Making High Holidays 2020/5781 Feel Special

Like everything this year, High Holidays with Or Emet will look a bit different. While services will be online, we are working hard to make them into a meaningful and uplifting opportunity to reflect on our lives and connect with each other. The High Holidays and Ritual Committees have revised each service, shortening them to combat Zoom fatigue and planning for fun new components while retaining the beautiful music, inspiring liturgy, and thought-provoking commentaries that are the hallmarks of Or Emet’s High Holidays. We have a few suggestions to enhance your experience.

Tips to make High Holidays with Or Emet feel special—

  •  Make the space where you will be joining services from your computer, tablet, or other device feel calm and pleasant. We all need a break from our busy lives, especially in this moment. So please, turn your phone off if you’re joining from a computer.
  • Dress up (well, at least from the waist up)! No judgement, no guilt trip if you just put on your regular Zoom shirt, but consider something special to wear to make these services feel special and to get into the holiday mindset.
  • Prepare or buy special holiday foods for your household, and enjoy them as you visit with Or Emet friends after our services. For Rosh Hashanah, slice up apples and dip them in honey for a sweet new year. We have some recipes and ideas for ordering holiday food on our blog.

Here are more details about each service—

  • Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur services will include live music as well as video debuts by Or Emet singers.
  •  Rosh Hashanah evening service— After the service and a short pause to stretch and get refreshments, we’ll gather again for our oneg, enjoying conversation and celebration together in breakout rooms.
  • Tashlich service— This short service will include some fun, beginner-friendly movement exercises to cast off last year’s baggage. Either yoga therapist Emily Kaspari or Feldenkrais instructor Beth Hartman will lead. After the service, you can walk or drive to a lake, stream, or river and use our DIY Tashlich guide (coming in an email next week) for inspiration as you symbolically cast off the past year’s regrets and errors into the water. Consider taking a selfie or other photos as you do Tashlich, and share photos on social media with the hashtag #OrEmetMNTashlich. Tag Or Emet’s Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram account in your post.
  • Kol Nidre service— No breakout rooms after this service to give more time for rest and personal reflection.
  • Yom Kippur afternoon service— After the service and a short break, we’ll reconvene for a festive break-fast; enjoy your at-home spread and conversation in breakout rooms.

 We are looking forward to a unique High Holidays experience with all of you!

Food Recommendations for High Holidays 2020

Like everything this year, High Holidays with Or Emet will look a bit different. While services will be online, we are working hard to make them into a meaningful and uplifting opportunity to reflect on our lives and connect with each other. We know that food is part of what makes the High Holidays meaningful and fun. To help bring the taste of the season into your home, Or Emet Ritual Leader Eva Cohen has put together some suggestions for preparing or buying special holiday foods.

Rosh Hashanah

Post-Yom Kippur

Bete’avon (bon appetit)!

Dr. Harold Londer, Or Emet Founder and Madrikh

Sadly, Dr. Harold Londer died on July 29, 2020. Since founding Or Emet in 1983, along with the late Dr. Larry Garfin (1934-1993), Harold dedicated himself to guiding the congregation with energy and vision. Ordained as a Madrikh (ritual leader) in 2007, he officiated at lifecycle events and services until transitioning to Madrikh Emeritus in 2018. Harold’s death is an incalculable loss to Or Emet and to Humanistic Judaism.

Dr. Londer’s obituary was in the StarTribune on August 2, 2020. https://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/0000363825/?fullname=dr-harold-londer

Donations are welcome to the Harold Londer Or Emet Memorial Fund at oremet.org, Contributions will carry Harold’s legacy forward and help build Or Emet’s congregational leadership.