Observing the New Year and High Holidays with community members, friends new and old, and family connects each of us to our traditions, teachings, ancestors, and mitzvot.
Synagogues in the greater Indianapolis area offer a variety of options for worship during this time of year. 

 

New to greater Indianapolis? Not a synagogue member? Visiting from out of town? Synagogues throughout our community welcome you!
Check out the listing of synagogue policies and services below.


Chabad Center for Jewish Life: Orthodox | 2640 W. 96th St., Carmel | 317-251-5573 | chabadindiana.org | rabbi@lubavitchindiana.com


Congregation Beth-El Zedeck: Reconstructionist/Conservative | 600 W. 70th St., Indianapolis | 317-253-3441 | bez613.org | bez613@bez613.org


Congregation Beth Shalom: Reform | 849 W. 96th St., Indianapolis | 317-306-5644 | bethshalomindy.org | info@bethshalomindy.org
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services held at University High School (2825 W. 116th St., Carmel)


Congregation B'nai Torah: Orthodox | 6510 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis | 317-253-5253 | btorahindy.org | office@btorah.org


Congregation Shaarey Tefilla: Conservative | 3085 W. 116th St., Carmel | 317-733-2169 | shaareytefilla.org | office@shaareytefilla.org


Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation: Sephardic Orthodox | 6939 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis | 317-251-6220 | etzchaimindy.org | president@etzchaimindy.org


Humanistic Judaism: 317-721-2747 | HumanisticJewsIndy@gmail.com


Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation: Reform | 6501 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis | 317-255-6647 | ihcindy.org | info@ihcindy.org


Temple B'nai Israel: Reform | 618 W. Superior St., Kokomo | 765-452-0383 | TempleBnaiIsraelKokomo@gmail.com





Congregation

Fees or Donation

Childcare

Chabad Center for Jewish Life

Everyone is welcome. Open to members or non-members.

See website for details.

Congregation Beth-El Zedeck

Non-members from out-of-town are treated as members. Member seating tickets range from $85 to $150 per person and include both holidays. Non-members from the area are charged double. ​

Email for details.

Congregation B'nai Torah

Email for details.

Email for details.

Congregation Beth Shalom

Everyone is welcome.

Email for details.

Congregation Shaarey Tefilla

Everyone is welcome. No charge for college students and members of the military. Non-member seats are $150 per person and include all holidays.​

Child care by reservation only: 6 months-age 7. $18/day/child. Download the reservation form.

Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation:

Everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike.

See website or email for details.

Humanistic Judaism

Everyone is welcome. A donation of $18 is suggested.​

Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation

Each member household receives two tickets per main servce. Please write your name on the front of each ticket and bring them with you to the service. Every adult 18+ needs a ticket to attend services. If you do not bring your ticket, you will be asked to sign in. 

If you are a member and need tickets for your children (18 years and over) or for non-member guests, contact the IHC office. Please consider making a donation to the High Holy Day Appeal if you request tickets for children over 22 years old, as well as a donation of at least $36 for each guest ticket.

Childcare for age 1-5 is available for a fee. Preregistration and prepayment required. More information and registration form.

Temple B'nai Israel

Non-members: $100 for an individual, $150 for a family​

 

 

 

Rosh Hashanah


Rosh Hashanah occurs in the fall, around September or October, on the first and second day of the Jewish month of Tishrei.
 

Rosh Hashanah, literally meaning "head of the year," is the Jewish New Year. While it is a happy, festive holiday, it is more solemn than the secular New Year. It is a time to look back at the past year, evaluate ourselves and make resolutions for the following year, and it is also a wake-up call, a time to begin mental preparations for the upcoming day of atonement, Yom Kippur.

On Rosh Hashanah, the "Book of Life" is opened, and the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (when the book is closed and sealed for the year) are a time for us to perform teshuvah (repent and ask forgiveness of those we've wronged) and advocate that we remain inscribed there. Some begin this process even earlier, throughout Elul (the last month of the Jewish year, leading up to Rosh Hashanah). A traditional greeting around Rosh Hashanah is "Shana tovah," or "A good year."


