High Holy Days 5781 / 2020

Cantor David Reinwald and Rabbi Emeritus Shelton Donnell Will Lead Streaming Service


Rosh Hashanah 2020 begins in the evening of Friday, September 18 and ends in the evening of Sunday, September 20.
Yom Kippur 2020 begins in the evening of Sunday, September 27 and ends in the evening of Monday, September 28.
Sukkot 2020 begins in the evening of Friday, October 2 and ends in the evening of Friday, October 9.
Simchat Torah 2020 begins in the evening of Saturday, October 10 and ends in the evening of Sunday, October 11.

Calendar of Events


September 12, 2020
7:00 pm Union, Interactive Discussion with Blashek & Haugh
The discussion will be followed by Selichot Service

Rosh Hashanah

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah
    September 18, 2020
    4:00 pm Shabbat Parade Round Challot
    7:30 pm Evening Service
    Sermon: “This is the Moment” – Cantor David Reinwald
    As we start this new year in the Jewish calendar, how do we embrace the uniqueness of the moment we are in? We will reflect together on what we all are experiencing. Cantor Reinwald will also introduce elements of the Erev Rosh Hashanah seder, a ritual that you may want to make a part of your Rosh Hashanah observance this year.
    Download an Erev Rosh Hashanah seder to explore at home


  • Rosh Hashanah
    September 19, 2020
    10:30 am Morning Service
    Sermon: “The High Holy Day Prayer Meant for Today” – Rabbi Shelton Donnell
    The Unetaneh Tokef prayer recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur might have been written specifically for the turbulent times in which we live today. It challenges us to aim for something more than surviving tough times, it teaches us how to emerge on the other side stronger, better and life affirming.
  • 1:00 pm Youth Service (via Zoom)
  • 3:30 Rosh Hashanah Teen Conversation: Cancel Culture and Teshuva: Is it possible to make amends in our very public, social media based world? When a celebrity or public figure says something we don’t agree with, what do they need to do to make amends or are they just cancelled for good? Teens from 9th-12th grade are invited to join Johannah Sohn (Temple Beth Sholom) and Jesse Artz (Temple Beth EL OC) Saturday 9/19 at 3:30 to chat! Email Johanna to receive Zoom link 
  • 6:00 pm Tashlich & Havdalah (via Zoom)

Memorial Wall Visits

  • September 24, 2020
    10:00 am – 1 pm*
  • September 26, 2020
    12:00– 3:00 pm*
    *Visits by Appointment: Schedule a Visit

Yom Kippur

  • Erev Yom Kippur
    September 27, 2020
    7:30 pm Kol Nidre Service
    Sermon: “Three Hebrew Words” – Rabbi Shelton Donnell
    There are three Hebrew words that may hold the key to finding meaning and purpose in life. Ancient in origin, they speak to us today and reveal the great wisdom of our tradition.


  • Yom Kippur
    September 28, 2020
    10:30 am  Yom Kippur morning service
    Sermon: “Finding the Value Within” – Cantor David Reinwald
    Yom Kippur is a day of introspection and in moving forward from this day, we can better understand our personal relationship with the values (middot) we hold and how they impact our perspective on ourselves and the world.


  • 1:00 pm  Youth Service (via Zoom)
  • 2:00-3:00 pm Discussion Groups (via Zoom)

Parenting During A Pandemic | Is being “good enough” OK – for now?
With Tamara Levin, Director TBS Early Childhood Education, and Johannah Sohn, Ed.D, Director Youth Education Register Here
The Pursuit of Joy – Let Us Rejoice! | “Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it life?”
With Rachel Benson, LCSW, private practitioner and TBS Congregant Volunteer Register here
Anti-Semite! Racist! Misogynist! | Is “labeling” creating order or fomenting chaos?
With Mike Rubin, J.D., Partner Rutan & Tucker, LLP, past Chair for the Orange County/Long Beach Region of the Anti-Defamation League, long time congregant and enthusiastic TBS Torah Study participant. Register Here

  • 3:30 pm Yom Kippur Afternoon Service
  • 4:30 pm  Yizkor Service
    Sermon: “We Are the Stones” – Rabbi Shelton Donnell
    How we use memory says a lot about how we understand life and death, loss and legacy. This is a tale of how three cemeteries made me rethink who and what I remember.
  • 5:30 pm Neilah Service
  • 6:00 pm Havdalah (Immediately following Neilah (via Zoom), approximately 6:00 pm)


The High Holy Days are a time of year when the Jewish people as a whole are asked to engage in a process of doing a moral self-assessment; seeking forgiveness from others for harms we’ve done; making amends as appropriate; and resolving to do better in the future. Another important theme of these holidays is the celebration of the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah, the first of the High Holy Days, marks the beginning of a new Jewish calendar year.


We have adopted Hinenu, “We are here,” as our theme and guide, as we plan for the approaching High Holy Days and the year ahead. Hinenu is the plural form of Hineni, “I am here,” words that are spoken when God commands Abraham to sacrifice his only son Yitzhak, and words that we read throughout our Jewish text. “We are here” is an opportunity for us to call upon ourselves to look deep within, reflect on what is truly important and meaningful to us, our families, our friends and our community; to take stock and commit ourselves to repair what is flawed, enhance what is righteous, and create new opportunities for goodness. This is a time of repentance, forgiveness, atonement, renewal and a wonderful opportunity for growth through enrichment.

Temple Beth Sholom has been vigilant about upholding Judaism’s highest priorities for life and health during COVID-19. Worship, education and community have been accomplished via Zoom, streaming video and other online resources. You have warmly embraced them and encouraged us not to rush to open our Temple before we can all enter safely and responsibly.

Because the first wave of the pandemic has not yet ended, it would not be safe to responsibly welcome back hundreds of people for large gatherings of any kind.

Therefore, the Worship Committee and Board of Directors, in direct consultation with the Cantor and Executive Director, have reached the very difficult but unanimous decision to lead our congregants for High Holy Day services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur via streaming video, as we’ve been utilizing for some time now.

Cantor David Reinwald will conduct the streaming service from our sanctuary and we are most pleased to announce that our own Rabbi Emeritus Shelton Donnell will join us with sermons and readings from Portland, Oregon’s historic Congregation Beth Israel.

The Clergy, staff, educators, and the Worship Committee are using the summer months to prepare a meaningful and memorable High Holy Days experience for all our congregants. We will provide easy-to-use information and guides well in advance so that your sanctuary at home will be your sacred space for you and your family, including young children and teens.

We will update this page with more High Holy Day information and look forward to celebrating the holidays as we go from strength to strength and together we say, “Hinenu

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