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Family High Holidays

Rather than just being spectators, children and their adults welcome the Jewish New Year in our secular High Holiday services by actively participating in music, art, reflection, and discussion.

6 Ways Kol Hadash Does

Family High Holiday Services Differently

1. We believe that we are in charge of our own lives, so we do not pray to a supernatural being.

2. Our cultural Family Services for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, led by Rabbi Adam, are interactive – singing, blowing the Shofar, and engaging activities.

3. Our Family Services for both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are free and all are welcome to attend. 

4. We offer a family service (for ages 4-11) and an adult-tot program (for children up to age 6) to engage children at their level.

5. We provide a comfortable home for families who identify as Culturally Jewish, Just Jewish, Jew-ish, Jewish and . . . , Half-Jewish, Interfaith, Jews by Choice, Multicultural, Not Religious, Secular, Humanistic, Atheist, and/or Agnostic. One parent, two parents, LGBTQ+, grandparents with grandchildren - all combinations are very welcome. No prior knowledge or Jewish literacy is needed; come as you are!

6. English readings with Hebrew songs means that everyone can participate.

Rosh Hashana Family Service

Saturday, September 16, 2:00-3:00 pm

Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation 
at the North Shore Unitarian Church
2100 Half Day Road, Deerfield
These services are free and open to everyone.

Being a Child

Parenting is hard, but so is being a child. Together we’ll explore what children can do to find their own power and voice while still loving and listening to their families.

Yom Kippur Family Service

Monday, September 25, 2:00-3:00pm

Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation 
at the North Shore Unitarian Church
2100 Half Day Road, Deerfield
These services are free and open to everyone.

Being a Parent

Being a child is hard, but so is parenting. Together we’ll explore what parents can do to develop their own power and voice while still loving and listening to their families.


Both Family Services are aimed at children ages 4-11 though all are welcome to attend. There is no cost and no advanced reservation is required. For more information, contact our administrator, Jeremy Owens at (847)383-5184 or


High Holidays for Tots

Sunday, September 17, 9:30-10:30 am

Kol Hadash Sunday School at Deerfield High School
1959 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield

This program is free and open to everyone. 

Our High Holiday services for tots is aimed for children up to age 6 accompanied by an adult. Advanced registration is encouraged. Please follow this link to register. Learn about our Adult Tot Programs - See, Sing, Celebrate for children up to age 2 and Jewish Discovery for children ages 3-6


Family High Holiday FAQ

1. What are your services like?
Our  Family Services are interactive, uplifting and engaging. Readings are in English for comprehension and inspiration, music is accessible and participatory, and discussions and activities are aimed at the children’s level. Adults find them meaningful too!

2. How long are your services?
Our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Family Services are no more than 45 minutes long. Because they are engaging and interactive, the time flies by! We also understand that Family Services involve noise, movement and activity, so don’t worry if your child is chatty or squirmy.

3. Do we need to know Hebrew to participate?
No Hebrew literacy required. All songs include both Hebrew and transliteration (Hebrew in English letters), and many have English verses as well.

4. Do you have an oneg reception after services?
Yes, after the Rosh Hashana Family Service we have a kid-friendly oneg which is a great opportunity to meet other families and our Youth Education staff. Everyone is welcome.

5. Are you welcoming of interfaith, intercultural and LGBTQ+ families and individuals?
Yes! We firmly believe that everyone should affirm and celebrate who they are, and we celebrate the diversity of today’s Jewish family. Regardless of religious or ethnic background, all are encouraged to participate fully.

6. Do you read from the Torah during your services?
For us, the Torah is not a uniquely holy book, but rather one of many sources of Jewish wisdom. Sometimes we choose to read a passage from the Torah as part of our High Holiday services, and other times we read from other Jewish literature.

7. What is the music like at your services?
We sing Jewish songs in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish and other Jewish languages – we always provide translations and transliterations (pronunciation in English letters). We encourage participation and singing at Kol Hadash Family High Holiday Services.

8. Can my family attend services without being members?
Yes! We welcome non-members at our Family High Holiday services –  the more the merrier, no registration required!

9. What does it cost to attend as non-members?
Family High Holiday services are 100% free!

10. What do people typically wear?
There is no dress code — some wear suits or dresses, others wear sport coats, dress shirts, skirts or slacks. Children are welcome to wear whatever they negotiate with their adults!

11. Do you wear a head covering (kippah/yarmulke) or prayer shawl (tallis)?
While Rabbi Adam and almost all of our members choose not to wear a head covering or prayer shawl, everyone is welcome to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.

Questions? Contact our administrator, Jeremy Owens, at (847) 383-5184 or

Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyar 5784