Marc Chagall via mafineart
L’Shana Tova! Today’s the second Day of Awe (Rosh Hashanah started Sunday at sundown), which means it’s time for the annual quandary of the unaffiliated Jew: what are you doing for Yom Kippur? If you haven’t already made arrangements (it’s September already??) and you’d like to, there still a number of available observance options in and around the Slope:
An “outreach arm” of Congregation Beth Elohim catering to 20 and 30-somethings, Brooklyn Jews is all about ”meet[ing]people where they are” to create community “in Brooklyn and beyond.” They offer a full menu of free and low-cost, community-oriented High Holy Days services, and while the crowd certainly skews young and liberal, there’s no bouncer checking IDs — everyone is welcome, even if your 40th birthday was a long time ago.
All Yom Kippur services take place at the Prospect Park Picnic House. Tickets are $25 for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur morning, and free for everything else (here’s the note explaining their decision to charge). For all events, space is limited and going fast — RSVP here.
Also oriented toward 20- and 30-somethings, Ohel Ayalah offers a full schedule of walk-in, no-reservation necessary, completely free High Holy Days services designed for folks who “wake up on Rosh Hashanah morning or Kol Nidrei night and say, ‘I feel like going to the synagogue today and being with other Jews.’” The services themselves are “egalitarian” (both men and women will lead), but traditional — prayers will be chanted in Hebrew, with English readings and commentary sprinkled through.
Brooklyn Yom Kippur services (they’ve also got operations in Manhattan and LIC) are held at the Brooklyn Lyceum. Ohel Ayalah is all about welcoming walk-ins, but if you know you’re going, it’s possible to reserve spots for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur morning.
Kolot Chayeimu’s motto is ”Building a Progressive Jewish Community in Brooklyn,” and they mean it about the progressive thing: “as individuals of varying sexual orientations, gender identities, races, family arrangements, and Jewish identities and backgrounds, we share a commitment to the search for meaningful expressions of our Judaism in today’s uncertain world,” they write. Unlike Brooklyn Jews and Ohel Ayalah, Kolot Chayeinu is a full-service synagogue unto itself, but membership definitely isn’t required to take part in the High Holy Days.
Their Yom Kippur events (schedule here) are open to everyone with no ticket or advanced registration required. Prices are pay what you can, or in their words, “any amount that is significant to you.” (The suggest $234 per person/non-members, $136 per person/dues-paying members.)
Union Temple’s been around (in some form) since 1848, making it the oldest Jewish congregation in Brooklyn. They’re also the only Reform congregation in the area that opens up their full schedule of High Holy Days services to non-members for zero dollars (donations welcome), and it’s the best bet if you’re looking for an option with childcare.
You do need a reservation (make one here) for all Yom Kippur services, and they recommend you get there early since seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Also note: given the expected turnout, it’s safest to treat the event as BYOPB — bring your own prayer book. (Copies of ”Gates of Repentance” are available for sale now through the temple office.)
Anyone know of any others we’re missing?