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Returning to Wholeness

PRAYER

This year’s worship experience brings us many ways to connect with God: both intimate and majestic, familiar and innovative.

COMMUNITY

We are united even when we must stay apart.

PREPARE

Through study and meditation, we dedicate ourselves anew to the call of the season and the work of self-improvement.

REPAIR

Help to heal the world through opportunities for learning and giving.


As You Prepare

Be sure to watch your mailbox for two packets which will provide all the information you need for your online and in-home participation. The first will arrive before Rosh HaShanah and will include materials for Tashlich and the Cemetery Service. The second will arrive before Yom Kippur and will include the Book of Memory and information about our Hunger Fund. Each will contain schedules and links to access all online services, study sessions and events. 

General Information

LIVE STREAMING


There are a variety of options to access the streaming video of each of our special and beautiful services.

Emanu El Streaming Video
(emanuelhouston.org/streamingvideo)

Facebook
(facebook.com/emanuelhouston)

YouTube 
(youtube.com/emanuelhoustonvideo)

Roku
(Congregation Emanu El Houston)

 

SERVICES ON TV


In an effort to extend the accessibility of our High Holy Day offerings, Congregation Emanu El has arranged with Houston Media Source (HMS) to worship opportunities on public access television.

HMS broadcasts on channel 17 on Comcast/Xfinity – the primary cable provider in the Houston metropolitan area. The broadcasts are also available on AT&T U-Verse, Sudden Link and Phonoscope on channel 99. For those using AT&T U-Verse, after going to to channel 99, please select “Houston” from a list of cities, then “Houston HMS TV” from the list of options.

Broadcast Schedule:

  • Erev Rosh HaShanah: Friday, September 18, 7:00 p.m.
  • Rosh HaShanah: Saturday, September 19, 10:30 a.m.
  • Kol Nidre: Sunday, September 27, 8:00 (the service will begin on other platforms at 7:30 p.m.)
  • Yom Kippur: Monday, September 28, 10:30 a.m.

 

PRAYER BOOKS


As we join together in sacred community from our homes, there are a variety of ways to follow along in Mishkan HaNefesh, the machzor, or High Holy Days prayer book of the Reform Movement. We will be sharing the words of our prayer book on your screen during services, and you can follow along with these resources available to you at CCAR's website.  

Free digital flipbook 
For assistance using flipbooks, click here.

  • Click here for the Rosh HaShanah Unplugged service prayer book
  • Click here for the Rosh HaShanah morning service prayer book
  • Click here for the Yom Kippur prayer book


Downloadable, discounted e-book


Print Book
The two-volume, hard-cover set is available, with a generous discount at CCAR Press. Use the code MHN2020. Remember to leave adequate time for processing and shipping.


 

CLOSED CAPTIONING


The Brotherhood provides closed captioning for all Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services, with the exception of the children’s services and the healing service. In consultation with members of our congregation and our captioner, Marie Bryant, we will be utilizing StreamText during High Holy Days this year. 

►►CLICK HERE TO ACCESS CLOSED CAPTIONING


 

NEED HELP CONNECTING?


Our goal is to make your experience as easy as possible in connecting with us during these High Holy Days. Members of the synagogue staff will be available during weekday business hours in addition to during our High Holy Day worship services to provide assistance to our congregants. 

Please call 713.529.5771 for support. 


 

EDWARD WAYNE  HUNGER FUND


Congregation Emanu El is committed to fighting hunger and has a longstanding tradition of collecting donations for our neighbors and social justice partners at this time of year.

This year, as part of a week of activities surrounding World Homeless Day in early October, our congregation will be directing a portion of Edward Wayne Hunger Fund donations to the SEARCH Homeless Services' Emergency Foods Fund. SEARCH is a longtime agency dedicated to moving individuals and families from homelessness into permanent housing. These donations will be used to provide travel-friendly, shelf-stable foods for the SEARCH team members to distribute to clients as they work to move them from the streets.

In addition to returning your envelope to the synagogue, you may make donations online to the Edward Wayne Hunger Fund at emanuelhouston.org/giving.  

CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARD THE EDWARD WAYNE HUNGER FUND ONLINE  

Schedule & Offerings

EXPLORING ELUL


AUGUST 20 - SEPTEMBER 17

Thursdays, 12:30 p.m.
Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of preparation and introspection. This year, during each week of Elul, our synagogue communications will highlight a different theme of the season. The weeks will culminate each Thursday in a lunch-and-learn discussion over Zoom led by our clergy and Director of Congregational Learning. We will explore traditional and modern texts that will help us prepare our spirits and enrich our experience of the Days of Awe.

