High Holy Days
Selichot is an evening service held prior to Rosh Hashanah to culminate the process of repentance and forgiveness begun in the month of Elul. Each year, one of the six Reform congregations from the Greater New Haven area hosts the others at the annual Joint Reform Selichot service. The rabbis, choirs, cantors, and cantorial soloists from each participating congregation lead the prayers and songs.
Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
Our large sanctuary opens to accommodate the entire congregation in one worship space for the main services at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Evening Services are held at 8:00 p.m. Morning Services begin at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are required for these services.
A Children’s Service for grades 2-7 runs concurrently with our main sanctuary morning service. Children in Grade 2 must be accompanied by a parent. This Service is not appropriate for children younger than Grade 2. Babysitting is available for younger children. We also encourage families with young children to come to the Family Service in the afternoon.
The Family Service is at 2:00 p.m. on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is open to the community, where no ticket is required.
Following Yom Kippur Morning Services, there is a Reflection Service led by congregants at 12:30 p.m. These include personal expressions in prose or poetry, performances of instrumental or vocal pieces, and guided meditations. Following the 2:00 p.m. Family Service, there is an Afternoon Service at 3:00 p.m. and then Yizkor (Memorial) and Concluding Services beginning at 4:45 p.m. During Yizkor, we read the names of our congregants and other loved ones who have passed away since the last High Holy Days and our annual Memorial Book is distributed.
High Holy Day Memorial Service
Each High Holy Day season, a memorial service is held at the CMI Cemetery on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is a special time to honor and remember those of our loved ones who are no longer with us. We welcome anyone who would like to attend. Your loved ones do not need to be buried at our cemetery in order for you to participate.
High Holy Day Tickets
We provide High Holy Days tickets to our current members at no charge. College and graduate students are invited to be our guests. We also provide complimentary tickets for members of congregations in other cities. Adult children (age 25 and older) of members as well as other family members and guests are asked for a contribution for High Holiday tickets. Guests who join the congregation later in the year can have their contribution applied toward their first year’s membership commitment.
CMI uses Gates of Repentance for the main services. Members are encouraged to bring their copy with them. Additional books are available in the Lounge for congregants and their guests to borrow.
Tallitot & Assisted Listening Devices
Tallitot and Assisted Listening Devices are available for those who may wish to wear one to services but have none with them. Sign out is in the Lounge. Guests are asked to return these items immediately after services.
The pews in front of the Rabbi’s pulpit are set aside as Reserved Seating to accommodate those with health or mobility concerns. Requests must be called in at least 1 week prior to services. If you do not call and do not arrive by 7:45 p.m. for evening services and 9:45 a.m. for the morning services, our greeters will make every effort to assist you but cannot guarantee seating in this section.
So we can accommodate those with mobility concerns, we ask all others who would like to sit in the pews to come early and select seating on the center aisle or in front of the Cantor’s pulpit.
CMI’s van is available to provide transportation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Evening and Morning Services. If you wish to get a ride, please call the office at least 48 hours in advance of the service you wish to attend.
Babysitting is available during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning services. There is a small fee for each session. If you wish to ensure a spot for your child, please call the office at least 48 hours in advance.
Annual Food Drive
Our teen youth group, MITYOR, conducts a food drive during the High Holy Days. Bags are handed out on Rosh Hashanah and worshipers are asked to return one filled with nonperishable food items on Yom Kippur. After the holidays, MITYOR delivers the food to Jewish Family Services’ Food Pantry
High Holy Day Ambiance
Worshipers are asked to help maintain the proper decorum of the High Holy Days and respect for fellow congregants. Those who would like to chat with their friends and neighbors, or who have children who are having difficulty sitting quietly or need to eat, are encouraged to go outside or in common spaces away from the Sanctuary. During the evening, those with young children can go to the Chapel, where the main service is simulcast.
Worshippers are asked to ensure that cell phones are turned off before entering the sanctuary.
Click here for a complete Guide to the Holidays at CMI.