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Shana Tova 5782

High Holiday services* 5782 – a mix of in-person and online

Synagogues are once again planning the High Holidays around the Covid-19 pandemic.

While some congregations were tentatively hoping Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services this year could be held safely indoors like the old days, The Delta Variant and a rise in new Covid cases has made that unlikely.

Here is a look at some of the High Holiday schedules and policies of our location congregations. 

(Please check the website of any congregation not listed here for their dates and policies.)


1100 Dickinson St., Springfield
(413) 736-3619

Sinai Temple in Springfield will hold in-person and virtual High Holiday services. The in-person services will involve COVID 19 mitigation measures and, therefore, will be only open to members and require that everyone be masked at all services. In addition, members need to register for each of the services in order to limit the numbers so that social distancing can occur. For those who are uncomfortable attending in-person services and non-members, virtual services are available through a link on the Sinai Temple Web site, www.sinaitemple.shulcloud.com. 

In order to accommodate those attending services with social distancing on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings, Sinai will hold two services, one at 9-10:30 a.m. and the second from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Other services are Rosh Hashanah evening at 8 p.m.; Kol Nidre at 8 p.m.; and Yom Kippur afternoon at 3-6:30 p.m. 

For more details about dates and times, visit the Sinai Temple Web site.


15 Jamesbury Drive, Worcester
(508) 756-6204

The High Holy Days are right around the corner, and we are looking forward to seeing you again as we join in prayer, song, and reflection about the difficult year behind us and hopes for a better, healthier year ahead. Our commitment to pikuach nefesh—protecting human life—is our highest priority. 

Due to the rise in COVID cases and increased transmission risks of the Delta variant locally, nationally, and around the globe, we are requiring pre-registration for all High Holy Day services, based on best practices advice from our Medical Task Force. The health and safety of our community members are our most important considerations. Registration will enable us to better plan for seating and other logistics. To register, fill out the form here or call the office to register over the phone.

For a list of CBI’s COVID precautions, please visit www.bethisraelworc.org/rosh-hashana-5782.html

All services are multi-access unless otherwise noted – i.e. both in person and Zoom.  In person attendance requires pre-registration.  Zoom links will be provided to those who contact the office ahead of time. 

Service schedule:

Selichot, Aug. 28
Shabbat ends at 8:18 p.m.
Participants will be joining the Rabbinical Assembly’s online Selichot program.
The program runs from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will be available on the Rabbinical Assembly YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/RabbiAssembly). 
For a direct link, call the temple office.

Rosh Hashanah Sept. 6-8
All services multi-access except where specified Zoom only.  

Monday, Sept. 6
Erev Rosh Hashaah Service 6 p.m.
Candle Lighting 6:55 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 7
Shachari 9 a.m
Babysitting Room Opens 9 a.m.
Family and Children’s Service 10:30 a.m. (In Person Only)
Neighborhood Shofar Blowing 3 p.m.
Tashlich (11 Rollingwood Drive) 4:30 p.m.
Erev Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Service 6 p.m.
Candle Lighting 7:56 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 8
Shachari 9 a.m
Babysitting Room Opens 9 a.m.
Family and Children’s Service 10:30 a.m. (In Person Only)
Evening Service (Zoom only) 8 p.m.
Havdalah/End of Rosh Hashanah 8 p.m.
Yom Kippur, Sept. 15-16
All multi-access

Tuesday, September 15
Mincha 6:15 p.m
Babysitting Room Opens 6:30 p.m.
Candle Lighting 6:36 p.m.
Kol Nidrei  6:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 16
Shacharit 9 a.m
Babysitting Room Opens 9 a.m.
Family and Children’s Service 10:30 a.m. (In Person Only)
Yizkor approximately 10:45 a.m.
Mincha (including Jonah) 5:30 p.m.
Neilah 6:45 p.m.
Tekiyah Gedolah followed by
Maariv and Havdalah :46 p.m.