Week 1: Comfort and Return
(August 20, Cantor Simmons)

Week 2: Mortality and Awe 
(August 27, Rabbi Pamela Silk)

Week 3: Justice and Mercy
(September 3, Rabbi Oren Hayon)

Week 4: Failure and Regret
(September 10, Rabbi Joshua Fixler)

Week 5: Confession and Apology
(September 17, Stefani Carlson)
 

►► CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Login information to access the lunch-and-learns will be sent upon registering to the email address provided.

 

S'LICHOT


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

9:00 p.m.
S’lichot begins the journey toward the unique beauty of High Holy Days, to focus our minds on penitence and preparation.

►► CLICK HERE for the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service 

 

ROSH HASHANAH


►► CLICK HERE to view or print our Rosh HaShanah informational guide

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Rosh Hashanah Unplugged
SERMON: "AFTER THE FIRE" BY RABBI OREN HAYON 

► 7:00 p.m. 
This innovative service features a creative, contemporary prayer experience, suitable for all ages, with unique musical additions from members of the Shabbatones.

►► CLICK HERE for the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service
►► CLICK HERE to read the sermon

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Children's Service
STORY: "THE CASE OF THE MISSING SHOFAR" BY RABBI PAM SILK 

9:00 a.m.
Designed for children 8 and under and their families, this lively and fun service highlights the themes and rituals of the holiday.

►► CLICK HERE to view the children's service


Morning Service
SERMON: "SCRAPING OFF THE RUST" BY RABBI JOSHUA FIXLER

10:30 a.m. 
This intergenerational service combines familiar music and prayers with graceful new liturgical writing and stirring poetry, along with full translation and transliteration of Hebrew texts. You’ll also experience an inspiring and engaging collection of music led by Cantor Rollin Simmons, with accompaniment on organ and piano.

►► CLICK HERE to follow along in the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE for 10 Days of T'shuvah
►► CLICK HERE to view the service
►► CLICK HERE to read the sermon


Families with children in grades 3-5 can look forward in the mail to our do-it-yourself packet, with games, activities, and topics for family discussion throughout the holidays.

►► CLICK HERE to view or print the activities

 



Tashlich 

We set aside some time as Rosh HaShanah concludes to symbolically cast away our sins and reflect on the year ahead. In lieu of an in-person gathering, we will provide prayers and meditations to observe Tashlich at home or in a favorite place in nature. 

►► CLICK HERE to view or print the service guide

 

SHABBAT SHUVAH


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

► 6:00 p.m.
Hear a message of inspiration to deepen your spiritual and moral explorations on this special Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

►► CLICK HERE to view the service

 

SERVICE OF MEMORY


We invite you on a meditative, self-guided experience to remember your loved ones. We will provide materials for a reflective walk in the beautiful, serene surroundings of Emanu El Memorial Park, or while taking time at home for sacred memory during the 10 days of repentance.

►► CLICK HERE to view or print the service guide 

 

YOM KIPPUR


►► CLICK HERE to view or print our Yom Kippur informational guide

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

Kol Nidre Service
SERMON: "THE CLOCK IN THE MOUNTAIN" BY RABBI OREN HAYON 

► 7:30 p.m. 
This service, on the holiest night of the year, will feature the contemplative prayers and stirring music unique to this holiday. It will be accompanied by Ann Frohbieter on organ and include the poignant setting of Kol Nidre played by Brinton Smith, Principal Cellist of the Houston Symphony.

►► CLICK HERE to follow along in the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Children's Service
STORY: "WHAT IF EVERYBODY DID THAT?" BY RABBI JOSHUA FIXLER

► 9:00 a.m.
Designed for children 8 and under and their families, this service offers engaging music, prayers and stories that will encourage families to reflect on how we can be our best selves.

►► CLICK HERE to view the service


Morning Service
SERMON: "WORTH DOING" BY RABBI PAMELA SILK 

► 10:30 a.m. 
This service will be led by our clergy, accompanied by Ann Frohbeiter on organ. Through stirring music and meaningful prayer, we will reflect on the themes of repentance and forgiveness.

►► CLICK HERE to follow along in the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service



Yizkor
SERMON BY RABBI ROY WALTER 

► 4:30 p.m. 
Through meaningful readings and soul-stirring music, we will journey through varied expressions of grief and memory. 