There are several symbolic foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah, including apples dipped in honey (for a sweet year), round challah bread (for the cycle of life), the head of a fish (so that everyone partaking may be at the "head" of whatever they aspire to do in the new year), and a "new" fruit (for the newness of the year) that one has not tasted before or for a long time, like a pomegranate. Pomegranate seeds also represent the 613 mitzvot (commandments in the Torah) and endless possibilities in the year ahead.


It is a mitzvah to hear the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn, recalling the story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to G-d and then replacing him with a ram, which is read on Rosh Hashanah). The shofar sound acts as a call to attention and reminder of the holiday's purpose: to look inward and repent for the sins of the past year.


Erev Rosh Hashanah – Sun., Sept. 9

Beth-El Zedeck

6:15 pm

Evening service

Beth Shalom

7:30 pm

Evening service. Sermon topic: “Giving Up the Bow and the Arrow."

B'nai Israel (Kokomo)

7:30 pm Evening service
B'nai Torah

7:45 pm

Evening service
Etz Chaim

7 pm

Evening service

IHC

8 pm

Evening service

Shaarey Tefilla

7:30 pm

​Evening service




First Day of Rosh Hashanah – Mon., Sept. 10

Tashlich: tossing breadcrumbs into water to represent throwing away sins

Beth-El Zedeck

9:30 am

Morning service

5:30 pm

Tashlich at BEZ’s Kulwin Pond

5:45 pm

Evening service

Beth Shalom

9 am

Children’s service

10:30 am

Morning service. Sermon topic: “Giving Birth to Yourself: The Real Goal of the New Year."

Noon ​Tashlich
B'nai Israel (Kokomo) 10 am Morning service

B’nai Torah

9:15 am

Morning service

7:45 pm

Evening service

Etz Chaim

9 am

Morning service

7 pm

Afternoon service followed by tashlich

IHC

8:30 am

Family service

9:30 am-5:30 pm

Retreat at GUCI (half-day session begins at 1 pm) | 9349 Moore Rd., Zionsville

11 am

Traditional service

3:30 pm

Tot service

Shaarey Tefilla

8:30 am

Morning service

10 am

Youth service

7:30 pm

Tashlich at West Park (bridge at southwest pond) | 2700 W. 116th St., Carmel

8 pm

Evening service at West Park




Second Day of Rosh Hashanah – Tues., Sept. 11

Beth-El Zedeck

9:30 am

Morning service (open seating)

B’nai Torah

9:15 am

Morning service

7:45 pm Evening service

Etz Chaim

9 am

Morning service

7:45 pm

Evening service

IHC

9 am

Second Day in the City at Indy Reads Books | 911 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis

Shaarey Tefilla

8:30 am

Morning service

 

Yom Kippur


Yom Kippur falls on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei (nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashanah), in September or October


Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, when individuals and whole communities repent for their sins over the past year and ask that they be inscribed in the "Book of Life," which is closed and sealed for the upcoming year at the end of Yom Kippur.
 

It is customary for those over the age of bar or bat mitzvah (12 or 13 years old) to abstain from eating or drinking for 25 hours (24 hours of Yom Kippur, plus an extra hour to ensure the full day's fast was observed), with exceptions made for people who are pregnant, nursing, or for whom fasting would otherwise pose a health risk. Some also abstain from washing, wearing luxurious items like leather, and other bodily pleasures. It is tradition for some to wear white on Yom Kippur, as a symbol of purity.


Many spend the majority of the 25 hours from sunset to sunset in synagogue praying, from the first evening's Kol Nidre service (where congregants renounce unfulfilled vows between themselves and G-d from the past year) through the concluding Neilah service, after which the gates of heaven close. Other portions of the liturgy include the Viddui (confessional), Martyrology (describes the deaths of those who were persecuted for being Jewish), Avodah (describes the work of the priests on Yom Kippur in the days of the Holy Temple), and Yizkor (service in memory of the dead). Traditionally, the day's Torah readings discuss the idea of the scapegoat, which would symbolically carry away sin, and the Book of Jonah, whose themes revolve around repentance.


