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High Holy Days at USH 2018 - 5779

Join us for a vibrant and meaningful egalitarian High Holy Day experience at the United Synagogue of Hoboken!

Some services are free and open to the public (though registration requested), and some services require registration and donation in advance ( by completing the ticket form on line, or by downloading and submitting the pdf form at this link).

See the schedule and information below.


Tickets for High Holy Days at USH

Tickets are available for USH members at no extra charge and will be sent following receipt of the membership application and initial payment. 

If you would like to attend services for which tickets are required as indicated above, we encourage you to become a member of the United Synagogue of Hoboken.  We are an open, inclusive, and eclectic congregation.  There is a place for YOU in our community!   Please note that if you are under age 30 or over age 69, or a full-time student, the cost of USH membership may be significantly less than the cost of tickets. Application may be found on this website,​

If you would like to attend High Holy Day services at USH as a non-member, you are welcome to do so by completing the ticket form on line, or by downloading and submitting the pdf form at this link. 

If you are a USH member, you may also purchase tickets for your out-of-town guests, and the cost may be added to your account.  

If you are not a USH member, we expect you to pay for the tickets at the time you complete the form.  For help, or reduced prices, please contact David Heafitz or Mimi Lavine, Membership VPs,

If you are not a USH member we do offer free services.  These services are 

Sun Sept 9: Rosh HaShanah Evening, 7pm

Mon Sept 10: Rosh HaShanah Community Shofar Service, 4:45pm

Mon Sept 10: Rosh HaShanah Afternoon, 5pm

Mon Sept 10: Rosh HaShanah Tashlikh, 5:30pm (at Pier A Park)

Mon Sept 10: Rosh HaShanah Evening (2nd day), 7pm

Tues Sept 11: Rosh HaShanah Morning, beginning 9am

Wednesday Sept 19: Yom Kippur Public/Community Yizkor Service, 4:15pm

 While we do not require tickets for the services listed above, we would appreciate it if you pre-register here.

Youth services, activities, and child care registration

Child care

Child care is available per the schedule of services above. Complete and submit this form to register for child care.  Child care implies that the parent or guardian will not be with the child.  If you wish to use this service, you must complete the form, so we have advance notice of how many teachers to have available.  There is an optional donation of $25 associated with this service.

Click here to donate $25 for this service.


Interactive music program for children age 5 and under with parent

Rosh Hashanah:            Sept. 10 and 11, 10:00am-11:00am, followed by Kiddush; plus Sept 10, 4:15pm-5:15pm

Yom Kippur:     Sept. 19, 10:00-11:00am

*This program is free and open to the community but a $36 donation to the synagogue is appreciated. Click here to make a contribution to "Interactive music program


Activities and family services geared to children age 5-12 and their families

See above for the full schedule of youth services and activities for ages 5-12, which are open to USH members and ticket holders.

Not a member of USH?  New to our area?  Need a ticket for services? Jewish Federation’s EZ Key program can help...

Jewish Federation’s EZ Key program helps connect
and introduce newcomers to a northern New Jersey
synagogue that fits their needs by providing them with
free High Holiday tickets for their family.

Getting the most out of the High Holy Days at USH 

How to get the most out of the High Holy Days - in Hoboken or wherever you will be. See for the full brochure. 



Frequently Asked Questions about the High Holy Days at USH 

Q:  What time should I arrive?

A:  As is the case in most traditional synagogues, not everyone is expected to be present when the preliminary services begin at 9 am.     People make their own decisions about how much of each service to attend.  (Note that at some points during the High Holy Days, the     synagogue is full and there is standing room only; your chances of getting a seat increase when you arrive earlier.)
Here are some suggestions to bear in mind when you’re planning your own personal High Holy Days schedule:

