Secular Yom Kippur Services 2020

Join City Congregation for a beautiful and moving Yom Kippur service, led by Rabbi Tzemah Yoreh, complete with music and contemplation that expresses traditional High Holiday themes while honoring human reason and human dignity. Our celebration combines familiar passages with innovative language so that cultural Jews can mark these holidays in a way that is consistent with humanistic beliefs.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, occurs ten days after Rosh Hashanah. While the holiday is traditionally a time for confessing sins and seeking repentance, in Humanistic Judaism, Yom Kippur guides us to seek and offer forgiveness among ourselves. In recognizing the wrongs we have done and confessing before one another we affirm our belief in human responsibility for our own lives, behavior, and future. Teshuva (repentance, or return), tefilla (“prayer” or self-reflection), and tzedaka (“charity”) – meaning a return to our ideals, self-reflection, and putting our ethics into action – are the cornerstones of the Humanistic celebration of Yom Kippur. Other themes of a Humanistic Yom Kippur include: self-reflection; forgiveness; remembering our past; honoring our ancestors; and personal change.

Our Yom Kippur observances also include the personal reflections of members who are chosen to prepare presentations on a relevant theme. Past subjects have included tolerance, skepticism, memory, anger, and forgiveness. Also on Yom Kippur all members and guests are invited to speak aloud the names of their deceased loved ones for a moving memorial service and the recitation of a modern secular kaddish.

Children attend their own participatory program and join the rest of the congregation for the blowing of the shofar. Children’s services are free for members, as are all holiday services.

“The services honored what I honored and didn’t sound one false note. And the communal meal and conversations afterward have especially made the holidays something to look forward to. — Claire

Register for all three services, or register for Yom Kippur service below:

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Sep 28 2020


10:30 AM - 02:00 PM


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