►► CLICK HERE to follow along in the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service


N'ilah / Havdalah Experience

► 5:30 p.m. 
We will bring our holidays to a close with the sweetness of Havdalah, the separation between the penitential season and the promising new year ahead. 

►► CLICK HERE to follow along in the digital prayer book
►► CLICK HERE to view the service

 

YOM KIPPUR AFTERNOON EXPERIENCE


- ON DEMAND -


The following opportunities will be available immediately after morning services for you to experience on your own time. 

Meditation
LED BY ANN FRIEDMAN

A guided journey of mindfulness.
►► CLICK HERE to view the service

Healing
LED BY CANTOR ROLLIN SIMMONS

Returning to wholeness through poetry, song and prayer.
►► CLICK HERE to view or print the service guide
►► CLICK HERE to view the service

 

- LIVE EXPERIENCES -


► 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Themes & Texts of the Penitential Season
LED BY RABBI ROY WALTER

►► CLICK HERE for the supplemental piece
►► CLICK HERE to view the program


Familiar Texts for Unfamiliar Times
LED BY STEFANI CARLSON

Reexamining Jewish writings for new sources of strength, comfort, and resilience.
►► CLICK HERE to view the program


Building Toward Racial Justice
FACILITATED BY LATONYA WILKINS

Topics will include unconscious bias, systemic racism, and anti-racism, as well as the ways that the neuroscience of empathy can help us make a change in ourselves, our community, and our world.
 


► 2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Emanu El Votes Commitment Celebration

Help make our synagogue a 100-percent voting congregation.
►► CLICK HERE to view the program


3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Repentance when Forgiveness is Impossible
LED BY RABBI OREN HAYON

Exploring this difficult dilemma using traditional texts and group discussion.
►► CLICK HERE to view the program
 

"The Color of Love" by Marra B. Gad
LED BY RABBI PAMELA SILK

A meaningful conversation about pain and forgiveness framed by a powerful memoir of a biracial Jewish woman.

 

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

The Art of the Celebrity Apology: Zoom Happy Hour

► 8:00 p.m.
For our 18-to-22 year-olds, a digital social gathering where we catch up and judge celebrities for their great and/or terrible public apologies.
►► CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Teen Zoom Meetup

► 7:00 p.m.
A time to reflect on our growth in the last year, and reconnect with one another, led by Rabbi Joshua Fixler and Youth Engagement Coordinator Becca Schwartzberg. Open to all teens in grades 8-12.
►► CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

Message to the Congregation

Dear Friends,

Our lives today look so very different than they did just a few months ago. The international upheaval of COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on our way of life: our health and well-being, our jobs and schools, and so much more.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our congregation’s leadership has worked tirelessly to ensure that our temple family would be cared for and looked after. We have moved quickly and nimbly to continue the education of our children, the delivery of Shabbat and holiday services, and pastoral care for our members’ needs. Throughout this time, we have engaged regularly – sometimes daily – with healthcare experts to inform and guide our decisions about worship and programming in order to serve our highest priority: the health and safety of our sacred community. 

For that reason, and in light of the public health forecasts for the near future, our Board of Trustees has made the exceptionally difficult determination that we will be unable to safely welcome worshipers into the temple for the High Holy Days this year. This decision was made in keeping with the counsel of medical experts and the recommendation of our clergy and lay leaders alike; but nevertheless: we are heartbroken to share this news with you.

We know how difficult it is to conceive of the High Holy Days in this new way, but our clergy and staff teams are committed to producing meaningful liturgical, musical, and intellectual content – some new, and some reassuringly familiar – that will comfort and inspire you.

The public health crisis of COVID-19 has taken so much from us already, and we share in your sadness that we will be unable to experience the High Holy Days as we have in years past.  Nonetheless, we know that the season of repentance and renewal will still do its holy work: returning us to wholeness and hope, to our loved ones and to God.

In the weeks ahead, our staff, lay, and clergy teams will all be hard at work to create these High Holy Day observances, which will be unlike any we have experienced in the past. We are committed to sharing more information with you in August about what to expect from our service and program offerings, and we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as these plans come together.

In the meantime, please know that we remain committed and available to you, and we will be happy to receive any of your input, questions, or concerns about the High Holy Days at the temple this year. You can write us directly at HHD20@emanuelhouston.org to share your thoughts.

With our most heartfelt prayers of hope and unity,

Oren J. Hayon, Senior Rabbi
Jeri Amundsen, President

Sat, December 5 2020 19 Kislev 5781