Yom Kippur

Our Kol Nidre service is on Friday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Our Yom Kippur services are on Saturday, September 30, 2017
9:30 a.m. Children’s service; 10:30 a.m. Main service
Tickets are available for purchase HERE

“The service was very uplifting, unmistakably Jewish, minus the religious ritual and obligations.  It really was the first time in my life that I actually enjoyed a Yom Kippur service and never once looked at my watch!”  (Anita Shalit, First-time visitor to Machar)

With the Yom Kippur evening and morning ceremonies, Humanistic Jews culminate their self-examination begun on Rosh Hashanah. We make Yom Kippur a time of self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others.

Eve Gleichman playing the instrumental version of the Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur 2012.

Eve Gleichman playing the instrumental version of the Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur 2012.

We believe that the historic text, which excuses Jews from carrying out vows not sincerely made, is unacceptable to Humanistic Jews. Since the traditional melody of Kol Nidre is powerful and culturally significant, we include an instrumental version in our service.  We also listen to the traditional prayer, followed by a text adapted to reflect our humanistic obligation to keep all promises made in a spirit of justice and caring.  In keeping with Jewish tradition, we include in our ceremonies a memorial, which Humanistic Jews call the Nizkor, “Let us remember.”  A Nizkor affirms that human beings preserve the memory of the dead.

At Yom Kippur we bring food to donate to a local food bank representing food not eaten by those who choose to fast for that day.  On Yom Kippur morning, we have a Children’s Service prior to the Main service.  We sometimes include in our Main service a talk by one of our members.  Both Yom Kippur services are held at Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda.

Machar Kol Nidre Liturgy

Machar Yom Kippur Liturgy

“Loss, Life and Change” a talk by Machar member Stephen Cohen Kol Nidre 2016

“What do we talk about when we talk about community?” a talk by Machar member Michal Freedman Yom Kippur 2016

“Keeping at it: Yom Kippur lessons from animal protection work and life”  a talk by Machar member Mimi Brody, Yom Kippur 2015

“Living Authentic Lives,” a talk by Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Yom Kippur 2013

Walls, a talk by Guest Rabbi Jeff Falick, Kol Nidre 2012

Marshmallows and a Growth Mindset, a talk by Abigail Smith, Yom Kippur 2012