Traditional greetings include "Tzom kal" ("Have an easy fast", though some argue that an easy fast may not be as meaningful) and "Gmar chatima tovah" ("May you be given a good inscription"). Many groups gather before Yom Kippur begins for a pre-fast meal, and especially after it ends for a break-fast (which does often include traditional breakfast foods like bagels, lox and cream cheese).


 Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) – Tues., Sept. 18

 Kol Nidre: Renouncing vows made between oneself and G-d

 Beth-El Zedeck

 7:15 pm

 Evening service

 Beth Shalom

 7:30 pm

 Evening service. Sermon topic: “Looking in the Mirror and Admitting Honestly What We Are." 

 B'nai Israel  (Kokomo)  7:30 pm  Evening service
 B'nai Torah

 7:25 pm

 Evening service
 Etz Chaim

 7 pm

 Evening service

 IHC

 6:15 pm

 Early service

 8:30 pm

 Late service

 Shaarey Tefilla

 7:30 pm

 Evening service




 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – Wed., Sept. 19

 Yizkor​: Memorial service; Neilah​: Closing service

 Beth-El Zedeck

 9:30 am

 Morning service, including Yizkor ​and Martyrology

 2 pm  Afternoon service

 4 pm

 ​Afternoon conversation with Prof. Sheila Kennedy: "A Broken System: Why American Elections Don't Necessarily Reflect American Values"

 5 pm

 Family service

 6 pm  ​Neilah

 Beth Shalom

 9 am

 Children’s service

 10:30 am

 Morning service. Sermon topic: “Living By What Really Matters." 

 2 pm  Afternoon discussion
 4:30 pm  ​Yizkor
 6 pm  Break-the-fast pitch-in
 B'nai Israel  (Kokomo)  10 am  Morning service

 B’nai Torah

 9:15 am

 Morning service

 5:30 pm

 Afternoon service

 Etz Chaim

 9 am

 Morning service

 6:30 pm

 Neilah

 8:29 pm  Fast ends. Break-the-fast refreshments served.

 IHC

 8:30 am

 Family service led by IFTY, Nefesh service

 11 am

 Traditional service

 1 pm  Study sessions
 3 pm  Afternoon service

 5:15 pm

 Tot service

 6 pm  Havdalah

 Shaarey Tefilla

 9 am

 Morning service

 10 am

 Youth service

 6:30 pm

 ​Afternoon service

 7 pm

 Neilah

 8:30 pm  Shofar​ blown

 

​Sukkot and Simchat Torah

 

See our Sukkot and Simchat Torah pages for further explanation of the holidays.


 Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles/Booths)

 Beth-El Zedeck

 Sun., Sept. 23, 5 pm

 Family-friendly service followed by hayrides, a bounce house, campfire, food, and more! Adults $10, seniors $7, kids ages 2-12 $5. Download the registration form.

 Beth Shalom

 Sun., Sept. 23, 10 am

 Religious school Sukkot celebration, including decorating the sukkah and snacks. Email Diane Graul for more information.

 Etz Chaim

 Sun., Sept. 23, 10:30 am

 Kids' decorating activity and sukkah building

 IHC

 Sun., Sept. 23, 11 am

 Celebration

 Shaarey Tefilla

 Sun., Sept. 23, 9 am

 Sukkah building and decorating

 Mon., Sept. 24, 7 pm

 CST Men's Club "Scotch and Cigars in the Sukkah"

 Wed., Sept. 26, 7 pm

 CST Sisterhood "Wine and Cheese in the Sukkah." Free for members, $10 for non-members or join that evening!

 Sun., Sept. 30, 11 am

 Pizza in the Hut




 Simchat Torah

 Beth-El Zedeck

 Sun., Sept. 30, 6 pm

 Consecration and celebration

 Etz Chaim

 Sun., Sept. 30 and Mon., Oct. 1, 7 pm

 Dancing with the Torah

 IHC

 Sun., Sept. 30, 12:30 pm

 Celebration

 Sun., Sept. 30, 5 pm

 Study sessions

 Shaarey Tefilla

 Mon., Oct. 1, 6:45-8:30 pm

 Evening service; ice cream social to follow