  • The Rosh Hashanah evening services last no more than one hour.
  • Rosh HaShanah morning services begin at 9 am with the preliminary service.  The Torah service begins around 10:15 am.  The rabbi’s sermon is likely to be around 11:15 am.
  • The primary symbol of Rosh HaShanah is the Shofar.  The blowing of the Shofar is likely to take place around 11 am on both days of Rosh HaShanah.
  • Please see our web site for the full schedule for child care and youth services and activities during the High Holy Days.
  • When we say that Kol Nidrei services for the evening of Yom Kippur begin at 5:45pm sharp, we’re not kidding!  The Kol Nidrei prayer actually must be recited before Yom Kippur actually begins, so it is recited before sunset.  The Yom Kippur evening service should conclude at about 8:30 pm and tends to be one of the points of peak attendance.
  • On Yom Kippur day, peak attendance tends to be at about noon, for the rabbi’s sermon and Yizkor memorial prayers.
  • During Musaf on Yom Kippur (between about 12:30 and 1:30 pm), two dramatic exercises in memory take place:  The Avodah Service of the Kohen Gadol, in which we re-enact aspects of the Yom Kippur service as it took place in the Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago; and the Eleh Ezkerah – Martyrology, which is our annual opportunity to remember the martyrs of our people in ancient and modern times, through song, poetry and eyewitness testimony.  Please join us this year for these extremely moving parts of the service.
  • Yom Kippur concludes with Ne’ilah, certainly one of the emotional high points of Yom Kippur.  Ne’ilah concludes with the final Shofar blast at nightfall, followed soon after by Havdalah, complete with some special treats for kids below age 13 and an opportunity for them to participate in the service in some special ways.


Q:  What should I wear to services this year?

A:  If you were looking forward to the Annual High Holy Day Fashion Show, sorry – you’ll have to look elsewhere.  At our congregation, we recommend that you wear something respectful but comfortable to our services.  Focus on the spiritual, not the material.

Just one other fashion note:  it’s traditional not to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur.  There are a number of reasons for this tradition:  (1) Leather is seen as a luxury, and on Yom Kippur we try to pare our lives down to bear essentials and eliminate luxuries; (2) Since wearing a leather garment necessitates the killing of a living animal, it is not traditional to wear such a symbol of bloodshed on the day when we are requesting mercy for ourselves and the entire world....  But whatever you choose to wear to our services – on your feet or otherwise – is okay with us.


Q:  What’s the point of fasting anyway?

A:  Here are a few answers:  (1) Through the discomfort of fasting, we vividly express that we are conscious of the points of failure in our lives and that we regret our shortcomings.   (2) Fasting is a turning from material to spiritual concerns.  Fasting for one day helps us to concentrate on the concerns of the spirit, so that we might better understand the proper role of material things in our lives during the rest of the year.  (3) Fasting makes us more sensitive to the plight of people around the world who are hungry and prompts us to assist them.  (One way to do this:  when you come to synagogue on Yom Kippur eve, bring a bag of non-perishable groceries and leave them in our synagogue lobby.  The food will be donated to food pantries for the needy in our area.  It is traditional to calculate how much money one would usually spend on food during one day and donate that sum to charity.)


Q:  Should I wear a Tallit?  Should I bring my own?

A:  It’s traditional for Jewish adults to wear Tallitot (prayer shawls; also called Talleisim) during the morning services; it’s also traditional to wear a Tallit for the entire day of Yom Kippur, beginning the previous night with the Kol Nidrei service.  In our egalitarian congregation, we encourage both men and women to wear Tallitot, though ultimately the choice whether or not to wear one is yours alone.  As we own some Tallitot but not many, and we expect capacity crowds on the High Holy Days, you may want to bring your own tallit if you own one.  Just make sure it (or your Tallit bag) has your name on it, because every year there are a few that are left behind.


Q:  Do I really need a ticket?

A:  High Holy Day tickets are a benefit of membership; members receive tickets at no extra charge.  They are available to non-members in exchange for a donation to the synagogue.  Some of our services are free and open to the public (including evening services on Rosh HaShanah); for other services, however, we need and expect each person who attends our services to purchase a ticket – for two reasons.   (1)  The security situation in our country demands that those attending services make arrangements for tickets in advance.     (2) High Holy Day ticket sales make up a significant proportion of our annual budget, and they are one of the ways we ensure that our synagogue continues to function year after year, offering outstanding programs, employing a rabbi, and providing for the religious needs of our community

If the recommended ticket donation would cause a hardship for you, please contact our office so that alternate arrangements can be made, as we want to make sure that finances are no barrier to any Jew’s ability to pray with a congregation on the High Holy Days.  Please note that we have special discounted membership categories for young adults up to age 30.  In addition, college undergraduates who attend school in or near Hoboken are eligible for tickets at no charge, and full-time graduate students are eligible for membership at discounted student rates.


Q:  What can help me to make the High Holy Days a spiritually moving experience?

A:  A good first step would be reading the pamphlet “Getting the Most out of the High Holy Days,” which you will find inserted into your High Holy Day prayerbook when you arrive for services, or on our web site, 

Best wishes to the entire community for a happy, healthy and sweet New Year!


Tue, December 18 2018 10 Tevet 5779