High Holy Days 5782/2021

Shanah Tova! 

We invite you to join with us in community for the High Holy Days, which will begin at sundown on Monday, September 6 and conclude at sundown on Thursday, September 16.

We had hoped to welcome 5782 by returning to our building in body or in spirit. However, because of the resurgence of COVID-19 we will be gathering online, via Zoom, for most services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This difficult decision, which is consistent with the most recent public health guidelines, is rooted in the high value that Judaism places on protecting life and the health of all members of the community.

The good news is that this year’s service will be broadcast from the sanctuary, and we will share Tashlich together at the Old North Bridge! (All those attending must wear masks.) 

Many details on these activities are below; others will be announced in the coming weeks as we finalize Kerem Shalom’s High Holy Day plans.


Members and non-members must register to attend any service, and each individual attendee or family should register independently. After you complete this registration form, you will need to then separately register to receive a Zoom link to use for all services and events. (The Zoom registration link and the instructions for registering for Zoom are provided at the end of this registration form.) After you register, you will receive the link, which will be resent to you just before the start of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

While Kerem Shalom does not impose a mandatory fee for High Holy Days reservations, we hope you will consider donating to the High Holy Days Campaign when you register for services.

(Scroll down for full descriptions of services & programs)

CLICK HERE for a printable schedule.

Erev Rosh Hashanah
Monday, September 6
7:00 pm – Community Service (note the start time!), Live CART captioning

Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, September 7
8:30 am – Early Childhood Family Service, Zoom captioning
10:00 am – Community Service, Live CART captioning
4:30 pm – Tashlich at the Old North Bridge – At the Monument Street entrance (NOT Liberty Street). Masks required.  (Please note this service will not be available via Zoom.)

  • The National Park Service has advised that due to the high water and swift current, we refrain from going near the bulkhead and shoreline, for safety reasons. 
  • Please don’t throw breadcrumbs into the river as they disrupt the ecosystem. 
  • Instead, we ask that you please bring more environmentally friendly pebbles, birdseed, twigs, leaves, or other organic matter to cast off.

Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Wednesday, September 8

10:00 am – Community Service, Zoom captioning

Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre)
Wednesday, September 15

7:00 pm – Community Service (note the start time!), Live CART captioning

Yom Kippur
Thursday, September 16
(All services and programs will take place via Zoom only.)
8:30 am – Early Childhood Family Service, Zoom captioning
10:00 am – Community Service, Live CART captioning
11:45 am – Yizkor (Memorial Service), Live CART captioning
2:00 pm – Torah Study, Zoom captioning
3:00 pm – Mindfulness Meditation, Zoom captioning
4:30 pm – Musical Musaf Service
5:15 pm – Mincha (Afternoon Service), Live CART captioning
6:15 pm – Neilah (Closing Service), Live CART captioning


CLICK HERE for the Erev Rosh Hashanah Mahzor pages
CLICK HERE  for the Rosh Hashanah Morning Mahzor pages

CLICK HERE for the Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) Mahzor pages
CLICK HERE for the Yom Kippur Mahzor pages

CLICK HERE for Shir Ha-Lev, the High Holy Days Prayer Book Supplement


Community Evening Services will begin online at 7:00 pm on Erev Rosh Hashanah and 7:00 pm on Erev Yom Kippur. As has been his recent practice, Rabbi Darby will deliver his Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur sermons at the Evening Services.

Early Childhood Family Services, led by Family Engagement Specialist Nancy Kaplan and Director of Congregational Learning Rabbi Sam Pollak, will begin at 8:30 am and last about an hour. These services are highly participatory and include lots of music and storytelling as well as some out-of-your-seat movement. Early Childhood Family Services are appropriate for families with children in preschool through 2nd grade, though all ages are welcome to join the festivities. On Rosh Hashanah, the Young Family Service will conclude with the blowing of the Shofar. 

Community Morning Services, led by Rabbi Darby and KS Cantor Rosalie Gerut, will begin at 10:00 am. Conducted in a mixture of English and Hebrew (all transliterated), these spiritually fulfilling services will engage the multi-generational span of our community. Morning Community Services will end around 12:15 pm. On Yom Kippur, the Community Service will continue without pause into Yizkor, the Memorial Service. 

