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High Holy Days 

We look forward to welcoming you and your guests to our Beth Tikvah Congregation High Holy Days services and gatherings. Starting with Selichot through Simchat Torah there will be many opportunities to join together as a community and congregation. BTC live stream will also be available for many of our worship services. Whether you join in person or online, this will be a High Holy Day season of community, joy, meaning and inspiration! 

Like the sounding of the shofar, the arrival of your High Holy Day tickets means the New Year is coming!

Temple Member High Holy Day Tickets 

Your High Holy Day Ticket will be sent in the mail to you early September. 
Temple members in good standing will receive High Holy Day tickets. Members that choose to attend live stream High Holy Day services will also receive a ticket. Receiving a High Holy Day service ticket is a meaningful and tangible connection to our temple members. It confirms that you are a BTC member in good standing and connected to our community. You have to register to receive a ticket, and your ticket is required at the door to attend all Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.

Live stream access is available on our website and will be available for most services for those who prefer to join our worship services remotely. 

Mishkan HaNefesh Prayerbook

Our High Holy Day services will include the leadership of Rabbi Taron Tachman and Cantorial Leader Ilana Axel, as well as the participation of our devoted choir and congregation members.  Mishkan HaNefesh Machzorim/ Prayerbooks will be available for in-person services. For those joining remotely, a pdf version of our prayerbook will be available.

Youth and Family 

We welcome and encourage all our temple youth 12 years and older, to attend High Holy Day services. Please register your child(ren) for a ticket with your family. 

Yizkor Form needs to be submitted by Friday, August 25, 2023.


Click to Register Now

High Holy Days at Beth Tikvah Congregation

We hold a variety of High Holy Days Services geared toward different segments of our community. Please view our Calendar, and our High Holy Day Booklet to get complete, up-to-date information regarding the various High Holy Days Services offered. Please click for all necessary forms.

Since Jewish days begin in the evening, members of Beth Tikvah Congregation - like Jews around the world - observe our first Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur worship service in the evening. Please check our calendar for the dates and times of these services.

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Congregational Services

The congregational services are liturgically comprehensive. The sermon topics are related to adults and children 5th grade and older. For families who wish to worship together, please be responsible to maintain the dignity of the service. If your children require a meal, please step out of the service and return at an appropriate time. The music includes participation melodies as well as choral settings.

Mishkan HaNefesh Prayerbook

Our High Holy Day services will include the leadership of our Rabbi  and Cantorial Leader, as well as the participation of our devoted choir and congregation members. Mishkan HaNefesh Machzorim will be available for in-person services. For those joining remotely, Kindle versions of the prayerbooks are be available at Amazon.  (CCAR Press can no longer provide a frees link to Mishkan HaNefesh.)

Special Needs

The Men’s Club ushers and Temple Board greeters will help provide for your special needs. They can be easily identified by their lapel flower. If you forgot your tickets, they will assist you to have temporary tickets prepared. If you or any member of your party requires special seating for wheelchair accessibility, please notify an usher. They will also work with the Youth Group to help you at the Temple with your grocery bags of donations. If you need any emergency or health-related assistance during Services, please ask one of the ushers.


Attire at High Holy Day Services tends to be more formal than other worship and holiday experiences throughout the year. We recommend more conservative clothing.


It is an established Jewish custom, emerging from the High Holy Day liturgy, that we make gifts to those in need. Prayer, repentance, and Tzedakah shape our destiny. On Rosh Hashanah, you will receive a grocery bag with a shopping list. We ask that you fill it with non-perishables and return it to Beth Tikvah by Kol Nidre.

The Confirmation class will sort the items. The kosher items will go to  The Ark, and the non-kosher items will go to the Schaumburg and Palatine Township food pantries.


During the Yom Kippur Yizkor Service we will remember our loved ones by reading aloud the names of Temple members and close relatives who have died since last Yom Kippur, as well as previous Beth Tikvah members who have died in years past. Printed in the Book of Remembrance will be all names memorialized on the Yahrzeit boards (automatically included), as well as all names submitted by our members on the Yizkor Form, whether they were Beth Tikvah members or not.

