Quick quiz: what year is it?
No, not 2021, I’m not talking about the Gregorian calendar—what kind of article do you think you’re reading? This is Niv, a Jewish publication! It’s officially been one year since Niv launched in 5781, and we’re now in the glorious year of 5782. Happy birthday Niv, and happy New Year!
In this current year of 5782, Yom Kippur falls on Wednesday, September 15 and Thursday, September 16. Hopefully you’ve all been vaccinated and can look forward to a small in-person breaking of the fast. If you don’t have plans yet, keep reading to find out your options for the High Holy Days this year! Keep in mind that because I’m based in Toronto my suggestions tend to focus on the city, but, in this virtual world, does it really matter?
High Holiday Services
The likely virtual nature of this year’s services means you have a wealth of options to choose from.
The Danforth Jewish Circle has announced they will be offering services and programs both online and in-person (outdoors). To attend, you must either be a member of their community or purchase tickets for individual services.
On the less expensive end, you can check out Secular Synagogue for a program that includes a service and a DIY package with an at-home guide. There’s also a Kids Activity Pack; handy for families.
Jews in ALL Hues is hosting their second annual Jews of Colour, Sephardi, Mizrahi-led High Holy Day services. They’ve expanded their offerings from last year and have programs for Yom Kippur, as well as children’s programming. This is free programming with the option to donate.
Your High Holiday options this year are near-unlimited so look around and find a service that works best for you.
If you’re the one cooking for the High Holidays, maybe you want to brush up on your kitchen skills and/or try to create some new dishes!
I highly recommend you join the Facebook group Jewish&, as they have a free program called Building the Jewish& Cookbook which takes place regularly. This program seeks to, “highlight dishes and stories from people in and of Jewish& (interfaith/multicultural/mixed heritage) homes, as a way of celebrating Jewish diversity and building community.” The workshops took a break over the summer but will resume in September over Zoom. If you’re interested in leading a workshop, you can sign up to do so here.
Learning & Reflection
When it comes to the High Holidays you might be the kind of person who prefers to reflect and look back on the year rather than revel in the celebrations. And guess what?! There’s something for you. #DoYou10Q offers you the chance to reflect on 5781 through a series of questions. People of all backgrounds are invited to join, and the questions are sent once a day during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Your answers can be as serious or as silly as you like, and once submitted they’ll stay locked up until 5783! Sounds like fun? Sign up here.
And let’s not forget an essential part of every Jewish holiday: learning. For those looking to touch-up on their knowledge of Jewish culture, Miles Nadal JCC offers Judaism 101— an intro to Judaism class for everyone. The eight classes delve into the foundational topics of Judaism, including Shabbat, the year cycle, synagogue, and spirituality. Judaism 101 is $200 and runs from mid-October to December.
If you’re somebody who likes to be active around the New Year and you’re not quite ready to head back to the gym, the Virtual J has you covered! You can find dozens and dozens of fitness and wellness classes all available for free on their website. After seeing how many options there are (pilates, yoga, boot camp and much more), you may actually want to head back to the gym and pay your monthly membership fees.
And with that, we’ve covered mind, body and spirit. Consider your High Holidays sorted. But lest we forget another important September holiday, Sukkot!
Head over to Facebook to learn more about 18Doors free upcoming event Our Big Tent: Sukkot for Diverse Jewish Couples & Families. Maybe it doesn’t need to be stated anymore, but it is virtual.
Okay, I think that’s enough holiday plans for now. Of course, don’t forget to get vaccinated; till next time!
Header image design by Orly Zebak.
Lara Bulger has a deep-rooted commitment to the arts. With a Bachelor’s degree in Music with minors in Film and English, plus a Master’s Degree in Arts Leadership, she is passionate about the capacity of art to bring about social change. Lara is currently pursuing her PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, focusing on documentary film and its social, political and cultural impacts.