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High Holidays 5781 (2020)

This year's High Holiday season will certainly be unlike any we have ever experienced. We know that, for many of us, among the most powerful experiences of the High Holidays is being physically together, surrounded by hundreds of our fellow community members. This year, we find ourselves powerfully together in a different way, celebrating online, as one sacred community.

Hineinu, We are here, together.

Click the holidays below to help you plan the High Holiday experience that is right for you and your family. We have a rich variety of services, community gatherings, and learning opportunities for you and your family, allowing you to experience the sanctity of the Days from the safety of your own home.

View our printable High Holiday brochure with a full schedule of services, community gatherings, and learning opportunities, as well as a helpful guide to where you can join each experience.

Schedule of Events

Preparing for the Holidays

Prayer Books Available

Would you like to hold a Prayer Book in your hand? Arrange to borrow one from the Temple through our our Prayer Book Request Form. Delivery is available for congregants who wish to borrow books but cannot make it to the Temple for contactless pick-up. Delivery must be requested by September 7.

If you would like to buy prayer books to keep, you can purchase them here. For a limited time, CCAR is offering a 20% discount if you use the code MHN2020 at checkout.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Blessings

Find blessings for Rosh Hashanah here and blessings for Yom Kippur here.

Youth Activities

Our Temple Isaiah Education team has been hard at work cooking up all sorts of great programming to help our younger members participate in the High Holy Day learning and doing. From family friendly services to tween and teen Havdalah, from crafts to cooking to celebrating the birthday of the world, there is something for everyone. Check out this wealth of great programming for kids and teens alike.  Registration is required so that we can be prepared to welcome your child/ren with the right staffing and materials.  We appreciated your understanding and cooperation.

View our Digital Download Packet for fun ways to prepare for the High Holidays with playlists, crafts, recipes, and activities.

Holiday Meals to Go

If you don't feel like cooking, enjoy yummy food Mamaleh's Delicatessen in Cambridge, delivered to Temple Isaiah's parking lot. Order early for best availability. Food will be cold and need reheating.

Please order directly from Mamaleh's website. You may order from their special holiday menu and/or from their regular menu. To make sure your order is delivered to Lexington, please select "suburban pick-up" under "click Here to View Menus" when ordering.

Rosh Hashanah: Pick-up will be on Friday, September 18, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can place your order between September 11 and September 18 at 10:00 a.m.

Yom Kippur (Dinner for erev Yom Kippur and/or for break fast): Pick up will be Sunday, September 27, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can place your order between September 20 and September 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Gift Bags

Watch your mail for a special gift bag from the Temple to help make your High Holiday observance extra sweet. Our contactless delivery will be on Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18. We understand that not all families will be in town or will want to recieve this. If you would like to opt-out, please completely this form by Monday, September 7.


We've partnered with local florists to help enhance your home worship space. Flowers are available for curbside pick-up for delivery.

Derby Farms Flowers & Gardens in Arlington has created a special bouquet and arrangement for us. Use code "Templeisaiah" for a 15% discount. White flowers will be available for Yom Kippur. Please order by September 17 for Rosh Hashanah and by September 25 for Yom Kippur.

Crickets in Lexington is offering a 20% discount on a wide array of bouquets and arrangements. Please order bty September 16 for Rosh Hashanah and by September 24 for Yom Kippur.

Answer your phone! Temple Board members will be calling all congregants to wish you a Shanah Tovah!

Watch your email for more information on how to make the holiday season meaningful for you!

A Note on Technology

The main services will be held on Zoom Webinar, which will allow congregants to see the Clergy and liturgy, but not other congregants. Due to the size of our Temple Isaiah Family, we cannot host everyone for services on an interactive platform.

Other High Holiday events will be held on Zoom Meeting, which is what we have used for Shabbat services since the Spring. On Zoom meeting, you can be on camera and have the opportunity to interact with other participants.

To avoid technology hiccups on the holidays, please be sure to download the Zoom app on your computer, tablet, or phone in advance. 

You can also watch Holiday services on our Facebook page or website.

If you have technical difficulties on Rosh Hashanah, the temple has arranged to have IT support available if all else fails.  Please contact either or 617-532-7145. Leave a message with your first and last name, phone number, email address, and description of your technical issue. Someone from APC will call you back to provide support. This should be used only if you are unable to access services via Zoom or either of the livestream options.

How to Make Zoom Services Special

Create a sacred space

If you can, try moving your computer away from your kitchen table and the space you use for work. Put it on a table with a nice tablecloth (white is traditional). For Rosh Hashanah, add some flowers, put out a bowl of apples and honey, candlesticks, Kiddush cup, a shofar if you have one, Rosh Hashanah cards you’ve received, or Jewish art.  For Yom Kippur, you might display photos of loved ones or family heirlooms. If there isn’t room on your computer table, you could set up this kind of space nearby. Drape your chair with a tallit or a scarf and add a festive pillow. (Silver lining department: your chairs may be far more comfortable than the ones in the sanctuary!)

Dress for the occasion

Wear clothes that will make the day feel special and holy. Wear a kipa and tallit if you wish. (Kol Nidrei is the only time that a tallit is worn for an evening service.)

Avoid distractions

Try to move the computer back, so you are watching it, rather than “manipulating” it. Perhaps connect it to a TV screen for an experience that feels different from being at work. Turn off emails, browser tabs, texts, other apps.

Our schedule is designed to allow parents to get their kids set up with our online activities and then join adult services.

Participate fully

It may feel odd at first, but stand at the appropriate moments (or sit up straighter), and sing along.

Beyond worship services

This is a year to reach out to people you know, to wish them a Happy New Year--by card, email, e-cards, a phone call.

It’s also a year to try to carve out a little bit of time for yourself, away from the buzz of Zoom, work, kids, and pandemic anxiety, to reflect on the past year and the year ahead and what you want these holidays and the new year to be.

Have a festive meal with traditional food. You can keep it simple..

Wed, June 23 2021 13 Tammuz 5781