Details about each Holy Day

The High Holy Days are known by a number of names. Some refer to this sacred time in the Jewish calendar as the “High Holidays.” Others refer to period of time as “Days of Awe” or Yamim Noraim in Hebrew. Generally speaking, when people speak of the High Holy Days, they are specifically referring to two of the holiest days of the year: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These two holy days bookend the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah in Hebrew) and tend to be the congregational worship services which attract the most participants. 

The High Holy Days are periods of introspection and prayer. Our worship invites us to look inward and reflect on our past year, learning from our mistakes, righting those whom we may have wronged, reconnecting with God and the people in our lives, and pledging to improve ourselves and our world. Our services are filled with prayers and songs, as well as rituals which unite us as a sacred community and as family and friends.

In Jewish tradition, the Hebrew month Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days and the days and additional Holy Days that follow are of great importance. Here, you will find general information and additional links regarding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Guide to the High Holy Days for Interfaith Families

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Selichot, a Hebrew word meaning “forgiveness,” refers to the special penitential prayers recited by Jews during the High Holy Day season. The Selichot liturgy contains some of the finest Jewish religious poetry ever composed. Reform congregations usually observe Selichot on the Saturday night just prior to Rosh Hashanah - a solemn and fitting preparation for ten days of reflection and self-examination. At Beth Tikvah, our evening of Selichot worship and study takes place on the Saturday night immediately preceding the first night of Rosh Hashanah, dependent upon which day of the week Rosh Hashanah begins. Please view our Calendar to determine its exact date.

Selichot - with its haunting music lead by our choir, and with penitential prayers - is intended to instill a mood of anticipation that serves as a prelude to the sacred themes of the Days of Awe. Each year our worship service is preceded by a short, engaging study session, as well as a dessert reception. The evening concludes with the blast of the shofar which urges participants to reflect upon their lives and to initiate desirable life changes. Our Selichot Services and study sessions are open to all and we hope you will consider joining us for this moving and inspirational night of prayer, introspection and study.

Learn more about Selichot

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah literally means “Head of the Year,” and refers to the celebration of a new Jewish year. This holiday, on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, and provides an opportunity for each of us to examine our actions from the preceding year through prayer. Rosh Hashanah is a joyous and meaningful holiday celebrated by special customs, such as gathering together as a sacred community, sounding the shofar, and eating apples and honey and round challah.

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah


After the conclusion of services on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah, our congregation participates in a ritual called Tashlich. Tashlich means “to cast or throw.” It is a tradition on Rosh Hashanah to go to a river or a stream to symbolically cast our sins into the water. The key passage in this ceremony, which sometimes involves throwing pocket lint or bread crumbs into the water, is from Micah 7:19: “God will have compassion upon us: God will subdue our iniquities and you will cast (tashlich) all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Metaphorically, as the eyes of fish never close, so God always watches for our sins to be cast away. The service and songs are appropriate for members of all ages.

Shabbat Shuvah

Shabbat Shuvah - the "Shabbat of Returning" - falls each year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It's placement in our season allows us to focus on repentance, mindfulness, and renewal in a quiet way. At Beth Tikvah we create a warm atmosphere of calm and intimacy at this service; like a small - but nonetheless precious - jewel, placed in the crown of the royal pair of High Holy Days on either side. The start time and format for this service will align with our regular Shabbat worship calendar.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement" and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance. Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish year. In three separate passages in the Torah, the Jewish people are told, "the tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: You shall practice self-denial" (Leviticus 23:27). Fasting is seen as fulfilling this biblical commandment. The Yom Kippur fast also enables us to put aside our physical desires to concentrate on our spiritual needs through prayer, repentance, and self-improvement.

Yom Kippur is the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves. We are commanded to turn to those whom we have wronged first, acknowledging our sins and the pain we might have caused. At the same time, we must be willing to forgive and to let go of certain offenses and the feelings of resentment they provoked in us. On this journey we are both seekers and givers of pardon. Only then can we turn to God and ask for forgiveness: “And for all these, God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”

Learn more about Yom Kippur

Wed, July 17 2024 11 Tammuz 5784