vibrant, inclusive and community-centered

High Holidays- General Information

Shana Tova-- wishing you a sweet new year!  We look forward to celebrating with you on the High Holidays for 5779/2018!  

If you are new to the area or to Temple Israel, please come by and visit or contact our office for more information about the temple and about celebrating the High Holidays here.

At our High Holiday services, we have two teams of clergy, Rabbi Daniel Liben with Cantor Ken Richmond, and Rabbi David Ebstein with Joel Sussman of Safam fame, and we hold the main services in two locations, the Sanctuary/ Social Hall, and a large tent in the parking lot adjoining our building.  We now use the Lev Shalem Mahzor which includes transliteration, and many interesting readings and explanations.  In addition, we hold fantastic age-appropriate services for children, preschool-age (with at least one parent in attendance), and engaging drop-off youth services for grades K-7.  On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, we offer a broad-based service in the tent, geared for families with children of all ages, led by Rabbi Liben and Cantor Ken, with Rabbi Ebstein and Joel Sussman leading a traditional service in the Sanctuary.   Family service FAQ's are found here. Babysitting is also available for children 18 months and above.  

HIGH HOLIDAYS: Quick links!

Selichot details

Tashlich details

Forms including Youth & Family Service Registration



Food Drive 

Common Courtesies  

Sukkot & Simchat Torah

Family Holiday Resources: a packet from Judy Gordon Nursery school and High Holiday Sing-Along with Cantor Ken



Saturday evening, September 1st - 8:15pm at Temple Israel of Natick

To help prepare for the High Holy Days, please join us as Temple Israel (Natick), Congregation Or Atid (Wayland), Temple Beth Sholom (Framingham) and Temple Beth Am (Framingham) join together for our Annual MetroWest Community Selichot Observance.  Selichot details


Monday, September 10th – 5:00pm (meet at 4:45pm)

The Tashlich service offers a physical means toward the spiritual task of renewal. During this service, which traditionally takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashana, (or the second day if the first is a Shabbat) we toss pieces of bread into a living body of water. (any stream, brook, lake or river will do) These crusts of bread represent the sins and regrets which we wish to throw away. The water then carries away our mistakes, and we emerge from the ceremony cleansed and prepared for renewal. The practice is based on a verse from the book of the Prophet Michah  (Michah  7:19) …

V’tash-likh bim-tsulot yam kol hatotam

“And you shall cast all your sins into the depths of the sea”

There are no special prayers for Tashlich, however, there are several readings relating to teshuvah (repentance) and selichot (forgiveness) that are very appropriate.  Families with young children are encouraged to introduce them to this lovely aspect of the holiday. We will be gathering at the Temple at 5:00pm and walking together to the brook on Boden Lane for the Tashlich service.    


This year we have once again set aside the entire lower back parking lot of the synagogue for those with HP designated plates. Please be respectful of those people who do require these spaces. You will be asked to move your car if you do not have the appropriate license plate or handicap mirror tag. If you require a handicap parking space or special arrangements for handicapped or wheelchair seating, please call the Temple office (508-650-3521 ext 100) or complete the form found here.

The rear entrance to the synagogue foyer is wheelchair accessible. Those needing assistance entering the building may be dropped off in circular driveway at the front of the building. Our sanctuary is equipped with a hearing assistance listening system and a limited number of large print Mahzorim are available. When you arrive at services, please ask an usher for either item. In the case of a medical emergency, an AED is located in the Chapel ark – immediately to the right of the Torahs.


Congregants are asked to not bring cell phones or beepers into services. If you are a health care professional on-call, please put your cell phone/beeper on “vibrate”. If you are fasting and feel ill, Jewish law permits you to cease fasting. Juice and challah will be available in the kitchen during all services for those congregants who require food with their medication.


On the first day of Rosh Hashanah (9/10) and on Yom Kippur (9/19) we will have Youth Services for children in grades K-7; children who attend Jewish day schools should join the appropriate age group. Services will begin promptly at 10:45am and conclude at 12:45pm.

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah (9/10) and Yom Kippur (9/19), the Young Family Service will start at 11:00am and end at 12:30pm. This service (for children of preschool age) is the only service where one or both parents are required to stay with their children for the entire time. This interactive, unique and lively program will integrate worship, music and storytelling; a healthy snack will be provided. 

All of our services are carefully planned and staffed to provide a safe, meaningful and age-appropriate High Holiday experience. The children will learn about the High Holydays through crafts, music, stories and prayer. Kosher snacks will be provided. Please compete all necessary reservation form(s) promptly; Click here for the required registration.

