Sign In Forgot Password

North Shore Temple Emanuel

a Progressive Jewish Congregation

High Holy Days Together@Home Communications

Email sent to NSTE members 1 September, 2020

With the High Holy Days just around the corner, our clergy, staff and volunteers are hard at work to create an awesome and awe filled experience including over 35 choral pieces and other musical interludes (developed with strict adherence to government health and safety requirements), inspiring sermons, family services and many other ways to inspire your spiritual journey. This email includes a lot of very important information so please read it carefully.

Register now (if you haven’t already)

As previously noted, you must register in advance (by 9 September) if you wish to attend the High Holy Days Together@Home services. On or around 10 September, unique access links will be sent to each member who has registered, so please ensure that you have registered before that date by clicking here.

To avoid disappointment, please register as soon as possible and no later than on 9 September and please also reach out to any family or friends who might need assistance.

Need Support?

We understand that some of our members are less confident with using technology and we are keen to ensure that this does not become a barrier to their participation in services this year.  

If you know someone who may require assistance or if you need assistance yourself, please either email info@nste.org.au or call our office on (02) 9419 7011 by 8 September.

Service Times 

Click here to find the schedule for all the High Holy Day Services, including Family Services. We recommend that you print this out and keep it somewhere safe for reference.

Opportunity to Shmooze

One of the informal pleasures of the High Holy Days is the opportunity to meet with other members of the community, catch up on recent life events and wish each other “Shana Tova” before services. Whilst it is not possible to do so face to face this year, our technical team have developed a Together@Home Foyer.  

When you login to High Holy Days Together@Home via your unique link, you will be presented with a list of the services and activities on that day. Simply click on your selection and, if the service has begun, you will be taken straight to it.  

However, if you arrive a little before the service has begun, you will be taken to the Together@Home Foyer where you will be able post greetings and other messages to each other and enjoy a few other surprises that we hope you will enjoy as well. When the service commences, you will automatically be “ushered in” from the Foyer.

Would You Like to Hear the Shofar Live?

It is, of course, a mitzvah to hear the sound of the Shofar during the High Holy Days. Sounding of the shofar will be broadcast as part of the service, however, for those who wish to hear the shofar “in person,” please email us at info@nste.org.au before 10 September and we will endeavour to make arrangements for you to experience a live, Covid-safe shofar sounding.

Machzor (High Holy Day Prayer Books) Purchasing and Borrowing

This year we will be using the new Mishkan T’shuvah machzor. Online access will be free of charge this year here, however, if you would like to purchase your own two volume hard copy for $80 (for the set), please click here (by 14 September at the latest).

A few members have asked if it is possible to borrow copies of the machzor. We have a limited number of copies available to borrow subject to a deposit and a small COVID safety handling fee. For details, please click here (borrowing closes on 10 September, last pick up from the office is on 11 September or from the NSTE carpark "drive-through" on 13 September).

Hazkarah - Yom Kippur Remembrance Book

Each year at this time, we compile a special Memorial List containing the names of our dear ones who are deceased. This list is placed in the Aron Kodesh during the Yom Kippur Yizkor service and will be made available to all members. If you would like the names of your loved ones to be included, please click here and complete the online form no later than 22 September.

During the Yizkor service, we will also place a stone next to all of the names listed in perpetuity on the NSTE Yahrzeit board in our sanctuary foyer. If you would like to add a name to the board please either email info@nste.org.au or call our office on (02) 9419 7011 before 4 September.

For those who have registered, we will write to you again to provide your unique Together@Home access link on or around 10 September. If you have not yet registered, I urge you to do so as soon as possible.

Best wishes for a meaningful and reflective Elul,

Gwen Harrison
President


Email sent to non-NSTE members 24 August, 2020

As we approach the High Holy Days, the board and rabbis of North Shore Temple Emanuel have grappled with how to facilitate community High Holy Day worship in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this extraordinary year that has been so challenging for so many in our community, we aspire for NSTE’s High Holy Day services to be:

  • Inclusive - everyone must be able to attend,
  • Engaging - everyone must be able to feel involved in the service with opportunities to participate, and
  • Uplifting - we see music and song as central to this. 
  • Accordingly, we feel that the best way for us to offer meaningful services for these High Holy Days, 5781, is through an interactive, online High Holy Days Together@Home series of services.

WHAT ARE HIGH HOLY DAYS TOGETHER@HOME?