A special shofar-in-the-neighborhoods program is planned. Shofar blowers will go to a number of neighborhoods in Worcester and neighboring towns so people who cannot come to shul can safely fulfill the mitzvah of hearing the Shofar.

(Plans to have babysitting for younger children (5 and under) and Family/children’s services for the older ones, may change.) 


450 South St., Pittsfield
(413) 499-9899

In anticipation of the upcoming Jewish New Year, Chabad of the Berkshires has announced its High Holiday Services schedule. They will be “Warm, friendly, traditional and inspirational,” says Sara Volovik, Chabad’s co-director. Services will be held on the outdoor property of Chabad of the Berkshires, 450 South St., in Pittsfield.

Membership is not required to join Chabad’s services; However, RSVP is required. All are welcome, regardless of background or affiliation.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, space is limited and seats must be set according to social distancing regulations. Family members from the same household will be able to sit together. All others will remain three feet apart.

All prayers will combine the original Hebrew, as well as translated English.

“According to Tradition, at the New Year the Doors of Heaven are open; G-d accepts all prayers, from anyone,” explains Rabbi Levi Volovik.  “The least we can do is open our doors as well, to the entire community.”

All are welcome, regardless of background or affiliation free of charge. Please reserve on line www.Jewishberkshires.com or call (413) 499-9899.

Rosh Hashanah
Monday, Sept. 6
Evening service 6:45 p.m.
Dinner 7 p.m.*

Sept. 7 & 8
Tuesday & Wednesday
Morning Service 10 a.m
Shofar Blowing, 11 a.m.

Yom Kippur
Wednesday, Sept. 15
Kol Nidrei Evening Service 6:45 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 16
Morning Service 10 a.m.
Yizkor 11:30 a.m.
Mincha and Neilah 5 p.m.
Breakfast Kiddush after Neilah
All our welcome! 


117 East Main St., Westborough
(508) 366-7191, ext. 202

Congregation B’nai Shalom, 117 East Main Street in Westborough, is holding services for the High Holy Days on a modified schedule which will be updated as the situation with Covid continues to change. Current plans are for indoor services limited to fully vaccinated individuals who reside in Massachusetts, with outdoor options available for families with those unable to receive the vaccine.

Full information is available at High Holy Days 5782 – Congregation Bnai Shalom, with a registration for guests at https://www.cbnaishalom.org/form/hhdguests, and to join us by livestream at https://www.cbnaishalom.org/form/hhd-livestream. Registration is subject to capacity limitations.

For more information, call (508) 366-7191, ext. 202.


55 Western Ave., Westfield
(413) 642-1797

Congregation Ahavath Achim, Westfield will hold High Holiday services at The Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center, Westfield State University, 55 Western Ave., in Westfield.

Masks will be required for services and an online service is planned as well. Updated information will be posted on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AhavasAchimWestfield; or for more information, visit www.congregationahavasachim.org, email at ahavasachiminquiry@gmail.com, or call
(413) 642-1797.

Service schedule

Rosh Hashanah Evening Service
Monday, 9/6/21 7:15 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Morning Service
Tuesday, 9/7/21 10 a.m.

Yom Kippur Evening Service
Wednesday, 9/15/21 7:15 p.m.

Yom Kippur Morning Service
Thursday, 9/16/21 10 a.m. 

Yom Kippur Closing Service
Thursday, 9/16/21 5 p.m.


661 Salisbury St., Worcester
(508) 755-1257

Temple Emanuel Sinai is currently planning to hold in-person High Holiday services as well as live-stream services. Masks will be required for all in-person attendees. Vaccination required for all in-person attendees over the age of 12. The 9 a.m. “Family” service will be held outdoors and is for families with children 12 or younger. Children 12 or younger will not be allowed at the other services due to vaccination challenges.

Service schedule:

Selichot Service: 
Saturday, Aug. 28 7:30 p.m.


