Welcome to CBI High Holidays 2021 (5782)

About This Year's Services

Join Rabbi Mitch, JTS Cantorial Student Marylin Selby Okoshi and the rest of the CBI family for uplifting (yet, safe) High Holiday services this year. Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Shabbat Shuva, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Pre-registered CBI members and guests can attend in-person or from home, via CBI's password-protected Zoom feeds. In between, we've created multiple ways to refresh your spirit and get more from your high holiday experience. Welcome!

This Year, Just Do It!

"A Jew is asked to take a leap of action rather than a leap of thought."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel (Between God & Man)

Are services something we participate in or merely attend? At CBI, being participatory is a point of pride and lies at the core of what distinguishes us as a Jewish community. The value of participation might be most obvious in the way in which so many members learn the Torah readings and lead parts of the service but it extends behind the scenes as well in the hands of our capable volunteers and leaders.

This New Year we’re building on our culture of participation by providing new opportunities to move beyond “attending” and into the realm of doing. Scroll down and find something that speaks to you and your family and be a doer. This year, if you’ve been “attending,” consider participating. If you’ve been participating, consider leading. CBI is a place of action. The New Year is the time to make the leap. From my family to yours, here's to a year filled with more engagement and meaning. Shana tova!

Sincerely, Rabbi Mitch

Meet Marilyn Selby Okoshi

Marilyn Selby Okoshi is studying chazzanut at the Jewish Theological Seminary H.L. Miller Cantorial School and expects ordination as a chazzan and to earn both Master of Sacred Music and Master of Jewish Education degrees in 2023. Marilyn came to study for the cantorate after a long career as a lawyer in New York and Tokyo, Japan. She enjoys leading congregational singing, teaching adults and children to read from our Scriptures and lead services, and choral singing. For Marilyn, high holiday services are not performances in which to showcase vocal virtuosity, but an opportunity to lead the congregation in meaningful prayer through music. A native of Philadelphia, PA, Marilyn lives in New Jersey with her husband and two dogs. She has two adult sons who bring her joy. She is fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese as well as speaking French and Hebrew. In her spare time, she enjoys Israeli and ballroom dancing.

Download the High Holiday Prayer Book to Follow Along 

Below are the excerpts from our High Holiday makzor (prayer book) that we will be using. Click on a service to download so you can follow along or pray at your own pace.

Shofar/Tashlich Services (in-person only)

Join us for a socially distanced Shofar/Tashlich service on Rosh HaShannah Day 1 (Tuesday, September 7th) 3pm. This special family-oriented service will be led by Rabbi Mitch, Josefa Briant and the CBI youth. It will be held in the parking lot next to the stream. Please bring your own chair(s). 

(CBI Members and Registered Guests)

Kever Avot Service (in-person only)

Sunday, Sept. 12th, 10am  

The ancient custom of Kever Avot, literally “graves of the fathers,” dates almost as far back as Jews themselves. The tradition of visiting the cemetery before the High Holy Days, to show love and respect for the departed, began in the 14th century and continues to this day. On Sunday, Sept. 12th join Rabbi Wolf Alterman at Lou Pollock Cemetery for a meaningful memorial service to remember and honor friends and family we've lost during the year. 

Special Opportunities to Engage with the Season 

Get more out of the holidays than apples and honey

This year, we've put together a few extra activities that you can do on your own or with others to get more meaning from your high holiday experience. Find one that speaks to you and just do it.

Take a High Holiday Gallery Walk

The entrance lobby will host a display, Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, of large posters asking the viewer to reflect upon some essential questions about what it means to them to be Jewish. Stickers provided are intended to be placed on the posters so that every viewer’s reaction can be considered publicly but registered anonymously. The Gallery Walk facilitates participating in a community-wide conversation without having to crowd together indoors all at the same time. It avoids the distraction of a few voices dominating the conversation and minimizes the awkwardness which sometimes detracts from an exchange of ideas on Zoom.

Find Your Akiva Stone

Ritual is a way of translating faith and thoughts into action. Ritual objects are totems which embody qualities and values in ways that can be beautiful and inspiring. On the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (9/12), we will have an opportunity to connect themes of teshuvah and personal growth to a new ritual object. This program is intended for all ages and will be held outdoors, weather permitting. Please contact the CBI office for more info.

Make a Participation Pledge

Every synagogue seeks financial donations. CBI values your time and talents as well. At Kol Nidre this year, in addition to the traditional appeal, we will also conduct a formal appeal for your commitment to helping build our community through acts of learning, participating and volunteering throughout the year.

Thoughts on the Holidays - CBI President, Ellen Sanders 

For a teacher – even a retired teacher – the year always starts in September (in the northern hemisphere, anyway). If you’re a teacher, you get your schedule, set up your classroom, and organize your plans for those first months of the school year. Families return from those August family vacations.

I’ve been out of the classroom for a number of years, but still have that mindset! Vacation time is over; the time for learning begins. In the non-academic world, the new year begins January first, New Year Day. Resolutions are made. Parties happen...(read more)

Shanah Tovah u'Metukah!