We have a large and highly dedicated team working on making this year's services both memorable and profound. The details are still being worked on, however, we assure you that NSTE’s High Holy Days Together@Home will be much more than simply a video streamed service.  
It promises to provide an engaging and interactive experience. We envisage, for example:

  • When we light candles or dip apples into honey, members of the community will be able to do so together, sharing the experience.
  • Our choir will “come together” as one on your screen from their living rooms to yours
  • Honourees will come “up” for an aliyah and chant the Torah blessings, and receive the rabbi’s blessing, in real time.
  • Parts of the service will run live from the sanctuary and others will involve prerecorded special guests and footage . . . all seamlessly blended into a moving and unforgettable experience.

This video gives a small taste of what to expect - click HERE to view. 

REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND

For security reasons, all attendees must register in advance. You will be requested to contribute towards the considerable costs associated with delivering the High Holy Days Together@Home, however, in recognition of the financial challenges faced by many in these times, contribution is based on what you can afford.

If you are asked to create a password, please do so and keep a record of the password for later reference. This password, together with your email address, will be your NSTE login. 

HOW TO REGISTER?

To register, simply click HERE, fill in the short form and make your payment. Please register by no later than 31 August 2020.  

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once you have registered you will receive an email confirming your interest to attend.  If you do not, please check your “junk” mail box and add the NSTE email address to your “safe sender list”. If you need help please contact info@nste.org.au

Around one week before Rosh Hashanah (i.e. around 10 September), you will receive an email with your link to access the services. For security reasons, please do not share the link. As soon as you receive the link, you will be able to test it and we encourage everyone to do so.

WHAT IF YOU MISPLACE THE LINK? CAN YOU STILL ACCESS THE SERVICES?

Yes - as long as you have your email and password, you will be able to log in through the NSTE website. 

MACHZOR (HIGH HOLY DAY PRAYER BOOKS)

This year we will be using the new Mishkan T’shuvah Machzor. Online access will be free of charge this year HERE, however, if you would like to purchase your own two volume hard copy for $80 (for the set), please click HERE or call the office on 02 9419 7011 as soon as possible.

Best wishes,

Gwen Harrison
President


Email sent to NSTE members 20 August, 2020

As we approach the High Holy Days, our team is hard at work preparing for a meaningful and uplifting experience which we look forward to sharing with you. You must register in advance if you wish to attend the High Holy Days Together@Home services and we are pleased to advise that registrations are now open.

HOW TO REGISTER?

To register, simply click HERE and fill in the short form. Please register as soon as possible and by no later than 31 August 2020.

If you are asked to create a password, please do so and keep a record of the password for later reference. This password, together with your email address, will be your NSTE login. 

Access will be provided to financial members. If your membership fees for this year are outstanding, please contact the office as soon as possible. 

NEED HELP?

If you need help please contact info@nste.org.au.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once you have registered you will receive an automatic email confirmation. If you do not, please check your “junk” mail box and add the NSTE email address to your “safe sender list”. If you need help please contact info@nste.org.au

Around one week before Rosh Hashanah (i.e. around 10 September), you will receive an email with your link to access the services. For security reasons, please do not share the link. As soon as you receive the link, you will be able to test it and we encourage everyone to do so.

WHAT IF I MISPLACE THE LINK? CAN I STILL ACCESS THE SERVICES?

Yes - as long as you have your email and password, you will be able to log in through the NSTE website. 

WHAT TO DO IF I HAVE MULTIPLE ADULTS UNDER ONE MEMBERSHIP AND REQUIRE MULTIPLE LINKS TO ACCESS (E.G. YOUNG ADULT CHILDREN WHO LIVE SEPARATELY)?

Every adult family member who has an email address on our database will receive an invitation to register. If you wish to add an email address, please contact info@nste.org.au.

WHAT ABOUT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO ARE NOT NSTE MEMBERS AND WISH TO ATTEND?

Those who are not members of NSTE may also register to attend, however, they should contact info@nste.org.au first as the registration process for non-members is different.

CAN I TEST THE LINK BEFORE THE SERVICE?

As soon as you receive the link, you will be able to test it and we encourage everyone to do so.

As I mentioned above, you must register in advance if you wish to attend the High Holy Days Together@Home services. Please register as soon as possible. We encourage you to also reach out to any family or friends who might need assistance.

Best wishes,

Gwen Harrison
President

Ps. Remember, this year we will be using the new Mishkan T’shuvah Machzor. Online access will be free of charge this year HERE, however, if you would like to purchase your own two volume hard copy for $80 (for the set), please click HERE or call the office on 02 9419 7011.


Email sent to NSTE members 17 July, 2020

Imagine for a moment that the year is 586 BCE.  The magnificent Temple of King Solomon has been destroyed and the communal leaders gather to discuss how, in the face of such devastation, they can move forward.  