Erev Rosh Hashanah
Monday, Sept. 6 7:30 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Families Service:
Tuesday, Sept. 7 9 a.m. (Outdoors)

Rosh Hashanah Main Service
Tuesday, Sept. 7 11 a.m.

Rosh Hashanah 2nd Day Service
Wednesday, Sept. 8 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 8, immediately following 2nd Day service

Shabbat Shuva
Friday, Sept. 19 6:30 p.m.


Kol Nidre
Wednesday, September 15 7:30 – 9:00pm

Yom Kippur Day
Thursday, September 16

Yom Kippur Families Service 9:00 am (Outdoors)

Yom Kippur Main Service 11 a.m.

Healing Service: immediately following Main Service (estimated 11:45)

*Study Sessions 2 p.m.


Afternoon Service 4 p.m.
Yizkor/Memorial Service 5:15 p.m.
Ne’ilah/Concluding Service 6 p.m.

Erev Sukkot Service
Monday, Sept. 20 6:30 p.m.

Erev Simchat Torah Service
Monday, Sept. 27 6:30 p.m.
Festival Morning Service and Yizkor
Tuesday, Sept. 28 10:30 a.m.


1148 Converse St., Longmeadow
(413) 530-7923

LYA will hold indoor Rosh Hashanah services inside on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and Wednesday, Sept. 8. Services begin at 9 a.m. with shofar blowing at 11 a.m. A special Children’s Program will begin at 10 a.m. For more information
or to reserve a space please call or text (413) 530-7923.

In addition to the regular service, LYA will hold a special family service outdoors on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. at Turner Pond in Longmeadow. This interactive service will include shofar blowing and Tashlich. There will be a special program including snacks and games, sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

To make your reservation, call or text
(413) 348-4978.

 LYA will hold an outdoor shofar blowing on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. at the school. 

If you are in need to borrow a machzor, (prayer book), contact Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky at (413) 530-7923. We have mazchorim in Hebrew, English and Russian. There are no membership fees to attend.

Order a Taste of Rosh Hashanah bag for your family. Enjoy home-made challah, chicken soup, sweet kugel and apple cake. Curbside pick-up is available on Monday, Sept. 6 from 10-11 a.m. at LYA. Orders must be placed by Wednesday, Sept. 1. Suggested donation is $10 a bag. Call or text (413) 348-4978 to place your order.

*Schedules may change. 

Please contact your synagogue for updated information closer to the holiday.


Lessening the labor of Labor Day Rosh Hashanah

By Ethel G. Hofmann

(JNS) I know, I know; it’s summer! Must we think of all the cooking now? With the sun beating down, camp finishing up and vacations still in the works, and long evenings to sit outside and drink something cool, it doesn’t seem like fall schedules are around the corner.

Who’s ready for packing book bags and lunches? Well, some of us, of course—the ones who were home last year as children grappled with Zoom classes and being indoors too much of the time. In many parts of the country, this year looks much more promising as schools are open and services are slated to go, with the benefit of the warm weather making outside gatherings possible and comfortable. Maybe a bit warm, but better that than bundling up for Rosh Hashanah.

This year, the holiday starts the evening of Sept. 6—on Labor Day itself in the United States—and lasts through the evening of Sept. 8.

With the tastes of summer lingering on our palates, make the menu fresh, local and lighter than the traditional brisket and kugels. For inspiration, I pulled out works that long ago were my culinary bibles: The Settlement Cookbook and anything by Betty Crocker. I flipped through old cookbooks by my foodie colleagues, Claudia Roden in the United Kingdom and Phyllis Glazer in Israel. I pulled out half a dozen of my own books (recipes tested and true) and reread, with awe, my food columns going back to when I was Philadelphia’s “Instant Gourmet.”

