High Holy Days

Meditative High Holy Day Services at Bet Alef

High Holy Day services at Bet Alef are dedicated to spiritual immersion – from the preparation of Selichot and workshops to deepen the experience to the final tones of the shofar at the conclusion of Neilah on Yom Kippur. Rabbi Olivier BenHaim invites, inspires and instructs individuals to integrate mind, body and spirit in self, community and world. He teaches how Jewish rituals, celebrations, and texts are doorways to deeper meaning, connection, community and joy.


Scroll down for service times.



S’lichot:  Saturday, September 1, 2018

Rosh HaShanah: Sunday – Monday, September 9-10, 2018

Kol Nidrei: Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yom Kippur: Wednesday, September 19, 2018

We welcome everyone to High Holy Day services. No one will be turned away due to an inability to pay the full amount. If you need to make financial arrangements or adjustments, please contact us at info@betalef.org


High Holy Days Schedule for 2018/5779


Saturday, September 1,   8:00 PM

Bet Alef’s S’lichot service is our gateway into the energies of the High Holy Days. We gather in community to mark our transitioning into sacred time. This late night service ahead of Rosh Hashanah helps to prepare for the season by deepening our understanding of the challenge of forgiveness, crossing a threshold into a new kind of energy: that of the High Holy Days.
This Service is Free and Open to All.


High Holy Days Preparation Workshops

Tuesdays, August 28 & September 4, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Join us to learn more about the meaning of our High Holy Days and how to set your intention for the coming Jewish year. We will be meeting on two evenings leading up to the holidays in order to learn together.

Members attend for free, non-members $18.



Rosh Hashanah ~ A New Year Begins

Erev Rosh HaShanah Service

Sunday, September 9,   7:00 PM

Join us as we welcome the New Year and delve more deeply into the personal work that this season allows. We hear, once again, the haunting melodies of the High Holy Days as we step into the “Days of Awe” — the ten days that separate Rosh HaShanah from Yom Kippur. These days represent our opportunity for an inner inventory of our fears and missteps, with the purpose of letting go of the patterns that cause pain to us and others, and that stand as obstacles to our own growth. Childcare is offered during our Rosh HaShanah Eve service.

Register here.

Rosh HaShanah Morning Service

Monday, September 10,  10:30 AM

Concurrent Children’s Programming   10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Rosh HaShanah continues Thursday at 10:30 AM with a service inviting us to discover for ourselves what the next steps might be in our evolving journey. We offer concurrent Children’s Programming, followed by a potluck meal.

Rosh HaShanah Afternoon

Community Potluck   1:00 PM – Please Bring:

  • Beverages for yourself (water will be available)
  • Food to serve at least 8 people according to last name: Please include a list of the ingredients in your dish
    • A – H side dish or salad 
    • I- P main dish
    • Q- Z dessert or appetizer
  • No pork or shellfish

Tashlich at the bank of Lake Washington at Madrona Park  3:30 PM

To register for single High Holy Day services click the the service above or visit our calendar.


Yom Kippur ~ Teshuvah…Returning to our True Self

Kol Nidrei Service

Tuesday, September 18,  7:00 PM

Kol Nidrei: Chant of Ages. Its melodies stir within us echoes of past tragedies and triumphs, and call us to deepen yet further the personal spiritual work we have engaged in from S’lichot, to Rosh Hashanah and through the 10 Days of Awe. Childcare is offered during our Kol Nidrei service.

Yom Kippur Morning Service

Wednesday, September 19, 10:30 AM

Concurrent Children’s Programming 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Yom Kippur continues from 10:30 AM. All are invited to spend the day in the spiritual immersion that is Yom Kippur. The day itself (with its slow rhythm and invitation to deepening introspection) allows us to dive beneath the surface and touch the deeper yearning of our heart. We offer Children’s Programming for ages 3-12 from 10:30 AM to 1:15 PM, followed by a Family Service at 1:45 PM. Afternoon childcare is available 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Be sure to register your child(ren) for either/both Children’s Programming and afternoon childcare.

Yom Kippur Afternoon

L’Chaim (12-step) Meeting   1:45 PM

Family Service   1:45 PM

Healing Meditation   2:45 PM

Yizkor – Memorial Service   4:45 PM

Neilah – Concluding Service   6:00 PM

Community Break-Fast   7:00 PM

Enjoy bagels, lox, salads, fruit and more, the shared exhilaration that completes the power of the day!

To register for single High Holy Day services click the the service above or visit our calendar.



Children’s Programming

For your children aged 3 – 12, we offer high quality age-appropriate programming during the morning services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  We also provide child care for the evenings of Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre, along with the afternoon of Yom Kippur Day. Preregistration and payment is required. Email info@betalef.org for details.


Our Musicians

At Bet Alef, music is fundamental to the High Holy Days experience. Our musicians lead us in familiar and new melodies which resonate in body and soul, unlocking barriers and supporting a deeper connection to the unique energies of the days.  Our beautiful music is provided by:

Dianna Rose, Music Director and vocals (alto), percussion

Jal Feldman, piano

Celia Curran, vocals (soprano)

Matt Dubin, vocals (tenor)

Dallin Brown, vocals (bass)

Zac Grynberg, cellist

                                                                    Ruby Grynberg – violinist


High Holy Days Resources

Bet Alef’s High Holy Days Machzor (Prayerbook).

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim D’var Rosh Hashanah 2016: Our Unchecked Motivations

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim D’var Rosh Hashanah 2015: Fear of Isaac 

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim D’var Rosh Hashanah 2014: Fear of Abraham

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim D’var Rosh Hashanah 2013; The Day Isaac Was Sacrificed

Click here for a YouTube video of Rabbi Olivier during the 2012 Holy Days.

Words of Torah from previous High Holy Days:

Amy Bearmon Yom Kippur Dvar Torah 2013

Amy Bearmon; Yom Kippur Dvar Torah, 2011

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim; Rosh Hashanah 5772; Akedah The Binding of Abraham

Rabbi Olivier BenHaim; Yom Kippur 5773; I Will Write My Torah on Their Heart

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