UHC re-imagines High Holy Days in the spirit of ‘pikuach nefesh’, sets virtual services

Continuing its practice that began in March with the onset of COVID-19, UHC will conduct virtual High Holidays services to welcome the New Year 5781, with Student Rabbi Emily Dana officiating via Zoom and congregants and guests joining from their homes in Terre Haute and around the country.

Izaak Skillman

“This year will be like no other because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes UHC president Betsy Frank. “In fact, many are calling this a year of re-imagining the High Holy Days.

“No doubt our re-imagining brings mixed feelings, including feelings of grief. We know we cannot be together in our beautiful sanctuary. Yet, we know in our hearts that pikuach nefesh, a Hebrew term for “saving a life”, is a sacred Jewish value. Saving a life means no in-person services.

“With each challenge, however, brings opportunity. Perhaps in the past physical distances have prevented families from being together during the High Holy Days. Not this year! We can have our families with us in our virtual services.”

Yana Weinstein will return for a fourth consecutive year to serve as UHC soloist for Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre.

Izaak Skillman will handle shofar duties.

UHC will distribute prayer books, calendars and Tashlich tips to congregants who request them. For prayer books or Zoom invitations, email Betsy Frank, send a Facebook message or use our contact form.

Congregants may also follow services online with the Gates of Repentance prayer book. (Select link and scroll down to Gates of Repentance; select cover to open the book. Access table of contents and choose appropriate service via menu at bottom of screen.)

Here is the schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 12
7:30 p.m. — Selichot

Friday, Sept. 18
7:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah

Saturday, Sept. 19
10:30 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah

Friday, Sept. 25
7:30 p.m. — Shabbat Shuvah

Saturday, Sept. 26
9:15 a.m. — Torah Study

Sunday, Sept. 27
7:30 p.m. — Kol Nidre

Monday, Sept. 28
10 a.m. — Yom Kippur Morning Service
3 p.m. — Torah Study
4 p.m. — Afternoon Service
5 p.m. (approx.) — Yizkor
5:45 p.m. — Concluding Service and Havdalah
7 p.m. (approx.) — Break-the-Fast

Consult the UHC Calendar for updated information.

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