Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Local Synagogues Conduct Zoom High Holiday Services on Yom Kippur

Rabbis and Cantors Welcome the New Year During a Pandemic, with a virtual service for the faithful

Congregation Kehillat Ma'arav synagogue in Santa Monica conducted Yom Kippur services Sunday night, as it does every year on the Jewish day of Atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish Year began at Sunset as always, but this year, the service was virtual, and the congregation watched through a Zoom link.

"Dear God source of strength grant us a more confident path. When your presence seems hidden, help us to hold fast to your accomplishments. When faith is weak, let love prevail. Speak to us again with your still small voice, and help us to serve you." said Rabbi Michael Gotlieb.

The service was lead by Cantor Sam Cohen, Rabbi Michael Gottlieb and Cantor Melanie Fine. The difference this year, is the 3 faith leaders were in different rooms, and the Rabbi and Cantor Fine wore masks in a distinctive modern touch.

"SMMUSD schools and offices are closed Monday, 9/28, for a local holiday. Best wishes for a reflective day to all who are observing Yom Kippur," tweeted the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. Schools have not re-opened and have been closed since the Covid-19 pandemic began on March 19th, 2020.

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. An outline of services and times:

Kol Nidre - TONIGHT - Sunday, 9/27 @ 6pm

Morning Service & Yizkor - Monday, 9/28 @ 9am

Mincha - Monday, 9/28 @ 5pm

Neilah - Monday, 9/28 @ 6pm*


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