High Holidays






“Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it’s all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others.” Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are meaningful, complicated, humbling, awe-inspiring holidays.  Come to one or more of our classes specifically designed to further your understanding of these days or to help you celebrate in alternative ways.  


Understanding the Rosh Hashanah Service

Sunday, September 17

From 10 am to 12 noon

Rabbi Carl Perkins

Registration preferred by not required.  Click here to register.

Do Rosh Hashanah services sometimes feel like they just drag on, with endless pages of randomly gathered prayers?  If so, this workshop is for you!  In this one session class, you will have the chance to discover and explore the meaning of the arrangement of the services, along with the beauty of the liturgy and prayers.  Come unpack the structure of the Rosh Hashanah services - and make sense of the service!  Learn how the prayers connect to and build upon one another and discover how some of the best-known prayers express central themes of this important holiday.  Co-Sponsored with Mercaz Aliyah.


Kicking Off with Kol Nidre: The History, Music, and Controversy of the Kol Nidre Prayer

Sunday, September 24 (rescheduled from September 16), from 10:00 am - 12 noon

Cantor Jamie Gloth

Registration preferred by not required.  Click here to register.

Kol Nidrei:  A poignant, evocative, and melancholic melody that for many symbolizes the power of the High Holiday services.  In this class, taking place just prior to Selichot services, Cantor Jamie Gloth will explore the origins of this iconic Yom Kippur prayer, its haunting tune, and the controversy that has surrounded it for centuries.  Join the congregation for Selichot services immediately following this thought provoking session.  Co-Sponsored Ritual Committee.


High Holiday Torah Discussion and Personal Reflections: Expressions of Loss, Hope, and Renewal

Rosh Hashanah, September 21 (Day One), from 9:00 - 10:00 am

Harvey Shapiro

Three short tales illuminate the meaning of the High Holidays.  One is based on a biblical story of the shofar’s ironic lament for an enemy’s loss.  Another is Yehuda Leib Peretz’s nineteenth century Yiddish tale of a mysterious ascent.   And a third is Yehudah Amichai’s short Hebrew poem of a paradoxical relationship between the Holy Ark and an Arab market storefront on the first Yom Kippur following the Six-Day War (1967).   Come learn these stories and explore their timeless expressions of loss, hope, and renewal and discuss how these expressions relate to the Days of Awe.


Rosh Hashanah Meditation

Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

From 8:15 to 9:00 am

Naomi Litrownik

For further information, contact Naomi at [email protected].

One of the challenges of attending the High Holiday services is being fully present in a meaningful and peaceful way.  This alternative service helps you center yourself and be ever more present during the second day of Rosh Hashanah, perhaps even enabling you to find deeper meaning in this important day.  This class is timed so that participants can join the congregation during the Torah service in reserved seats.


Yom Kippur and Models of Leadership

Yom Kippur

From 3:30 to 4:30 pm

David Bernat, Ph.D.

What qualities make an ideal leader?  This question goes to the heart of the High Holiday experience in a way that is both inward and outward facing.  We recite prayers that highlight God's kingship, both powerful and compassionate, and, at the same time, engage in rigorous self-reflection concerning our individual abilities to lead.  This ancient question of the makings of a good leader are particularly relevant at this time in our country, where defining good leadership appears at the front and center of our political discourse.  This session will examine some key sources from the Tanakh and Rabbinic Literature to explore the matter of leadership. 






Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!

Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.  With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.

Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members.  Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.    

Not a member?  We invite your family to join our family!

Join Us

Did you know...?

In our Adult Ed programs, you can learn from a professional actor, a neuropyschologist or the great grandson of Sholom Aleichem right here at Temple Aliyah for free? They are among the 27 Adult Education lecturers offering a variety of learning opportunities at the synagogue. Find out more about Adult Ed at Temple Aliyah by visiting the Adult Ed page.

Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!

If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].

Shabbat and Weekday Services


Shabbat Morning Services  9:15 am
Sunday Morning Minyan* 9:00 am
Monday Morning Minyan   7:00 am
Weekday Evening Minyan 7:30 pm

* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education.  Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.

Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2018-19.