High Holidays FAQ

The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about Segulah High Holiday services. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact us.

Q: What style of services will it be?

A: Like Segulah’s Shabbat services, the high holiday services are egalitarian, all in Hebrew, and following the structure of the traditional liturgy.  In addition, there will be several brief drashot on the themes of the days.  The services will be filled with soulful singing that reflects the nature of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as both joyful and serious, and the prayer experience will be made possible by the active participation of everyone who attends.

Q: Where will it be? 

A: Segulah’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be in walking distance of Segulah’s usual locations near the DC/Maryland border (Shepherd Park and downtown Silver Spring).  After you register, you’ll get an email with exact location information.  This year, all high holiday services will be in the same location.

Q: Are there tickets?

A: There are no tickets; we want these services to be accessible to anyone who wants to take part.  However, advance signup is required, so that we can be prepared for the correct number of people.  Please register by September 7th; after that time, registration will only remain open if there is still space available.  (If the space fills to capacity, we will have to close registration and start a waiting list.)

We’ll be renting our high holiday space for many hours, so the rental costs are significantly higher than for Segulah services throughout the year.  Therefore, there is a suggested donation of $40 per adult ($25 per child) for each holiday to help cover the rental and other expenses.  If you can contribute more than this amount, larger contributions are also welcome, and if the suggested amount is too much, chip in whatever you can.  There will be no fundraising during services.

Q: Who organizes Segulah’s high holiday services?

A: Like Segulah’s activities throughout the year, high holiday services are run completely by volunteers.  Please sign up to volunteer to help make Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur happen.

Q: What about Rosh Hashanah evenings?

A: We’re not doing anything all together in the evening on Rosh Hashanah.  However, there will be multiple neighborhood ma’ariv options on both nights (depending on interest).  When you register, you can indicate your interest, and/or volunteer to host.  Ma’ariv is a short service (around 15 minutes), so you can drop in before heading to where you’re going for dinner.  If you’re looking for a place for dinner, or if you’re hosting and have space for more guests, you can also indicate this when you register.

Q: Will there be a community break-fast on Yom Kippur?

A: Yes!

Q: What are people doing for the pre-fast meal?

A: Some people are hosting pre-fast meals.  When you register, you can sign up to be matched either as a host or a guest.

Q: Will there be childcare?

A: Yes!  As usual, children of all ages are welcome at Segulah services. Segulah will again have more extensive children’s programming during high holiday services, run by experienced childcare professionals.  The programming will include organized activities as well as structured play (inside and outside, weather permitting); a detailed schedule will be released closer to the holidays.  There will most likely be two groups: one for children under 3, and one for age 3-5.  In order to participate in children’s programming, you MUST sign up by September 7th.

Q: Will there be a break in the afternoon on Yom Kippur?

A: Yes, but not a long one – probably an hour or so.  The reason for this is so that we can start at 9:15 (rather than any earlier), to make it possible for more people to be present at the beginning.  However, it’s not rude to walk in and out of services throughout the day, so feel free to take your own break whenever you like! To support those in our community commemorating loved ones during the Yizkor service, please consider staying inside for this portion of the services, unless it is your custom.

Q: What do people wear to Segulah high holiday services?

A: There are several different approaches to Yom Kippur attire, and all will be represented at Segulah.  Some people will be dressed up in their finest; others will be wearing all white; others will arrive on Tuesday night wearing the same clothes they wore to work on Tuesday.  Many people have the practice of not wearing leather shoes, perfume, and/or jewelry on Yom Kippur.

Likewise, for Rosh Hashanah, some people will wear the same thing they would wear to Segulah on Shabbat, and other people will dress up more.

Some people wear tallitot, and others don’t.  If it is your practice to wear one, please bring your own if possible.

Q: What if I don’t live in the neighborhood and I need a place to stay?

A: You can indicate this when you register, and we’ll do our best to find you home hospitality.  We can’t guarantee hospitality if you register after September 7th.  And if you do live in the neighborhood and can host people, please indicate this when you register too.  There are also several hotels and motels at various price points within walking distance of our high holiday location.

Q: How can I learn the melodies so that I can participate?

A: At several upcoming Segulah events, we’ll be learning high holiday melodies together, so that we can prepare to enter the holidays as a community.  Make sure you’re on the Segulah email list so you can get the details about these events.  We’ve also posted links to some of the melodies on the website, so start listening!