“Perhaps”, says one hopefully, “we can create a new place of worship - a synagogue.”
“But how will we facilitate the required sacrifices in such a place?” asks another.
“What if we temporarily replace sacrifices with prayer?” replies the first, “It’s not ideal but, dear God, may the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight.”
(Psalm 19:14).

Thus the institution of the synagogue and the form of prayer that we know today was born.  Not by a command from God but through forethought, ingenuity and imagination combined with a dash of pragmatism, our forebears adjusted, by necessity, to the conditions of the times.  No doubt, our ancestors struggled greatly with this difficult decision but, in the end, what choice did they have?

This year has been one of great challenge for our world, and all of us have had to find ways to adjust many aspects of our lives in the face of COVID-19, from the personal to the communal and spiritual.  As a community, we now look ahead to the High Holy Day season, knowing that for safety and our foremost Jewish value of pikuach nefesh--preserving life--our practices will need to adapt for this year.

HIGH HOLY DAYS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

As we approach the High Holy Days, the board and rabbis of North Shore Temple Emanuel have grappled with how to facilitate community High Holy Day worship in the face of the pandemic.

Some of the challenges include:

  1. In a regular year, up to 700 people attend each of the High Holy Day services but under COVID restrictions, we could admit 120 per service at most.
  2. Song is such an important part of the HHD services that we know and love yet, sadly, both choral and congregational singing (because of the larger, forceful expulsion of air required) is considered to increase risk of spread of the virus.  Especially in an enclosed space.
  3. Health guidelines would require thorough cleaning of the sanctuary between every service, which is impractical between, say, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Morning Services.
  4. Elderly and other vulnerable people are discouraged from attending services due to health risks.  We must ensure that they are not excluded from our High Holy Day worship.

Many approaches were considered:

Prioritise in person seating for those with honours?  
Not in keeping with our egalitarian values.

Hold a lottery for seats?  
Does not address the needs of seniors or immunocompromised people who cannot attend.

Hold multiple services throughout the day?  
We would still struggle to accommodate all, while posing an increased health risk to our Rabbis, service leaders and volunteers, and incurring a significant administrative and cleaning burden.

Have some attend in person while others view a streamed video?  
How to decide who gets to attend? And the technology and wiring in the sanctuary required for this creates an unwelcoming environment and less than satisfactory experience.  

Wait until closer to the date in the hope that restrictions are lifted?  
Planning High Holy Day services, even in a normal year, takes many months and we must have a service plan that can be delivered regardless of restrictions. 

HOW WILL WE CELEBRATE THE HIGH HOLY DAYS THIS YEAR?

In this extraordinary year that has been so challenging for so many in our community, we aspire for NSTE’s High Holy Day services to be:

  • Inclusive - everyone must be able to attend,
  • Engaging - everyone must be able to feel involved in the service with opportunities to participate, and
  • Uplifting - we see music and song as central to this. 

Accordingly, we feel that the best way for us to offer meaningful services for these High Holy Days, 5781, is through an interactive, online High Holy Days Together@Home series of services.

WHAT ARE HIGH HOLY DAYS TOGETHER@HOME?

We have a large and highly dedicated team working on making this year's services both memorable and profound. The groundwork is being laid and details will soon be forthcoming. We can, however, promise you that NSTE’s High Holy Days Together@Home will be much more than simply a video streamed service.  

It promises to provide an engaging and interactive experience.  We envisage, for example:

  • When we light candles or dip apples into honey, members of the community will be able to do so together, sharing the experience.
  • Our choir will “come together” as one on your screen from their living rooms to yours
  • Honourees will come “up” for an aliyah and chant the Torah blessings, and receive the rabbi’s blessing, in real time.
  • Parts of the service will run live from the sanctuary and others will involve prerecorded special guests and footage . . . all seamlessly blended into a moving and unforgettable experience.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we will be sharing details of what to expect and how to be a part of High Holy Days Together@Home. 

In the meantime, please find a number of Questions and Answers here, which we will update as more information becomes available.  We will also shortly arrange a live Zoom call with members of the organising committee to facilitate a question and answer session regarding High Holy Days Together@Home.  Please click here to register your interest and receive the login details, or email info@nste.org.au for assistance.

We appreciate that many of you will be disappointed that we cannot physically gather together as we have in years past.  We share your disappointment and look forward to the day when we can revert to our traditional in person ways. For now, rest assured that it is, as ever, our goal to touch the soul, whatever the medium. Like our ancestors, we stand ready to embrace a new means of observing sacred occasions as a community, during the coming Days of Awe.  Join us Together@Home as we find a meaningful way forward for High Holy Days 5781. 

Best Wishes,
Gwen Harrison


To view the High Holy Days Together@Home Questions & Answers click HERE

Thu, 22 October 2020 4 Cheshvan 5781