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High Holy Days 2021 | 5782 Leadership Message

Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison (left) and Beth Am President Jay Hirsh (right)

Dear Friends, 

We are on the verge of celebrating the New Year of 5782 and of beginning Aseret Yamei Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance. The core of the Hebrew word for “repentance,” teshuvah, is the word shuv, meaning, “return.” In many ways the High Holy Days at Beth Am will be a wonderful experience of return and renewal: a return to our campus for most of our services, enriched by beautiful music, the spirit and commitment of our members, and our genuine care for one another.

This is the season of return, but it is also the season of change. As much as the upcoming High Holy Days at Beth Am will be similar to past years, they will also be different. Perhaps the biggest change will be the experience of coming home to our campus for the High Holy Days, after a period of twenty-five years(!). The clergy are excited to sing, pray and study with you outdoors on our campus, and at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.

Evening Services: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) evening services will be streamed online with no in-person attendance. Our Tot Service each evening (@5:00 PM) will occur in person in our Outdoor Chapel and will also be streamed online.

Morning Services: Early and Late Shifts for outdoor services on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. You have the opportunity to choose which services you’d like to attend in person and/or livestream. We will all come together for the afternoon service on Yom Kippur in a single service — in person and livestreamed.

Parking: We have secured overflow parking across the street from Beth Am at Stanford medical offices located at 1050/1070 Arastradero Road. There will be a golf cart shuttle to our campus. Please give yourself a little extra time to park. We encourage you to carpool.

Family Services at Mitchell Park: We are excited to offer this new experience for families with children in grades 2-7 on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Most everything else will be very much the same: prayer to move us to spiritual introspection and repentance punctuated by blasts of the shofar; our emotions stirred by music led by our cantor; congregant participation; thought-provoking sermons; and study sessions led (online) by our members on Yom Kippur.

As excited as we are to avail ourselves of the opportunity to gather in person this year for the High Holy Days, we acknowledge that the public health situation is fluid, and everyone must make their own assessment of how and where to participate. We are offering high-quality livestream participation, through our website ( and YouTube channel (

We continue to monitor federal and local guidance about ways to mitigate the risk to our community. Given the current COVID case situation and mask mandate, we have decided that everyone who is eligible is required to be vaccinated in order to attend services in person, and everyone will be required to wear a mask on campus.

We look forward to sharing these meaningful days with all of you, and send warmest wishes for a healthy and peaceful New Year.

Shanah tovah u’metukah! May you have a good and sweet new year!

Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison

Beth Am President Jay Hirsh


Learn more about High Holy Days 2021 with Beth Am.

Tue, September 21 2021 15 Tishrei 5782