We will again hold a Family Service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah (9/11) in the tent. Beginning at 10:00am and ending at 12:00pm, this warm, meaningful creative service is filled with joy, song, story and of course, shofar blowing; it will be led by Rabbi Liben and Cantor Ken and is geared for families with children of all ages. FAQ's on the Family Service can be found here.

TEEN Programming – GRADES 8-12

We are working hard to meet the needs of our teens on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and will have services and/or programming and discussions available during the mornings.  Please watch for a schedule once the holidays are closer.  Please check back on the Temple High Holiday website for updated information 

In general, young children are invited to join their parents at services in all locations prior to the start of children’s services - however - we ask that you respect the needs of those praying around you by removing your child promptly should he/she become noisy or fussy. We suggest you may want to sit near an exit in order to be able to leave quickly and quietly. There is no better time than Rosh Hashanah to begin teaching our children directly, and by example, the principal Jewish value of “derekh eretz”, civility and respect for other human beings.

Please remember - in order to maintain overall decorum and a sense of spirituality during services, we ask that you take responsibility to assure that your children are either in their assigned program or with you at all times. Please do not let your children wander around the building or loiter in the foyer or outside. Your vigilance in this area will allow all of us to celebrate a very rich and dignified High Holyday experience.


There will be NO Young Family Service or Youth Service the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah (9/11). Complimentary babysitting for children 18 months and above will be provided in the school wing from 10:00am – 1:00pm on both days of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please complete the form found here

Space permitting, we will have a room in the Nursery School level open from 9:30am-1:00p both days of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur for any parents and children who need a “break from adult services”.  The Sanctuary Service is not piped into the Nursery School room.

Please make sure you and your children leave both of these areas in the same condition that you found them. Please be especially careful of the toys and books in lower level rooms – they belong to the Nursery School and must remain in the room at all times.  Due to dietary restrictions and food allergies, outside food will not be allowed in babysitting, except for children with special dietary requirements.  Please do not bring any food containing nuts.


High Holyday preparations are in high gear and the building and grounds are in top-notch condition. We need your cooperation in our efforts to balance the protection of the congregation while maintaining the open and welcoming character that we are known for.  Today, security is a critical factor that we must consider when planning any synagogue event.  With regard to High Holyday services, the Board of Directors has been actively involved in creating a safe secure environment. We continue to have conversations with Police, Fire, and Safety Marshall personnel from the town of Natick.  They have been both cooperative and sensitive to our situation and needs.

While we are in services, Natick Police will patrol both inside and outside of the building. At certain high traffic times, Police will help direct the flow of cars. The Police Department has also assured us they will step-up their “pass through” drives at the synagogue at off peak hours during, prior to, and after the High Holydays and Chaggim.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR TICKETS EACH TIME YOU ENTER THE BUILDING. Everyone arriving with a ticket will be admitted immediately. Anyone who does not have a ticket and who is not listed on our Membership Roster could be screened and under certain conditions, there is a possibility those people will not be admitted to the building. Tickets are for the family member(s) named and are not transferable. Continuing the precautions instituted in the last few years, any items brought into the synagogue may be subject to search.

It is our belief that by following these procedures we can best ensure the safety and security of all congregants. By adopting these common sense precautionary measures, we can all feel comfortable and safe worshipping and socializing in our building and on our grounds. In light of these procedures, we recommend that you allow extra time for entering the building/tent before all services. We ask for your understanding, cooperation, and patience through this process.


For Temple members, in good standing, who may be traveling during the High Holydays and wish to attend another Conservative congregation, there are courtesy seating request forms available. Please call the Temple office for help in making these arrangements. Out-of-town guests who are members of a United Synagogue affiliate, must have their synagogue administrator send a letter (on letterhead) to Temple Israel stating they are members in good standing and we will provide complimentary tickets (Sanctuary surcharge of $60 will apply). Complimentary tickets for active duty military personnel are available upon presentation of a valid military identification card. Additionally, if you know that your seats will not be used, don’t let them go to waste; please inform the Temple office. Your mitzvah will enable a college student or someone else with need to attend services at this most sacred time of year.

The High Holydays are also a prime season for "shul shoppers." Please suggest Temple Israel to your friends/family who might be in this group. For those who attend High Holyday services and subsequently join Temple Israel by the end of the (secular) year, the price of their ticket(s) will be applied toward their first year’s membership dues. Where there is financial hardship, dues can be adjusted – no one is denied membership due to fiscal restraints. Those who need financial consideration will have their privacy and dignity respected.