Back in the kitchen, I adapted old favorites—lively flavors reminiscent of overseas travels along with the variety of fresh fruits and veggies still abundant in an Indian summer. At a taste-testing supper, each dish received resounding accolades. With Ben’s Mint Refresher (the fizzy drink is cooling and palate-clearing), Chicken Masala (simmered in a mellow coconut-ginger sauce; if frozen, you may need to add more fresh ginger to the thawed dish), Sweet Potato and Squash Tzimmes (not a carrot in sight; best made one to two days ahead of time and kept in the fridge) and Josie’s Plum Kuchen (melted margarine is blended with vinegar, flour and a little sugar; no need to roll) the hands-down favorites. The Mint Refresher and the Plum Kuchen are easy enough to prepare at a vacation house; then pack in a cooler and transport them home. Just add seltzer to the mint “muddle” to serve.

The recipe for Oma’s Noodles and Blueberries came from my late husband’s grandmother, a German-Jewish summer dish and simple to put together at the last minute. And for non-meat-eaters, nothing could be easier than the salmon recipe. Make one to two days ahead, or cook same day and chill; it’s a standby for quick supper anytime.

Anne, my sister-in-law, a good cook in her own right, will sandwich the crisp Mocha Meringues with Nutella, while I opt for vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt. And the bonus recipe: Best-Ever Honey Cake. A triple infusion of honey, molasses and brown sugar, along with canned pumpkin, gives this cake a moist, rich syrupiness—guaranteed to become a traditional holiday favorite.

L’Shanah Tovah—to a sweet, joyous and healthy New Year!

Ben’s Mint Refresher
Chicken Masala
Sweet Potato and Squash Tzimmes
Oma’s Noodles and Blueberries
Simple Salmon
Plum Kuchen
Mocha Hazelnut Meringues
Bonus Recipe: Best-Ever Honey Cake

Ben’s Mint Refresher (Pareve) Serves 6

Cook’s Tips:
*Make Herb Refresher. Combine equal quantities, fresh basil and mint.
*Simple syrup may be made ahead of time. Extra may be refrigerated for three weeks.
*To muddle ingredients means pressing ingredients against the side of a container to release flavors.

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
4 to 5 sprigs mint, coarsely snipped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bottle (about 1 quart) seltzer

In a small saucepan, stir sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl.
Add the mint, cover and steep for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Add the lime juice to the cooled syrup mixture. “Muddle” the mint to release flavor.
To assemble: Just before serving, stir in the seltzer. Pour over ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of lime.

Chicken Masala (Meat)

Adapted from a recipe in Claudia Roden’s “Book of Jewish Food.”
Serves 6-8

Cook’s Tips:
*Substitute cumin for turmeric. You’ll get the flavor but not the yellowish-orange color.
*Don’t worry if coconut milk appears curdled. Tiny flakes of coconut all but disappear in cooking.
*If chicken breasts are large and thick, cut in half.
*Make ahead, cover tightly and freeze.

2 large onions, coarsely chopped (in processor)
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
2½-inch piece ginger root, grated on the coarse side of a grater
2 teaspoons turmeric
6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (about 2½-3 pounds)
freshly ground pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound little potatoes, quartered
1 can (13 to 14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
water to cover
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup water
¼ cup each of cashews and raisins
¼ cup snipped fresh parsley (optional)

Sauté onions over low heat until soft and golden. Stir in garlic, ginger and turmeric.
Sprinkle the chicken with pepper. Add to the onion mixture. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat, turning occasionally. Add salt, potatoes, coconut milk, cinnamon and enough water to barely cover (1 cup or less).
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Mix cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water to a smooth paste. Stir into the chicken mixture.
Simmer 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Adjust seasoning with pepper and salt.
Stir in the cashews and raisins.
Serve with hot rice, spiked with snipped fresh parsley (optional).

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Tzimmes (Pareve) Serves 6-8

Cook’s Tips:
*Buy squash from the market already cut up.
*Chinese Five spice is usually a combination of cinnamon, fennel, anise, cloves and pepper. You can substitute ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon, ground cloves and pepper instead.
*Refrigerate 2-3 days ahead of time. Do not freeze.

