Meditative High Holy Day Services

As the High Holy Days are quickly approaching, many of you may be wondering—in the midst of a global pandemic—how we might be able to mark and celebrate together the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar.


As Washington State remains in “Phase 2” of its re-opening plan, coming together in our sanctuary as in previous years is, understandably, sadly impossible. But your team, here at Bet Alef, has been hard at work to create for all of us a virtual experience of the Days of Awe just as rich and meaningful as it would have been had we been able to come together in person.


Of course, it will all look very different this fall, but hasn’t Rabbi Olivier been teaching all these years not to let ourselves be attached to form and to seek, instead, to connect with the essence lying just beneath its limiting shell? And though the form of the High Holy Days might take a modified shape, the essence of the work we are all called upon to do remains the same.


Our spiritual teachers have long taught us that the world we see on the outside is but a reflection of the world we encounter on the inside. Today more than ever is the work of introspection, of taking responsibility and making amends, of healing and whole-ing — in short, the work of Teshuvah — required of us. These High Holy Days, Rabbi Olivier is inviting us to take a step back and a deep breath, to expand our consciousness beyond the constricting addictions of the conditioned mind; to mourn and release what has been and can no longer be, that we might transform ourselves into the beings this moment is inviting us to become.


Schedule of Services

S'lichot - Saturday, September 12, 2020, 8 PM

We will meet the special melodies of the High Holy Days, and transition into the unique energies of the Days of Awe with a Havdalah service. This service, as always, is free and open to the public and will be streamed to our YouTube and Facebook pages for those unable to join us via the Zoom link.

Rosh HaShanah ~ A New Year Begins

Rosh HaShanah Eve 5781- Friday, September 18th, 2020 - 7 pm

We will continue on Rosh HaShanah Eve 5781, with a short traditional Sefardi Seder that Rabbi Olivier is bringing back from his childhood and is excited to be sharing with us. Had it not been for being forced into an online celebration, Rabbi Olivier might never have been able to share this special ritual with us. Like for Passover, you will be asked to prepare a Seder Plate with different foods connected to the season that we will bless together. That night, Friday Sept. 187PM, will be a night to remember.

Rosh HaShanah Day - Saturday, September 19th, 2020- 10:30 AM

Rosh HaShanah Day service, Saturday morning, Sept. 19, 10:30AM will be an abbreviated version of our regular service, with our favorite High Holy Day melodies and songs, Torah chanting and Shofar sounding. We are still working on how to best facilitate our annual Tashlich Ceremony that afternoon.

We are offering a very special Tashlich hybrid service on Saturday, September 19th.

We will be gathering safely, and socially-distanced, while also broadcasting our service via Zoom. Please read more below!

Rosh HaShanah Tashlich - Saturday, September 19th, 2020- 3:30 PM

We will gather in-person, Saturday afternoon, for our annual Tashlich Ceremony in Madrona Beach, rain or no rain (unless the air is still smoke-filled and too dangerous to breathe).
We will observe social distancing rules and wear masks to keep each other safe. Please, stay home, if you are unable/unwilling to adhere to this requirement.
Rabbi Olivier will be live streaming our Tashlich Ceremony via Zoom as well for those who prefer to find a body of water near their home to celebrate. (Link below)
Whether you will be joining us in-person or celebrate individually, click here to download and print our Tashlich handout. For COVID-safety reasons, Rabbi Olivier will not be handing extra copies on Saturday.


If you wish to join us via Zoom instead, please use this Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 846 9798 0297

Yom Kippur, an Online Introspective Retreat

Kol Nidrei - Sunday, September 27, 2020 - 7 PM

Our Kol Nidrei evening service, Sunday Sept. 27, 7PM, will also be an abbreviated version of our regular annual service. We will chant three times the words of the Kol Nidrei, listen to the unique songs and prayers of that powerful night, and carve out multiple windows for meditation and introspection.

Yom Kippur Day - Monday, September 28th, 2020 - 10:30 AM-7 pm

Yom Kippur Day, Monday Sept. 28, 10:30AM – 7PM, will start with a shortened morning service that will include Torah chanting, deepening conversations, our favorite High Holiday songs and prayers, and blessing one another. Early afternoon will transition to the study of the Book of Jonah, our Yizkor and Neilah service will meet us early evening, and all will be interspersed by three meditation sessions, one of which dedicated to healing.

Details of this redesigned and exciting celebration of the 5781 High Holy Days, including how to prepare for our Community Rosh HaShanah Seder will be shared with you shortly.

We look forward to entering meaningfully and wholeheartedly into this important new year together.