High Holy Days 2018

High Holy Day Schedule | Roll of Remembrance Book | Selichot | Rosh Hashanah Information | Yom Kippur Information | FAQ


High Holy Day Schedule

Selichot Service
Saturday, September 1 at 8:00pm

Erev Rosh Hashanah
Sunday, September 9

8:00pm Service; Following services, connect with with friends and our community at a special “Returning Together” Oneg

Rosh Hashanah
Monday, September 10
8:30am Contemporary Morning Service in Sanctuary
11:00am Classical Morning Service in Sanctuary
1:30pm Tashlich Ceremony at the Fairmount Water Works Gazebo (640 Waterworks Drive; please bring your own bread to throw in the river)
3:00pm Family Service in Sanctuary

Kol Nidre
Tuesday, September 18
6:00pm Contemporary Service in Sanctuary
8:15pm Classical Service in Sanctuary (Signing provided for people who are hard of hearing) 

Yom Kippur
Wednesday, September 19
8:30am Contemporary Morning Service in Sanctuary
11:00am Classical Morning Service in Sanctuary (Signing provided for people who are hard of hearing) 
1:30pm Family Service in Sanctuary
1:30pm Study Session with Rabbi Freedman
1:30pm Meditation Study: The Sanctity of Silence
3:00pm Afternoon Service in Sanctuary
4:00pm Yizkor/ Neilah Service in Sanctuary
Break-the-Fast following Neilah (concluding) Service (sponsored by the Jamison Fund)

Roll of Remembrance Book

In our annual Roll of Remembrance Book are the names of those who passed away this year and those with a Perpetual Memorial at Rodeph Shalom.

Click here to make a contribution and be a part of the 2018/5779 Rodeph Shalom Roll of Remembrance Book to include and honor the memory of loved ones in our annual Book (and who passed away in previous years).

The deadline is Friday, August 24. Contributions and names received later will be acknowledged in the RS Bulletin.

The Book will be available at Yizkor/Neilah (memorial/concluding) service on Wednesday, September 19 at 4:00pm. The names of all who passed away since last year’s High Holy Days will be read at this service.


Selichot Service
Saturday, September 1 at 8:00pm

Join us for the start of the High Holy Days for an evening of reflective prayer at a Selichot Service at 8:00pm. For our intimate and contemplative service, we invite congregants to bring a brief reading, poem or prayer to share out loud (under 200 words). Something from Jewish tradition, general spiritual tradition, or from your own heart, that would help prepare us for the High Holy Days, is welcome (but nothing is required).

Rosh Hashanah Information

Tashlich at Fairmount Water Works (640 Waterworks Drive)
Monday, September 10 at 1:30pm
Tashlich is a ceremony of casting breadcrumbs into moving waters, to symbolically cast away our sins or wrongdoings from the past year, and to improve and move forward in our lives. Please bring your own bread to throw into the river.

Yom Kippur Information

Food Drive on the Morning of Yom Kippur, September 19
Using the shopping bag distributed to you at the Contemporary and Classical Services on Rosh Hashanah morning, please bring non-perishable food items to Rodeph Shalom on Yom Kippur morning only. Your food donation supports PHILABUNDANCE. Thank you for continuing the tradition of tikkun olam at Rodeph Shalom.

Yom Kippur Meditation
Wednesday, September 19 at 1:30pm

The session will be led by Ben-Zion Friedman, who will discuss the science behind  the benefits of meditation. Ellen Poster will show how Jonah’s ordeal in the belly of the beast may be interpreted as a meditation on personal transformation, and Mel 'Moshe' Seligsohn will lead a guided practice. The curious and the experienced are welcome.

Yom Kippur Afternoon Study
Join Rabbi Eli Freedman on September 19 at 1:30pm

Wednesday, September 19, following Neilah (concluding) Service
Congregants are invited to gather in Teller Auditorium to Break-the-Fast. Thank you to the Jamison Fund for sponsoring the Break-the-Fast.


Types of Services:

  • Contemporary Services: Inspired by the world today, and led by clergy, instrumentalists, and Makheilah: The RS Choir, this multigenerational service encourages participation through its modern, accessible music.
  • Classical Services: Inspired by majestic music and the history of Rodeph Shalom, these services are led by our clergy, organist, and professional choir. Thank you to the Roberta Lee & D. Arthur Magaziner Music Memorial Fund for supporting our High Holy Day professional choir.
  • Services for Families With Children: Our 8:30am Contemporary Services, held on both Rosh Hashanah (Monday, September 10) and Yom Kippur (Wednesday, September 19), provide a comfortable setting for children of all ages. During the sermon, special activities tailored to tots and grade school children are available. The Afternoon Family Services for Rosh Hashanah at 3:00pm and Yom Kippur at 1:30pm are designed for non-readers through grade school age, and are open to members and non-members.

