6:00-6:30pm) preparation for children based around the theme of “Tashlich” and letting go.
There will also be a Parenting Conversation on Yom Kippur “mincha”/afternoon to reflect, with humor, on the challenges of this year.
SAJ extends the high holiday experience with age-cohort specific programming, on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanaha, and Yom Kippur late afternoon.
There will be interactive, creative, educational, and reflective sessions for each of the four cohorts:
Young children 3rd grade and under (must be able to sit at a computer)
There are no additional fees for these programs.
High Holiday Registration
For security purposes, you need to register for the high holidays to be able to receive the link. You will be given the links to access all services and programmatic experiences, and are free to toggle between them. Please be patient as you may be held in a waiting room. We invite you to prepare yourself to familiarize yourself with all of the features of Zoom, including, setting virtual backgrounds, turning camera on and off, checking for working audio, mute and un-mute, chat and private chat, and even hide self view.
Elul for All
All who are young in body and/or spirit: get ready for 10 days of activities to prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. Each day will be a new challenge, which instructions of how to participate. You will be asked to write your answers (through google forms), and/or submit videos or photos (through google drive or dropbox). You can play alone, or make a team of however many people you would like.
First step: Create a “Team Name” based around a Jewish pun. Examples off the top of my head include, Chai-Achievers…We’re Fast-er Than You…Nachus-and-Guac… etc.
Your participation in the challenges will be tracked by our Beit Din – “house of judges” who will evaluate your contributions based on middot / virtues, like Zerizut / zest and enthusiasm, Yatzirah / creativity, Netzach / Perseverance and frequency, and Derech Eretz / Decency and Menschiness.
Though challenges will be revealed one at a time, challenges are due on Friday September 11th.
We will have a celebratory Elul for All event on Saturday September 12, 7:00pm-7:45pm, before our communal Havdalah, and Selichot services.
Please note that with anything you submit, be it words, photos, or videos, you give permission for us to share it within our SAJ community, and possibly on social media. Everything may be submitted via your “team name” in order to stay anonymous.
Finally, to welcome you to the youth experience at SAJ this high holiday season, a message from our educators:
Elul for All Challenge #1 (8/24): Shanah Tovah Greeting
Shanah Tovah / happy new year! As we start off this new season, we wish we could see all of the faces in our community. Since we are online, we are creating an inter-generational video of SAJ members and friends, wishing each other “Shanah Tovah!”
Submit a 5 to 10 second video of yourself, saying “Shanah Tovah! I wish for/hope for/want for you ___” and fill in the blank. Fill in the blank with one word, or one sentence, of a blessing you wish for others. How you say it, is completely up to your self expression! OR Send a picture! Write or draw Shana(h) Tova(h) in English and/or Hebrew שָׁנָה טוֹבָה. Include words or pictures of things you want to bless others with for the new year.
HOW TO SUBMIT:
1a. Record a video on your phone (ideally with a wide horizontal view); Or record a video on your computer using Zoom (here are tips for how to record using zoom).
1b. You can draw a picture, and then take a picture of your picture.
2. Rename your file with your team name so you get credit for participating!
Please try to submit something before September 1st so we can edit together this video and re-share it the week leading up to Rosh Hashanah!
Elul for All Challenge #2 (8/25): Tzedakah Donation
Tzedakah has to do with charity, and it literally means “Justice.” It is said that Teshuvah, Tefilah and Tzedakah – repentance, prayer, and charity – help “temper judgement’s decree.” Giving to others is part of the process of bringing in the new year with more freedom. Giving is not new to SAJ families (y’all are very generous) and this challenge is a moment to reflect on where we want to give our time, energy, and resources, this year.
HOW TO SUBMIT:
Please fill out this form
In this form you will name an organization that you give money to, or would want to give money to if you had the opportunity. Please write 3 sentences about why you think this is an important place to donate to. Ideally, also share their website of where exactly we could make a donation.
A compilation of all of these organizations will be shared back out with the community the week before Rosh Hashanah.
Elul for All Challenge #3 (8/26): Got Jokes
Who is your favorite comedian? What do you notice about their identity? Comedy is not just all fun and games – there are dynamics that have to do with power. Consider how jokes about a group of people (gender, race, or religion), when said by someone who holds that identity, can be a source of bonding about shared experiences. However, jokes about a group of people, when said by someone who is outside of that group, can sometimes feel uncomfortable, like bullying…let’s clarify that line together.
HOW TO SUBMIT:
Tell us some jokes! Knock-knocks and puns are welcome, but I invite you to take this opportunity to try out jokes that are about race, culture, religion, gender, ability…
What is a joke that you think is funny? Why? What is a joke you have heard that you do not think is funny? Please explain the difference.
Thoughts about the jokes may be shared back out with the community, the week leading up to Rosh Hashanah.
Elul for All Challenge #4 (8/27): Hi Ho Trivia - Let's Go!
How much do you know about the High Holidays? Do you remember terminology, rituals, and intentions? Or…do you know how to find the answers online?
HOW TO SUBMIT:
BONUS: you can make a video of yourself explaining any of the correct answers and upload to this drop box
Correct answers will be revealed the week leading up to Rosh Hashanah.
Elul for All Challenge # 5 (8/28): Join the Youth Choir
Something that we may miss is being able to sing together and harmonize. A song that is particularly popular among the SAJ community is a version of Oseh Shalom written by Elana Jagoda. The verse goes “may the one, may the one who makes peace, bring peace down, bring peace down.”
HOW TO SUBMIT:
1. Record yourself singing along to Elana’s original recording, (while using headphones!)
2. Make sure to rename the file with your team name
Voices will be edited together to make a music track for High Holiday Family Services!
More Elul for All Challenges are coming next week...
To receive Elul For All emails with the next youth challenges (and also writings for/by other congregants at SAJ). please sign up.