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High Holidays 2020/5781

Check your email! 

High Holiday services will be held via ZOOM and streamed on Facebook LIVE.  All congregants and pre-registered non-members will receive an email with connection information.  If you do not receive this email by Thursday, September 17, please email

We Welcome Non-Members to Join Us (free of charge)

Congregation Beth Elohim has been the core of Jewish life in Acton and its surrounding towns for over 50 years.  But we’ve never experienced a year like this. These days, we need community and connection more than ever.  In support of those of us in communal and personal need, CBE invites the community this year to join us for a virtual High Holidays, completely free of charge.  This also applies to adult children of members. Wouldn’t it be great for your children to join you/us during the Holidays?

To provide you with the most meaningful and age-appropriate experience, we do ask that you please click on this link to register in advance.  You will find the detailed schedule of services and activities HERE.

CBE has always created a welcoming and loving community.  Together, we look forward to doing so this year — and for many years to come.

Yizkor Memorial

This Yom Kippur, we hope to memorialize our departed loved ones in a truly special way. If there are people you are remembering this year, please send a photo of your loved ones, along with their names and anything you would like to share about them.

You may send your photo(s) with text to  or upload to a folderCheck the latest STAR-LIte for the link to upload.  Deadline to submit extended to Friday, September 11th.

High Holidays Prayer Book and Haggadah for Seder - Download Any Time or Order Hard Copy by September 9

We will be using a modified version of the B'Seifer Chayim: A Machzor For The Days of Awe that you can download HERE for no charge.

We will be using the Haggadah for Rosh Hashanah Seder that you can download HERE for no charge.

If you want to order a hard copy of either of these texts, please place your order and pay HERE by September 11th.  There is a charge of $4.00 per copy for the Haggadah and $12.00 per copy for the High Holidays prayer book.

Programming for Teens, Young Children and their Grown-ups

We have creative, virtual programming specifically targeting teens and young children and their grown-ups.  We will divide into appropriate age groups.  You will find more detail in Beth's newsletter or you can contact the CBE office at, 978-263-3061, ext 1.

Here is what is scheduled:
  • Rosh Hashanah, 1st Day (Saturday, September 19) ♦ 11:00 am ♦ A High Holiday Experience for Teens, Kids and Their Grown-ups
  • Rosh Hashanah Eve, 2nd Day (Saturday, September 19) ♦ 5:00 pm ♦ Story and Havdallah for pre-K through 2nd grade
  • Rosh Hashanah, 2nd Day (Sunday, September 19) ♦ 9:15 am ♦ New Year Z'man K'hilah (community time for kids K-7 and their grown-ups with Rabbi Mike and Beth)
  • Yom Kippur (Monday, September 28) ♦ 11:00 am ♦ A High Holiday Experience for Teens, Kids and Their Grown-ups
Other activities appropriate for children and families include the Rosh Hashanah Seder and the Tashlich Service and the Shofar Roadshow which require pre-registration by September 13 at these links:  Tashlich Service and Shofar Roadshow

High Holiday Appeal

The High Holiday Appeal is a critical source of revenue  for us, without which we cannot be the same community. Over the coming weeks, you’ll hear from many members of this community about what CBE means to them personally.

Our investment together in CBE is a holy investment in our most cherished values: learning and teaching Torah, educating our children and ensuring they receive the social support they need in the most important years of their early lives, recognizing lifecycle events together and holding one another up through the good and the bad, living our Jewish values out in the world around us by supporting food security and immigrant rights, and so much more. 

I invite you each to take time to think back about what this community has given to you over the past years, how it has helped you live your values, and what your hopes are for the future. That is what we are building together. That is what you’ll be supporting with your generous gifts this year.

This year is a particular challenge because of the financial impact that the pandemic has on CBE and many of our fellow congregants. Because of the challenges we face, we have set a goal to raise $100,000 this year. Just as but more importantly, we hope to see 100% participation. 

CLICK HERE to learn what we can achieve together and to submit your gift.

We hope to see you all on Zoom during the High Holidays and wish you a shanah tovah u’metukah — a sweet and happy new year.


Preparing for the High Holidays

Daily Elul Shofar Sounding - Replay Videos

During the month of Elul, we are giving everyone the opportunity to hear the Shofar, virtually, every day (except Shabbat). Each ba'al t'kiah will get on Zoom, say a brief introduction, for which we will provide a prompt, and then sound a t'kiah gadolah! It would take at most 15 minutes.  

You can find the schedule for the next week at THIS LINK.

If you couldn't join to listen live, you can find some of the videos HERE.

High Holiday CBE Classes


Thank you to Rabbi Mike, Cantor Sarra, Ellen Krueger, and Aurora Carruthers-Grey for leading the following classes, already held.  


From our Ritual Chair, Elaine Braun-Keller:

This will be a very strange High Holiday period. We will not be together. We cannot rely on each other as before for a spiritual experience.  Instead we will be praying and singing a bit over the Internet and coming together in small groups for short periods.  The spiritual experience will need to come almost exclusively from our own hearts. To make this experience deeper, we have created a list of resources for you to use as a library of knowledge for your own learning.

CLICK HERE for this extensive list of resources.  You will find links to books and other reading material and musical selections to prepare for the period.  You will find a High Holidays primer, materials about Teshuvah, Tefillah, Tzedakah and much more.

To start, we'd like all to review this document,  Suggested Etiquette for Zoom Services

Elaine provided this link also that talks about finding the special place in your home for prayer during this pandemic, Creating a Mikdash M'at In Your Home by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

Fri, December 4 2020 18 Kislev 5781