Growing up in a conversative Jewish household, I came to dread the High Holidays. Yom Kippur meant hour upon hour of services in impenetrable Hebrew standing in an uncomfortable suit, hunger gnawing all the while. Rosh Hashanah was only better in the sense that there was no fasting, but then stretched across two days rather than one. I had little care for the significance of the days, and even the fact that it usually meant missing a few days of school was little consolation when measured against the discomfort and boredom. In discussions with others who were raised in conservative or traditional Judaism, I learned that I was not alone in this opinion.
As an adult, I have a greater appreciation for the meaning behind these days, but little interest in subjecting myself or my own children to what I mostly remember as torment.
However, the High Holidays as celebrated by Tri-Valley Cultural Jews bear little resemblance to my prior experience. The focus is on the meaning of the days, but expressed in contemporary terms that are both more relatable to secular Jews of all ages and surprisingly enjoyable. The key rituals remain — the blowing of the shofar, Tashlich, the round challah — but they are framed in a modern and meaningful way.
So today, rather than dreading the High Holidays, I find myself looking forward to them, more fully able to appreciate their significance and the opportunity to celebrate with the TVCJ community.
The sound of the shofar is meant to wake us up so we can look at ourselves and the world around us and decide how to change in the coming year. We asked the Jewish Culture School students to make pictures of what they wished the world would wake up to in the coming year. Here are some of their pictures:
Sept. 27, 6-7pm Our secular observance will have readings in English and include music.We will be collecting donations for the Jewish Federation Wildfire Emergency Fund as our social action component.Look for our Evite or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to the zoom event or if you have any questions.$10 suggested donation for non-member adults, if you can to cover our costs.
Please join us virtually for a Secular, Humanistic Rosh Hashanah observance as we start our fall holiday season. Tashlich will be included in the observance as the ritual of shedding the misdeeds of the last year.
The event will be on Saturday, September 19th from 4-5.
Children are welcome though it will not be child-centered. If you’d like to make a challah to eat during the observance make it sweet for the new year by adding a quarter cup of melted butter, 2 T sugar and about a cup of raisins during kneading.
Please put on your calendar our Yom Kippur observance, Kol Nidre that will take place September 27th 6-7pm.
Members are welcome to attend free of charge. Non-adult members- we ask a suggested donation of $10, if you are able. This year after operating costs are covered, we will send to donations to the First Nations Development Institute to help with Coronavirus relief. We will have other opportunities during the observance for all to donate as well.
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com and we will send you the link to the evite for the zoom event.
We are excited to bring this new event to our group.
Here’s how it will work….Each month we will rotate hosts who will choose a topic for us to talk about (keeping everything civil of course). The host will introduce the topic and come up with a few prompts/ questions to keep the conversation going if needed. And everyone shares their ideas about the topic to have a nice discussion. The thing is, the host doesn’t announce the topic until the meeting so we aren’t researching before the event…this should be fun…we hope many of you will join us!
Judy will be our first host. Please let Jamie Ireland know if you’d like to host future dates or if you have questions.
Our first Philosopher’s Cafe will be: When: Aug 6, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Shalom TVCJ, Join us for Virtual Havdalah! Bring a braided candle, juice/wine, spice box to participate…or just watch our short secular, humanistic ceremony. Afterward we will have an online game night.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. When: Aug 15, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Reservations are required. To make a reservation please email Jamie Ireland at firstname.lastname@example.org
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.