Preparing for our Healthy and Joyful Reunion

High Holy Days, 5782

With great anticipation, we are now preparing for our joyful reunion.  After a year and half of physical separation from our beloved Temple and from one another, the upcoming High Holy Days and their message of Teshuvah (“returning”) will be profound.

All congregants will have easy access to our uplifting online services via our website.  In addition, we have prepared many more services this year in order to enable all congregants who choose to attend in-person, to do so ONCE throughout the High Holy Day season, while maintaining the required physical distancing for good health.  Congregants who have renewed renewed their Holy Blossom membership have been sent the link to a simple questionnaire to share their preferences for service participation.  If you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so by July 21st to give your preferences. If you have already renewed your membership, but did not yet receive the link to the questionnaire to share your preferences for service participation, or would like more information on being a congregant at Holy Blossom Temple, please email [email protected]

The following information will be helpful as you consider the opportunities.

Our Organizing Principles

  • Our first priority is to keep everyone healthy and safe.
  • We will maintain ALL protocols required by the Health Ministries and will be guided by the collective wisdom of the Holy Blossom Temple COVID Cabinet and panel of Medical Experts.
  • We will provide our congregants with high quality live-streaming and Zoom options throughout the High Holy Day season.
  • We will design a service schedule so that every congregant-household who would like to come to Holy Blossom, will be invited to attend ONE in-person service during the High Holy Day season.
  • We will open a few, select services for non-congregant guests to join us on-line. (i.e. Little Blossoms, Teen, YAD, and both Second Day Rosh HaShanah Services.)
  • Holy Blossom Temple leadership is investing in systems of technology, hospitality, health and safety to meet the unique challenges of the day. We pray this “hybrid” approach will be for one year only.  We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.  We are doing our very best to provide a meaningful experience for EVERYONE.  We feel fortunate to be able to gather again for sacred connections and reflections, as we prepare spiritually to greet a new year of hope and good health.

Service Schedule 

Erev Rosh HaShanah, Monday, September 6, 2021  

Services in the Main Sanctuary at 6 pm and 8:15 pm   

Family Services in the Outdoor Tent at 6 pm and 7:30 pm  

“On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 6 pm and 8:15 pm 

First Day of Rosh HaShanah, Tuesday, September 7, 2021  

Services in the Main Sanctuary at 8:30 am and 11:15 am  

Family Services in the Outdoor Tent at 9:15 am and 11:15 am  

“On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 8:30 am and 11:15 am  

Little Blossoms Services (0-6s) in The Tent at 2:30 pm  

Second Day of Rosh HaShanah, Wednesday, September 8, 2021  

Services in the Main Sanctuary at 10 am  

Family Services in the Outdoor Tent at 9 am and 11:15 am  

“On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 10 am    

Kol Nidre, Wednesday, September 15, 2021  

Services in the Main Sanctuary at 6 pm and 8:30 pm  

Family Services in the Outdoor Tent at 5:30 pm and 7 pm  

Teen Service (12-18) in the Youth Chapel at 6 pm  

YAD Service Young Adult Division) for people in their 20s and 30s in the Youth Chapel at 8:30 pm  

“On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 6 pm and 8:30 pm   

Yom Kippur Morning, Thursday, September 16, 2021  

Services in the Main Sanctuary at 10 am  

Family Services in the Outdoor Tent at 9 am and 11:15 am  

Little Blossoms (0-6) in the Outdoor Tent at 1:30 pm  

“On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 10 am  

Yom Kippur Afternoon  

Mincha, Martyrology, Yizkor and Neilah Services in the Main Sanctuary at 3:15 pm 

Mincha, Martyrology, Yizkor and Neilah Services “On the Big Screen” in the Mishkan at 3:15 pm  

Yizkor and Neilah Services in The Tent at 5:15 pm  

Neilah for Families at 5:15pm in the Early Childhood Centre playspace off of the Ava Road parking lot (in person only) 

Settings

Online (holyblossom.org/hhd)

Our High Holy Services this year will primarily be an online experience.  All services will be accessible by our congregants via LiveStream and/or Zoom.  Excellent audio and visual connections and a little imagination will bridge the physical distances, and transform our individual homes into a shared sanctuary.

The Main Sanctuary

Built to seat 1200, the Main Sanctuary boasts balconies and vaulted ceilings.  The small, professional choir will be positioned in the adjacent Alice and Bernard Herman Chapel.  We plan to welcome 20% seating capacity per service. We will, of course, also welcome congregants to these services via Livestream.

The Outdoor Tent of Meeting (Ohel Mo-eid)

We have rented an open-air, wall-less, tent for the Dewbourne parking lot, which is elevated above street level and surrounded by concrete walls on all four sides.  Good lighting and sound will be provided.  All families with children under the age of 12 will gather here for all Family Services and all Little Blossoms services.  We will also welcome congregants to these services via Zoom.  A few adult services will also take place here.

The Mishkan

Screens and projectors in the Mishkan will enable congregants to join the Main Sanctuary service in real time.  We plan to welcome 20% seating capacity per service.

The Youth Chapel

We plan to welcome 20% seating capacity per service in the Youth Chapel.  We will also welcome congregants to these services via Zoom.

Entrances to and Exits from our Prayer Spaces, and other Details

To attend services in The Tent, walk through the entrance to and exit from the Dewbourne Street parking lot.

