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.
Holy Blossom Temple members: to access our High Holy Day Livestream Services, please go to www.holyblossom.org/hhd and enter the password that was emailed to you.
If you require assistance, please contact: [email protected] or call 647.806.1330
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 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]
Family High Holidays Packages
Thanks to the generosity of Judy and Jack Winberg, we are distributing Family High Holiday packages for all our families with children ages 10 and younger. They will be available for pick up at Holy Blossom on Monday, August 30th, with your machzorim, as well as inside the tent at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Family services.
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 online. (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.
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. Masks and social distancing will be required inside the tent.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to enter, pre-screening and self-assessment is required. A custom link will be sent to you one day proceeding your attendance.
Everyone indoors at Holy Blossom Temple must wear a mask at all times.
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.
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.
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 [email protected] to find healthy High Holy Day arrangements for you.
“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.
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 safety, our water fountains will be temporarily turned off. You may bring your own water bottle. Rosh HaShanah “loot bags” will be given out at the conclusion of Rosh HaShanah services in The Tent to wish our children a sweet new year.
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.
The air circulation in the Main Sanctuary and Youth Chapel has 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.
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.
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.
The professional cleaning of every area of our building has been increased to meet current health codes. Special attention is paid to the washrooms.
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!