Tashlich will be held on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, rain or shine, at the Old North Bridge in Concord. We cast small stones, sticks, or leaves into the moving water to symbolically release last year’s regrets and contemplate what we wish to draw from the water to nourish us as we enter the New Year. (Please note that this service will not be available online.)

Second Day Rosh Hashanah morning services will be led by long-time Kerem Shalom member David Orlinof. David has led this illuminating, uplifting service for more than 30 years. It’s a great way for adults and families to more fully experience the start of our new year.

Yizkor, the Memorial Service immediately after the morning service on Yom Kippur, provides an opportunity to witness the ongoing presence of our now-deceased loved ones in our lives. The service will again include an online slideshow where members can share a picture of each person they are remembering. Please watch for emails with more details on how to submit those photos and the deadline for doing so.

Torah Study and Mindfulness Meditation You are invited to sustain the contemplative mood of Yom Kippur with Torah Study, led on Zoom by Rabbi Sam Pollak, our Director of Congregational Learning, and Mindfulness Meditation, also on Zoom, led by Scott Sancetta and Cheryl Steinberg. 

The Musical Musaf Service, with the Tiferet String Ensemble, will provide a restful and spiritual prelude to Mincha and Neilah.

Mincha, the afternoon service, will include a creative reading of the Book of Jonah that will appeal to people of all ages. 

Neilah, “the Closing of the Gates,” is the last service of Yom Kippur, completing the arc of the High Holy Days. It is a meaningful, moving, and fulfilling service for all ages. Everyone is warmly encouraged to return (on Zoom) for this moving service.


This year’s Yizkor (service of remembrance on Yom Kippur) will again include a visual memorial to the loved ones KS members are remembering.

If you submitted a photo last year, we will be using it again, and there’s no need to resubmit it.
If you would like to add an additional photo to the slide show, please send it in as soon as possible—by Friday, September 3, at 10 am, at the latest.

Submission of new photos:• Email to  as an attachment OR
• Upload it to the cloud app of your choice (Google Photos, DropBox, etc.), and send an email to  including a link to the photo. (Please remember to include login permissions or credentials if required.)
• Please include the name of the person in the photograph.

If the photo is not in a digital form, you can:
• Scan it OR
• Take a picture of it with your phone
Email to
Need help? Email:


We are counting more than ever on the generosity of our members to provide voluntary donations to fill the gap in our annual operating budget. As in prior years, we hope you will consider giving in two ways. First, please consider making a voluntary donation to support the 5782 High Holy Days Appeal; we suggest a donation of $486 per family, but any amount is welcome. In addition, if you will be joined by an adult family member (post Bar/Bat Mitzvah) who is not living at home or a non-family guest for our High Holy Day services, we ask that you make a donation of $180 for each non-resident member of your extended family and $360 for each adult non-family guest.

Thank you for supporting KS!




Please join us at Kerem Shalom as we celebrate Sukkot!
Join us for our Sukkah Raising Party, Tot Shabbat, & Community Dinner in the Sukkah!
Read more!


Simchat Torah (“Joy of Torah”) celebrates the completion of the annual cycle of reading the Torah and the beginning of a new cycle. Kerem Shalom will celebrate Simchat Torah on Friday evening Oct. 1. Plans for how we will do so—— including whether and how we might come together in person—are still being developed. Watch for emails and visit Kerem Shalom’s website for more information.


If you have any additional questions about the High Holy Days, please contact Kerem Shalom Administrator Robyn Barabe, at  (preferred method) or by phone at 978-369-1223 ext 0. (Please note, however, that office will be closed the week of August 23.)

We always look forward to seeing you, other members, and special guests at the High Holidays. This year, of course, it will be especially sweet to see everyone, both in-person at Tashlich and online at our services.

With our best wishes to you and your loved ones for the coming New Year,

High Holy Days Committee

Elisabeth Sackton(Co-Chair)
Marty Plotkin (Co-Chair)
Deborah Alevy
John Langell
Howard Lefkin
David Luberoff
Marla Richmond
Debbie Simon

Lloyd Simon
Jon Sutton