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High Holidays - Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

Our secular services for Rosh Hashanah (literally "Head of the Year") and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)  modernize our Jewish traditions  to be meaningful to today’s diverse Jewish families.  

2024 High Holiday Schedule and Registration Form

2024 - High Holidays - 5785: Coming Soon


9 Ways Kol Hadash Does High Holidays Differently

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

2. Our High Holiday Services are open to  everyone. 

3. We provide a comfortable home for individuals and 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. No prior knowledge or Jewish literacy is needed; come as you are!

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

5. Services are no more than 90 minutes (even on Yom Kippur!).

6. We recognize that wisdom comes from many sources, so our Ark contains Jewish literature and poetry in addition to the Torah. 

7. Fasting on Yom Kippur is optional because each person chooses to Do Jewish in a way that is meaningful to them.

8. We don’t distract from  these meaningful services with a fundraising request.

9. Our members genuinely look forward to our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Services – inspiring sermons, uplifting music, and warm community!


2024 High Holiday Schedule and Registration Form 

Rosh Hashana
Evening Service: Wednesday, October 2, 7:30pm (Central Time)
Morning Service: Thursday, October 3, 10:30am (Central Time)
Family Service: Thursday, October 3, 2:00pm (Central Time)
Yom Kippur
Evening Service (Kol Nidre): Friday, October 11, 7:30pm (Central Time)
Morning Service: Saturday, October 12, 10:30am (Central Time)
Family Service: Saturday, October 12, 2:00 (Central Time)
Memorial & Concluding: Saturday, October 12, 3:30pm (Central Time)


Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 26

  • Rather than selling ticket to our services, we ask guests to register online and make a donation of their choice.
  • The Family Services (in-person only) and Yom Kippur Memorial and Concluding Services are free, open to the public and do not require registration.
  • We offer free childcare during both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Adult Morning Services. Please click here to register in advance.
  • Our Family services (appropriate for children age 4-11) for Rosh Hashana are on Thursday, October 3 at 2:00 pm and for Yom Kippur are on Saturday, October 12 at 2:00 pm. These services are only in-person and are free and open to everyone with no registration required.
  • For children up to age 6, we offer Adult & Tot Make ’n Take Rosh Hashana on Sunday, October 6 at 9:30-10:30 am at our Sunday School at Deerfield High School. Advanced registration appreciated.

Click here to register for our Adult High Holiday Services.

Experience Past High Holidays

Check out some past years’ inspiring services and thought-provoking sermons.


More High Holiday talks are available on our YouTube channel:

2023 High Holidays - Relationship Status: It’s Complicated
2022 High Holidays - Morality in Crisis
2021 High HolidaysAfter Disaster
2020 High Holidays - Five Jewish Questions

Enjoy our High Holiday choir any time of year!

The Kol Hadash Choir is an expression of our congregation: uplifting, welcoming and inclusive. Learn more about participating in our no-auditions choir. Listen to more choir music on our YouTube channel.


Family and Tots High Holiday Celebrations

High Holiday FAQ

1. What are services like if you’re not reciting prayers?
We celebrate the Jewish New Year and our Jewish connections using inspirational and thought-provoking poetry and prose that encourage reflection and meditation. We recite Humanistic blessings and adapt Jewish rituals to be consistent with our Humanistic values.

2. What is the music like at your services?
We sing Jewish songs in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and other Jewish languages – we always provide translations and transliterations (pronunciation in English letters). We also include instrumental meditation opportunities for personal reflection.  

3. Do you have to purchase a prayer book to attend?
No. We create our own unique service booklets that are available to everyone upon arrival, or if attending via Zoom, a PDF copy of the service is emailed in advance.

4. Do you read from the Torah?
For us, the Torah is not a unique 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.

5. To what extent can non-Jewish family members participate in the services?
Kol Hadash is a welcoming place for all members of interfaith and intercultural families. Everyone of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can participate equally in our services and programs.

6. Do you have LGBTQ+ families and individuals as members?
Yes, including Sunday school teachers, staff, students, and on our Steering Committee. We firmly believe that everyone should affirm and celebrate who they are.

7. Can I bring my children with me? Which ages are appropriate for which services?
Adult High Holiday Services are intended for children ages 12 and up. We have Family Services intended for children ages 4-11, though all ages are welcome. Tot Services are aimed at children under the age of 6. Please contact our Youth Education Director, Ilana Shaffer at with any questions.

8. What do people typically wear to services?
There is a wide spectrum — some wear suits and ties or dresses, others wear sport coats, dress shirts, skirts or slacks.

9. Do you wear a head covering (kippah/yarmulke) and/or prayer shawl (tallis)?
While our rabbi 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.

10. Do you have an oneg reception after services?
Yes! We have an extensive oneg after each of our Rosh Hashana Services, which is a great opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. Everyone is welcome.

11. How do you treat being inscribed in the Book of Life?
The traditional book of life represents cosmic judgment; Humanistic Jews understand the metaphor as an opportunity to turn a new page in one’s own life story and begin writing the next chapter.

12. Do you have a Yizkor Memorial Service on Yom Kippur afternoon?
Our Yom Kippur afternoon Memorial Service is a meaningful conclusion to our Jewish New Year observances. We call it “Nizkor” [we will remember] rather than “Yizkor” [He will remember] as a reflection of our need and responsibility to remember our loved ones.

13. Can I attend High Holiday Services without becoming a member?
Yes! Attending Kol Hadash High Holiday Services is a great way to experience Kol Hadash with no obligation. We ask for a voluntary contribution when you register, but there are no formal High Holiday tickets or requirements. Family services are free and open to all.

14. What does it cost to attend High Holiday Services as a non-member?
There is no fee to attend High Holiday Services. For Adult Rosh Hashana and Adult Yom Kippur Services, we ask that you register and make a voluntary donation of your choice. Our Adult Yom Kippur Memorial Service and Family High Holiday Services are free and open to all.

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

Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784