Ticket/Membership Information:

  • Membership Tickets/Name Badge & Guest Passes: High Holy Day Tickets/Name Badge will be mailed to members in good standing (see below). Guest passes will also be mailed.
  • Members in Good Standing: Congregants in good standing are those who have paid at least half of their membership commitment by the High Holy Days, and the other half by December 31, 2018, or have a payment plan in place. Requests for membership commitment help can be directed to Catherine Fischer at 267-930-7282 or [email protected].

High Holy Day Guest Pass Information:

  • Procedures for RS Congregants to Obtain Guest Passes: Requests for guest passes should be make in writing to the Congregation’s office and should include the name and address of your guests. A minimum contribution of $180 for each guest pass is requested. For security reasons, guest passes will not be issued at the door and must be obtained prior to the service.
  • For Out-of-Town Guests: Members may request guest passes for out-of-town guests. A contribution of $180 per guest pass for each out-of-town guest older than 26 is required.

  • Guest Pass Reciprocity: If you would like to bring guests for High Holy Day services who are members of another synagogue, please have them contact their home synagogue about providing reciprocity information. Reciprocity forms should be emailed Shelley Saunders at [email protected] or faxed to 215-627-1313 attn: Shelley Saunders. Please advise your guests to bring photo identification.

  • For Local Residents: Local residents who are interested in attending services must contact Alicia Broudy at 267-930-7286 or [email protected].
    Full-time students with a valid student ID do not require guest passes. Dependent parents of a member who reside with the member may receive complimentary guest passes. Members of the military may be admitted without guest passes by presenting evidence of their status at the door. No contribution is requested. We invite prospective members to come as our guests for one High Holy Day season. Prospective members should contact Alicia Broudy at 267-930-7286 or [email protected] for information about our congregation.

  • Adult Children of Members in Good Standing:
    We welcome with open arms adult children of RS members and hope that they can join us for the High Holy Days. Below are guidelines:
    • Adult children 26 years old and under do not require a High Holy Day pass and can join their family with a photo ID.
    • Adult children 27 years old and up, living out-of-town who belong to a synagogue can receive passes through reciprocity. Contact Shelley Saunders
    • Adult children 27 years old and up, living out-of-town and currently unaffiliated are asked to make a contribution of their choosing to RS. We are happy to work out the arrangements directly with your  child. Contact Catherine Fischer for more information.
    • Adult children 27 years old and up living in the Philadelphia area are invited to consider joining RS as Young Friends.

Getting to Rodeph Shalom during the High Holy Days:

  • Main entrance: The Green Street doors are the main entrance to Rodeph Shalom, and are fully accessible.  The adjacent Levitt Gershman Lobby is the central gathering point for our community. The Broad Street entrance is open to congregants with High Holy Day name badges/tickets.
  • Passenger drop off: Passengers can be dropped off at the main Green Street entrance (1339 Green Street) and proceed on-grade level throughout the fully accessible building

  • Parking Lot Access: Parking lot and drop off is available from either Mt. Vernon or Green Streets.

  • Accessible parking: Six easily accessible parking spaces are available adjacent (towards 13th Street) to the entrance. There are an additional two accessible parking spaces in the parking lot.

  • Access to the sanctuary: There are two ways to access the sanctuary: through a set of doors off of the east-west corridor (the Gushner Gallery) and through the Broad Street doors, adjacent to the Thalheimer Lobby. To minimize disruption, once Services have begun, entry is restricted to the Thalheimer Lobby.

Please note...

  • Security Information: Please bring your photo ID to services with your High Holy Day badges/tickets. Arrive at least a half-hour early for services, in light of the extra time often needed to enter the sanctuary.
  • Hearing Devices: Assistive hearing devices are available. To reserve one, call the main office at 215-627-6747.
  • Caring Community ReSpectAbility in Services: Inclusion with our Rodeph Shalom family is integral to our mission of creating profound connections. To this end, please consider these actions:
      1)  Offer your aisle seat to congregants who require accommodation for wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or other needs.
      2)  Help clear the path for members who require accommodation during the post services “crush” at exits.
      3)  Give priority use of the restroom behind the security desk to those with mobility needs.
    The Caring Community group will distribute assistive audio devices and answer questions regarding special requests for accommodation. If you have ideas on how we can become more inclusive, contact Betsy Fiebach.