Congregation Kol Ami observes the entire cycle of Jewish holy days and festivals. Traditional prayers along with modern insights help to make the holydays spiritually meaningful, thus linking us to Jews throughout the world and time.
The High Holy Day period is one of the busiest times of the year. We begin our preparations for the High Holy Days with the annual Selichot services, an evening of reflection and learning, partnered with another local Conservative synagogue, Rodeph Shalom.
We observe two days of Rosh Hashanah and the full-day of Yom Kippur. Many congregants help out by leading services and chanting Torah and Haftarah for these important days. Our services a filled with both traditional and congregational melodies. On Yom Kippur we observe Yizkor, the service in which we remember those who are no longer with us. Our USY chapter also leads a Martyrology service which recalls the memories of those who were killed because they were Jewish. Yom Kippur ends with our young people leading us in havdallah.
Sukkot and Simchat Torah quickly follow. Our congregation’s Sukkah is a focal point for these days. We celebrate Kiddush, daven (when the weather is cooperative), eat, and learn in the sukkah. Our “Pizza in the Sukkah” program, with music and learning, is a highpoint of the festival. On Simchat Torah eve, we have a family friendly service, complete with a tour of an unrolled Torah scroll. Ruah and fun-filled Hakafot and dancing fill out the rest of the night. During services the next morning, we once again sing and dance, as well as honor Hatan/Kallah Torah and Hatan/Kallah Bereshit, those individuals honored with the last and first aliyah as we end and begin our Torah reading cycle.
We celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, outside by our large Hanukkiah situated in the parking lot. On each of the eight nights we gather to kindle the lights, sing Hanukkah songs, and schmooze with each other. During the festival, we also come together for our annual Hanukkah Party with latkes and donuts galore.
Click on the links below to view a special Hanukkah message from our clergy and staff.
Purim, celebrating our overcoming Haman’s evil plot, is a loud and fun time. Each year brings our annual Purim party with games, music, and, of course, an abundance of shul-made Hamentaschen to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth. Erev Purim showcases our annual Family Megillah reading, with lots of congregant participation. Not to be missed is the infamous “Cat Walk,” our costume parade, and other surprises.
Pesah (Passover), which celebrates our transformation from slaves to free people is a busy time at Kol Ami. Our annual Second Night Family seder—an evening of fun, food, and learning—is always a big hit. In the days leading up to Pesah, we observe the Fast of the Firstborn, as well as giving our congregants the opportunity to sell their chametz before the Festival. For this year’s Chametz Form please follow this link.
Shavuot, celebrating the Torah’s revelation at Sinai, is welcomed with a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, an evening study session on Erev Shavuot, with local Reform congregation Beth Am. Throughout the two days, we honor Shavuot by eating tasty dairy foods like cheesecake and blintzes. During this time, our 10th Grade Class celebrates Confirmation and their commitment to continuing their Jewish Education beyond their B’nai Mitzvah.
Tisha B’av, the 9th of Av, is observed with a solemn service and the chanting of the book of Eichah, Lamentations. Once again, these services are a collaborative effort between Kol Ami, Beth Am, and Rodeph Shalom.
Please join us for these Holydays and Festivals throughout the year. Please check our calendar or call the office for more information.