High Holy Days

All Are Welcome (No Tickets!)

Since its founding in 1985, Bet Ha’am has committed to being a house of worship where all feel welcome. We invite you to join us for any Bet Ha’am service or event, including High Holy Day worship. There is no charge to join us and no tickets. We hope that you–Jewish or non-Jewish, Mainer or guest visiting from away–will join us at this time of community celebration.

Families will find that babysitting is available for children under three years old and youth programming (called Project Shofar) is available for children who may not be able to make it through a service.

During High Holy Day services, everyone—members and non-members alike—wears a name tag so that we can get to know each other better. Members receive their name tags in the mail in advance of the holidays. We ask non-members who wish to attend High Holy Day services to contact our office in advance for a name tag and to arrange for babysitting, if necessary. There will also be a courtesy desk to assist you at any holiday service.

We rely on volunteer and financial support from all to ensure the strength of our synagogue community. We anticipate that those who choose to attend High Holy Days services year after year will recognize the importance of formally joining our community. Our membership is based on the ability to pay, so that everyone can afford to join. If you are joining us for the High Holy Days only, we would be grateful for your support, perhaps to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund or to our general/annual fund. Your help makes it possible for us to keep our doors open in future years.

Saturday, September 21, 8:00 PM at Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Ave, Portland

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service
Sunday, September 29, 8:00 PM

Children’s Service
Monday, September 30, 8:30 AM
The children’s service is designed for children in third grade and younger, with their families.

Torah Study
Monday, September 30, 9:00 AM

Worship Service
Monday, September 30, 10:00 AM

Monday, September 30, 12:30 PM
Time approximate following service.

Shabbat Worship Service
Friday, October 4, 7:30 PM

Torah Study
Saturday, October 5, 9:00 AM

Shabbat Morning Service
Saturday, October 5, 10:30 AM

Kol Nidre
Tuesday, October 8, 8:00 PM

Children’s Service
Wednesday, October 9, 8:30 AM
The children’s service is designed for children in third grade and younger, with their families.

Torah Study
Wednesday, October 9, 9:00 AM

Worship Service
Wednesday, October 9, 10:00 AM

Meditation and Healing Service
Wednesday, October 9, 12:45 PM

Afternoon Study
Wednesday, October 9, 2:30 PM

Afternoon Service
Wednesday, October 9, 3:30 PM

Yizkor Service
Wednesday, October 9, 5:00 PM

Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 PM

Break The Fast Potluck
Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 PM
Time approximate after the service.

Please join us at the close of Yom Kippur Neilah services for our annual Break-The-Fast potluck.  We need food contributions of all kinds for this terrific event: entrees, side dishes, salads, desserts. Please do not mix milk and meat in the same dish or include pork or shellfish. Label your dishes and supply serving utensils if needed. We ask that the serving size of food you bring be equal to the number of people in your party times four.  Please arrange to have your food in the Bet Ha’am kitchen as soon as possible after 12:00 noon on Yom Kippur day. To volunteer, please contact the office at admin @ bethaam.org; they will connect you to the volunteer coordinator.

Sukkot Celebration with Potluck Dinner
Sunday, October 13, 6:30 PM
Weather permitting, we will hold our potluck dinner and worship service outside in the sukkah. Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather.

Sukkot Service with Potluck Kiddush
Monday, October 14, 10:30 AM

Erev Simchat Torah and Consecration
Sunday, October 20, 6:00 PM
Adults and children of all ages are invited to join us and the Casco Bay Tummlers for a fun and joyful evening. We will unroll the Torah, and read the last verses of Deuteronomy and the first verses of Genesis. We will dance with the Torah and welcome children who are new to the religious school (Grade 1 and older). Students who did not celebrate consecration in the past are invited to join the consecration ceremony. Please bring a potluck dessert (fruit, baked goods, cheese and crackers) to share at our oneg (joyful reception).

Atzeret-Simchat Torah, Yizkor, and Potluck
Monday, October 21, 10:30 AM

During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Morning Services, we will be offering Project Shofar, a program of holiday learning for children aged three years old through third grade. The program is free, but preregistration is requested.

We will also offer childcare for children under age three. Childcare is free for children who are preregistered; it will cost $25 for those not registered in advance.

Register here for Project Shofar and childcare.

Read more about our religious school.

As in the past, Congregation Bet Ha’am will be conducting our annual High Holy Day Food Drive. At our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, blue food drive donation envelopes are available for funds that will be dispersed to local agencies and to MAZON:  A Jewish Response to Hunger.  Cash donations allow food support agencies to purchase the largest amount of food per dollar for their patrons. 

Should you prefer to assemble your own direct food donation, brown grocery bags will also be available with a list of items needed by area food pantries–or please use your own bag.  You are encouraged to donate food items or make a donation; you do not need to do both, as both are helpful to the agencies we support.   
Please remember, as you make your High Holy Day Food Drive donation, to continue to support Bet Ha’am through other ways, including by donations to our annual fund

In addition to parking at Bet Ha’am, our neighbors at the Thornton Heights United Methodist Church parking lot (100 Westbrook Street) have graciously allowed us to use their back parking lot. You may also park on Braeburn Avenue on Westbrook Street. Please be respectful of our residential neighbors and do not block any driveways. 

In keeping with Bet Ha’am’s no fragrance policy, please avoid wearing perfumed health and beauty aids to Bet Ha’am events including all High Holy Day services. Some of our members are allergic to the scents.

We are pleased to offer lulav and etrog sets for Sukkot, so that you can fulfill the holiday mitzvah of the daily blessing and waving of the lulav and etrog.
Each deluxe set comes assembled with the lulav (closed date frond), haddasim (myrtle), and aravot (willow) in a holder, and the etrog (citron) in its own box. The set also includes a guide with blessings and customs for using the lulav and etrog.
Place your order by credit card here. For credit card or check orders, please contact Teri Berenson at teri @ bethaam.org. Each set is $45. Order deadline is Thursday, September 29.
During Yizkor, our memorial service on Yom Kippur, Rabbi Saks will remember loved ones who have passed away since our last holy day season. If you have a loved one who died during the past year whose name you would like included in the list of names that the Rabbi will read aloud, please contact Karen Hindall at karen @ bethaam.org by Friday, September 27.
If you have a loved one who passed away at another time and you would like them remembered in our Yizkor booklet, please contact Teri Berenson at teri @ bethaam.org before Tuesday, October 1.

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