Kol Nidre & Yom Kippur @ Beth Sholom

We invite you to join us for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services at Congregation Beth Sholom.

The two services are the communal culmination of the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), our 10-day period of spiritual self-examination, repentance, and renewal. Together, through prayer, song, and self-reflection, we’ll close the book on 5775 and enter 5776 renewed and recommitted.

Kol Nidre services (Tuesday, September 22) begin before dark with the recitation of Kol Nidre, or All Vows. This powerful chant dissolves vows made in the previous year between each Jew and the Divine -- it's a spiritual "reset" button, an opportunity to clear the slate and start the new year in fresh relationship with G-d and ourselves. The sun sets and our Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. The imagery we associate with Kol Nidre is that of an opening gate, and we stand with humility before the All Knowing, confronting both the unfathomable and ourselves -- our hopes, our sorrows, our dreams, our missteps.

Yom Kippur (Wednesday, September 23), or the Day of Atonement, is considered by many to be the most sacred day on the Jewish calendar. It is a time of deep personal encounter with the Divine, the opportunity to restore our holiness, atone for our failings, and to perform teshuvah -- to return to relationship with G-d and our better selves. On Yom Kippur, we symbolically abstain from mundane human behavior in order to devote ourselves fully to the spiritual work of the day — for example, we fast from food and drink and forgo bathing, sexual relations, and the wearing of leather.


At Congregation Beth Sholom, we offer two main services.

Our SANCTUARY SERVICES will have many familiar melodies for the High Holy Days — intentionally without a cantor — to carry forward the interactive spiritual journey through music that has been underway at Beth Sholom.

KORET HALL SERVICES are participatory, engaging, and accessible davening experiences interspersed with teachings.

Additionally, we offer FAMILY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES. These are led by Beth Sholom’s Director of Congregational Learning, Michael Lederman, Director of Early Childhood Education, Katherine Friedman Barboni, and our Music Director, Jonathan Bayer. Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and Rabbi Aubrey Glazer will also make special guest appearances.


We're also pleased to offer three options for your Yom Kippur afternoon.

Makom Sholom is a program dedicated to enriching Jewish practice with spiritual depth, promoting Jewish study, prayer, and ritual within a meditative environment. All are welcome, regardless of background, knowledge, or experience.

Ephraim Margolin’s annual Yom Kippur talk is consistently informative, erudite, surprisingly unusual, and intellectually rewarding. This is a Beth Sholom event not to be missed. The title of his talk this year is “The Iran Deal and The Jewish Future in America.” Mr. Margolin served as Secretary to Menachem Begin, leader of the IRGUN. He is a Hebrew University and Yale Law School graduate. As a lawyer, he represents the Israeli Consulate of San Francisco, and has served as President of the San Francisco JCRC, The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

This breakout session will explore the role of raw emotion in the process of sober self-transformation known as teshuvah. Through words and deeds we embarrass others and we shame ourselves, but we can find our way back. Join us as we explore these issues through select texts in Torah and Talmud. Henry Hollander is a bookseller and a Torah and Talmud student.

Visit our HaRuach High Holy Days guide for all the details!

If you aren't a member of Congregation Beth Sholom and you'd like to obtain tickets, please click here.

May you have an easy fast! G'mar Hatimah Tovah!