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High Holy Day Services

We offer a regal and festive celebratory single evening service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur conducted by our Rabbis with music by our Cantor and Professional Choir.


This is the perfect opportunity to open your heart and mind to the spirit of the holidays. This late night service comes as a time of evening quiet to better enable us to enjoy the beauty of the liturgy and music focused on penitence and preparing our souls for the holiest season of the year.

Rosh Hashanah Morning

Congregants can choose from our two inspiring and uplifting morning services. At the temple, we use the Reform prayerbook Mishkan Ha’Nefesh, featuring traditional music by our Cantor and Professional Choir. At the Bayou City Event Center located at 9401 Knight Road, we have a creative service. Our musical ensemble and vocal group Shir Magic will provide a blend of contemporary melodies complimenting traditional tunes.

Young Children's Service

To provide the youngest members of our congregation family with a meaningful and engaging holiday experience, we offer two exciting creative services (A New Beginning on Rosh Hashanah and It’s Better to Be Better on Yom Kippur). And it’s a thrilling moment for everyone when the children are invited to the pulpit to blow Shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

Youth & Family Service

Helfman Religious School students in grades 2-6 and their families are invited to join us for this new Yom Kippur worship experience.  Families will enjoy this engaging, inclusive and innovative service which will bring the themes of the high holy days to life with meaningful prayer, modern music, stirring stories and so much more. We will build a sense of communal connection as our young congregants seek answers to the question “who am I becoming.”


We gather on Braes Bayou across from the Jewish Community Center to engage in the traditional ceremony of symbolically casting our sins adrift in the water while singing traditional melodies and reflecting on beautiful poetry.

Yom Kippur Morning

At the temple, we offer traditional morning service with music by our cantor and professional choir.

Healing & Restoration/Alley Theatre Production

We are pleased to offer two opportunities for learning and meditation on Yom Kippur afternoon.  These two tracks will run concurrently; you may choose whichever option speaks to you most powerfully.  An intimate, gathering of Faith, Hope and Healing will be held in the Proler Chapel, including music and sacred text in a quiet, reverential atmosphere.  Participants may choose to use this time for quiet, private prayer or to spend a few moments before the powerful presence of the Torah. A special production from the Alley Theatre will occur in the Barish Sanctuary, building on Emanu El’s tradition of exploring, in creative and innovative ways, the relevance of the themes of Yom Kippur to our contemporary challenges in today’s world.

Confession & Forgiveness

Our Yom Kippur afternoon service will be drawn from the contemplative, inspiring liturgy in Mishkan HaNefesh, the Reform Movement’s new High Holy Day prayerbook.  The Confession & Forgiveness service will include familiar prayers, music and our annual reading of the Book of Jonah. This service takes place after the morning service, before Healing and restoration/alley theater production.

Yizkor & Neilah

As our day comes to a close, we pay loving tribute to the memory of lobed ones. And, if you stay until the end, you'll be a part of the majesty of our closing service and hear the final blast of the shofar.

Break the Fast

Join us for a light meal of bagels and schmears as we break the fast together.

Additional Information


All individuals entering our campus in vehicles must present their High Holy Day passes or handicap placard to the officers in order to gain access to the Emanu El campus. Anyone without a pass or placard will be directed to off-site parking.

Throughout the High Holy Days, floors 1 & 2 of our parking facility are reserved for the handicapped. Floors 3 & 4 are available for parking on a first-come, first-served basis. Our West Lot is restricted to Rabbi Circle's members with an appropriate pass.

We have made arrangements for parking for our evening services and Yom Kippur Day at the Medical Clinic of Houston, 1707 Sunset. Their garage entry is on Rice Blvd.  For Rosh Hashanah Day, you may park at Rice University in 'West Lot 5'. A special entrance flanked by signage will be open between gates 8 & 9 just for our Emanu El guests. This entry point is located off of University Blvd between Montclair & Stockton.

Due to our adequate parking arrangements, Congregation Emanu El will not be responsible for any cars that choose to park in the neighborhoods surrounding the synagogue. Congregants may park on these streets at their own risk of citation.


Note: There is ample parking at the Bayou City Event Center, therefore there is no bus transportation for these alternative locations.


During High Holy Days, we offer childcare services for those between the ages of 15 months and eight years old. It is important that all interested participants RSVP as we are unable to accommodate walk-ups on the days of service and so that we can assure ample staff is provided. Registration and the $10 payment per service can be found on the Emanu El web site. A light snack will be provided though those with allergies are encouraged to bring their own snacks.

For additional assistance, contact Evon Zionts at 713.529.5771, ext. 255 or

Wheelchair Accessibility

For wheelchair or handicap accessibility, please contact Stephanie Kamion 713-529-5771, ext. 217 at The deadline for request Rosh Hashanah is Monday, September 3 and the deadline for Yom Kippur requests is Monday, September 10.

When you call or leave a message, please include the services you plan to attend.  All efforts will be made to provide preferred seating to those who give advanced notice. Those requesting handicap seating are only granted up to four (4) additional seats for family members. Wheelchair seating will be released 15 minutes prior to the beginning of services.

Streaming Video

During High Holy Day services, we offer live streaming video from the Barish Sanctuary and the Proler Chapel. Click here to access the video stream online.

Closed Captioning

Brotherhood provides closed captioning for our High Holy Day worshipers who are hearing impaired. The Brotherhood provides this service at Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah morning, Kol Nidre (early service only) and all Yom Kippur services on-site at Emanu El (sans the children's service).

Hearing Loop

The Barish Sanctuary is equipped with an Induction Loop System, which transmits audio signals directly to one’s telecoil (T-coil) equipped hearing aid. For special instructions or assistance, contact Paula Holzband or Teri Wathen.

If you will be traveling and away from Emanu El during the holidays, and want to attend a Reform service in another community, please contact Jill at, and she will send a High Holiday Courtesy Seating Request to a Reform congregation in the community you are visiting

Flower Fund

We are grateful for your generous contributions to our Flower Fund, and in order to include printed acknowledgments in the service handouts, we must receive all donations before the printing deadlines.


The Brotherhood invites men of all ages to share in the meaningful opportunity of serving as ushers on the High Holy Days.  Emanu El ushers are ambassadors to our guests, help those in need of assistance, and see to it that the High Holy Days are as enjoyable as possible for all. 

Contact Barry Lichman at and let him know which service(s) you will be available to volunteer.

Sun, May 27 2018 13 Sivan 5778