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Or Haneshamah holds a variety of services and events for the High Holy Days and for the Jewish month of Tishrey. You can find details below and in the calendar listing for each event. Licensed childcare is available on the High Holy Days and engaging youth programming (more information coming soon), is offered on Rosh Hashanah morning and Yom Kippur. Unless otherwise noted, all services take place at 30 Cleary Ave.
To attend High Holy Day services as a visitor click the button below:
8:00 - 9:30 pm  Each Selihot, in preparation for the Days of Awe ahead, we consider what is important to us. Join us for an evening of stories and songs to inspire our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur experiences. Enjoy listening, writing, connecting and signing. The Salon will feature music, and texts written and read by members. Bring a sweet or savory snack to share, and an open heart. In Room 5.
6:00 - 7:00 pm  We greet 5780 on the eve of New Year together with a brief service of singing, inspirational messages, and the sweet taste of apples and honey. In Fellowship Hall.
9:30 am - 12:30 pm The first day of Rosh Hashanah begins with a morning service of song, prayer, torah and discussion led by Rabbi Liz along with members of the community. A highlight again this year will be members’ reflections on the three holy day themes Malhuyot/ sovereignty, Zihronot/ memory, and Shofarot/ calling, and the voices of our Instant Choir. There will be Machaneh/camp-inspired activities for school-age children, babysitting for toddlers, shofar, and our sumptuous pot-luck luncheon (sign-up below). In the Sanctuary. Childcare will be available from 9:30-12:30.
Youth Programming: Youth will join the community in the Sanctuary to start the morning then join our educator in Room 5 for fun and engaging Rosh Hashanah-related activities.


6:00 - 6:15 pm  Join in our havurah-style Tashlikh, the ritual casting off of the crumbs of our wrongdoings into the moving waters, down by the riverside (or, in our case, the canal). On the Rideau Canal Western Pathway, just south of the Pretoria Bridge. (Click her for Google Map location.) Click here for an inspiring video of a Tashlikh ceremony.

9:30 am - 11:30 pm  On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Liz leads an adult text study program that digs in deep to the themes of the season, using the Reconstructionist approach of examining texts through the civilizations. In Room 5.
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm  The evening of Yom Kippur begins with the lighting of Memorial candles (come early if you would like to light one) followed by the haunting melody of Kol Nidre, first offered on the cello by guest artist Thaddeus Morden, followed by three vocal renditions by Bronwyn Steinberg, Shira Weidenbaum, and Rabbi Liz Bolton. The service includes beautiful melodies offered by our Instant Choir, accompanied by Andrea Simms-Karp and Howard Kaplan. All are invited to join in the custon of wearing white garments and tallitot/prayer shawls, while (only) those who are able begin their fast from life-sustaining food and drink. In the Sanctuary. (Please note that we begin Kol Nidre service promptly with the instrumental rendition.) Childcare will be available from 5:45-8:30.

9:30 am - 1:30 pm  The morning of Yom Kippur continues the Awe-some themes of communal repentance and personal reflection. We pray, sing, listen to or offer the blessing or the chanting of Torah, engage in or witness the deep bowing of the Grand Aleynu, and recite the collective confessions that include the traditional phrases along with our own offerings. Babysitting for toddlers throughout the morning, as well as a program for school-age children with our educator, beginning at around 10:45 am. In the Sanctuary. Childcare will be available from 9:30-1:30.
Youth Programming: Youth will join the community in the Sanctuary to start the morning then join our educator in Room 5 for meaningful and engaging Yom Kippur-related activities.


4:45 pm - 7:15 pm  We reconvene for the afternoon Minhah Service with our alternative Torah reading by Jacki Langsner, the father-and-son chanting of the book of Jonah, along with a devar haftarah from Ben Sohmer exploring the notion of knowing the time of one’s death. Our participatory Avodah offering features a reflection by Sarah Waisvisz on a spiritual challenge from the High Holiday traditions. Both presentations will include opportunities to respond and engage. A brief musical bridge brings the classic Martyrology service into the present day, with the haunting song “Tree of Life,” accompanied by Howard Kaplan.  The Yizkor service follows at around 6:00 pm, as we honour the memories of our dear departed with quiet reflection and creative ritual. We conclude with Neilah, before the open ark or at our seats, and the final great blast of all the shofars, and the conclusion of our full day with havdallah. In the Sanctuary. We share a communal break-fast meal immediately following in Fellowship Hall. Childcare available from 4:30-7:15.

Youth Programming: Youth will join the community in the Sanctuary to the afternoon then join our educator in Room 5 for meaningful and engaging Yom Kippur-related activities.


The Tishrey festival events continue with:

Shabbat Sukkot - Saturday morning, October 19
Song, prayer and rituals in the Sukkah for all ages. In the yard outside room 5.

Simchat Torah celebration – Sunday evening, October 20
A joyous celebration of the Torah, including music, dancing and the dramatic unrolling of the entire scroll. In Fellowship Hall.


Wearing of Scented Products
Out of concern for our fellow members and guests who have chemical sensitivities, and out of respect for the commitment of the First Unitarian Congregation to ensure that the space we share be scent-free, we respectfully request that guests refrain from wearing scented products, such as perfume, cologne, and hair or body sprays, at High Holiday services, We appreciate your attention to this issue and for supporting our commitment to be an inclusive and welcoming community. 

Thu, August 6 2020 16 Av 5780