To attend all indoor services, enter through the new Main Door off of the Ava Road parking Lot.  Exits will be announced from each bima.  (From the Main Sanctuary, exit by way of the Bathurst Street steps or the ramp from the Alice and Bernard Herman Chapel.)

The Elevator

The elevator is an alternative to help reach the third floor Youth Chapel and the second floor Mishkan and Main Sanctuary balconies.  Currently, only one household unit can use the elevator at a time, so please allow for extra time.

Parking

Because of The Tent in the Dewbourne Parking Lot, there will be no parking on-site.  Please arrange for legal parking in the neighbourhood.  (We have requested that local police be lenient within designated times for parking, but be careful not to block any roadways, driveways or fire hydrants.)  A loop will be available for drop-off and pick-up in the Ava Road parking lot for vehicles, with priority given to those with Accessible Parking Permits.

The Washrooms

A single, fully accessible washroom is on the main floor not far from the Rotman Family Gates to the Main Sanctuary.

Multiple, fully accessible washrooms are on the lower level.

For those worshiping in The Tent, washrooms by the Philip Smith Congregational Hall on the lower level can be accessed through the Dewbourne Street entrance to the David Feldman School Wing.

Our Health and Safety Protocols

These details are provided, in order to help you make informed decisions about your participation.  Please consult your physician for guidance as needed.

Vaccination

In order to enter the doors of Holy Blossom Temple, full vaccination (two doses and waiting period) is required for all, including congregants, volunteers, and professionals.  In the spirit of the sacred trust we put in one another, we are going by the honour system here.

Screening

In order to enter, pre-screening and self-assessment is required.  A custom link will be sent to you one day proceeding your attendance.

Masks

Everyone indoors at Holy Blossom Temple must wear a mask at all times.

Physical Distancing

Everyone will refrain from greeting with hugs and handshakes.  This will be difficult as the excitement of our reunion grows.  Let’s remind one another and stick to verbal L’Shanah Tovah greetings and “air hugs”.  We ask that you do not linger inside the Temple before or after services, but enjoy one another’s company outdoors and in our Virtual Atrium.

Seating

Everyone must come for the ONE service as designated on your ticket.  Our volunteer-ushers will ensure there is open space of six feet or more created between household units.  We appreciate and depend upon your cooperation.

Not-yet Vaccinated

All families with children under 12 will be hosted in The Tent.  If you or someone in your household is 12 or older and has not yet been vaccinated, please contact the [email protected] to find healthy High Holy Day arrangements for you.

Machzorim

“Fresh” prayerbooks will be provided at the entrance to each prayer space.  At the conclusion of each service, please place your Machzor on the table stationed by the exit.  Machzorim for home use are also available for pick-up beginning in August.

Ritual Objects

Please bring your own tallit and kippah from home.  If you’d like to order a set from the Holy Blossom Judaica Shop, please reach out to [email protected].   We will refrain from kissing or touching the Torah Scroll.

Food and Drink

There will be no food or drink served or shared on the premises.  For your safely, our water fountains will be temporarily turned off.  You may bring your own water bottle.  Rosh HaShanah “loot bags” will given out at the conclusion of Rosh HaShanah services in The Tent to wish our children a sweet new year.

Singing

All Cantors and professional singers who sing in a full-voice have been fully vaccinated.  The rest of us are asked to sing in a softer voice behind our masks.

Ventilation

The air circulation in the Main Sanctuary and Youth Chapel have been recently upgraded to meet new health codes.  Our new and renewed spaces – the Mishkan and the Schwartz/Reisman Atrium – were constructed with excellent ventilation systems.

Temperature

New HVAC systems have been installed to cool and heat all indoor prayer spaces, including the Main Sanctuary.  There will be no temperature control in The Tent, so please dress accordingly.

Doctors On-Call

In addition to the on-site Fire Fighters who are trained in emergency health services, congregants who are medical professionals will volunteer to monitor and keep us healthy throughout the High Holy Day services.  A fully equipped First Aid Room is on-site.

Cleaning

The professional cleaning of every area of our building has been increased to meet current health codes.  Special attention is paid to the washrooms.

Security

There will be multiple layers of professional security – seen and unseen – in and around The Temple.  We are all responsible for one another.  If you see something, say something.

We cannot wait to welcome one another and to welcome the new year together.  L’Shanah Tovah!

Additional Services and Ritual Moments 

Private Shehechiyanu before the Ark

throughout the month of Ellul.

Selichot

Saturday, August 28, 2021.

Join twenty-five Canadian Reform congregations from coast to coast.

Kever Avot

Sunday, September 5th, 2021, 12 pm at the Holy Blossom section of Pardes Shalom

Sunday, September 12th, 2021, 12 pm at the Holy Blossom Memorial Park on Brimley Road

Zoom Dining Room for Erev Rosh HaShanah Dinner

Monday, September 6, 2021, 7:30 pm

You provide the meal.  We’ll provide the good company and good conversation.

Multiple Study Sessions on the First Day of Rosh HaShanah

at 3 pm

Tashlich

Second Day Rosh HaShanah at 3 pm

Multiple Study Sessions on Yom Kippur

at 1:30 pm

“Short and Sweet” Services

Available on our website for you to enjoy at any time, these 45-minute services include only “the greatest hits” melodies and messages of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  These pre-recorded services may be especially appreciated by congregants in hospital or eldercare or anyone who just wants just “a taste” of the High Holy Days.

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