1 pound butternut squash, cut in ½-inch pieces
3 sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds, cooked
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into coarse 1-inch chunks
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, halved
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
¼ cup honey, warmed
¾ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Place squash in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook on High for 3 minutes. Drain.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut in ½-inch slices.
Place the sweet potatoes, squash, apple, cranberries and apricots in a prepared baking dish. Add the orange juice, margarine and honey.
Sprinkle with Chinese Five spice. Stir gently to mix.
Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered, for 15 minutes longer or until bubbly.
Serve hot.

Oma’s Noodles and Blueberries (Pareve) Serves 6

Cook’s Tips:
*For blueberries, substitute diced blue plums or a pinch of raisins and salted walnuts.
*Rinse and drain blueberries before use. Pat dry with paper towels.
*To liquefy honey: Set the container in a bowl of hot water for three to four minutes. Do not try to microwave honey in a plastic bottle.

12 ounces medium egg noodles
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
While noodles are cooking, in a small saucepan, mix honey, lemon juice, blueberries and 3 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Immediately remove from heat. In a large bowl, toss hot noodles with margarine. Pour blueberry mixture over top. Serve hot.

Plum Kuchen (Pareve) Serves 8-10

Cook’s Tips:
*Substitute butter for margarine if making a dairy dish.

1 stick (4 ounces) margarine, melted
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
¼ cups, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups, plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pound plums, pitted and quartered
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix the margarine and vinegar.
Blend in 2 tablespoons sugar and 1¼ cups flour to make a smooth dough. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch pie plate. Prick all over with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, ⅔ cup sugar and cinnamon. Add plums and toss to coat. Arrange plums, cut-side up, on top of the dough to cover. Sprinkle any remaining flour mixture over the plums. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of water. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until pastry is golden at the edges. Cool before cutting into wedges.

Simple Salmon (Pareve) Serves 4

Cook’s Tips:
*Any other fish, such as haddock or cod, may be substituted.
*May prepare one to two days ahead of time and refrigerated.

Boiling water
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ small onion, sliced thinly
1 to 2 bay leaves
4 (4- to 5-ounces each) salmon steaks, ½- to ¾-inch thick

Pour about 1-inch boiling water into a large heavy skillet. Add vinegar, onion and bay leaves. Arrange salmon on top in a single layer. Add more water to almost cover if needed. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until salmon is opaque when flakes are separated with a knife. With a wide spatula, transfer salmon to a serving dish. Pour a little liquid around to keep it moist. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.

Mocha Hazelnut Meringues (Pareve) Makes 15-18

 Cook’s Tips:
*Substitute flaked coconut or other nuts, such as walnuts, for hazelnuts.
*Bring egg whites to room temperature before whipping. Cold whites won’t whip up well.

3 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar, ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold in the cocoa and coffee, then hazelnuts. Drop by heaped tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours. Turn off the oven. Leave in oven overnight without opening door. No peeking. Transfer to wire rack. Let stand one to two hours. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Best-Ever Honey Cake (Pareve)

Makes 1 average loaf (approximately 8×4 inches), plus 3 mini-loaves, or bake in a Bundt pan to serve 15 to 18 people.

Cook’s Tips:
*All-purpose white flour may be used instead of a mixture of whole-wheat and white flours
*Use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin-pie mix.
*Substitute 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and ¾ teaspoon cloves for Chinese Five Spice.
*Can use dried cranberries instead of raisins.

4 eggs
½ cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
¾ cup molasses
½ cup honey, warmed
1 cup dark-brown sugar
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pans or Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. In a large bowl, beat eggs and water to blend. Add remaining wet ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the brown sugar and flours, about ½ cup at a time. Add the baking soda and spices with the last ½ cup of flour. Fold in raisins. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mini-loaves will bake in 35 minutes or so. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Loosen edges by running a knife around. Turn onto a wire tray to cool completely. To freeze: Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.

Ethel G. Hofman is a widely syndicated American Jewish food and travel columnist, author and culinary consultant.

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