JRC Traditions

Rabbi and Cantor with Shofar


Each year, we select readings and poems from a wide variety of sources other than our prayerbook in order to deepen and enrich our experience of the High Holiday liturgy. Out of respect for the value of Bal Tashchit (Do Not Waste), we will not be providing printed copies of these readings at our services. Instead they will be avaliable for download from our website. 

Discussion Groups

Among JRC’s extensive High Holiday programs, Discussion Groups are a traditional favorite. Offered on both the second day of Rosh Hashanah (held immediately following services) and on Yom Kippur (starting at 2pm), these groups are led by JRC members and others on a range of topics and themes related to the High Holidays. 

Discussion Groups

Contemplative Music

We're continuing what has become a special tradition: an hour of contemplation with musical accompaniment at 4:30 pm preceding our Yom Kippur afternoon services. Featuring the JRCymphony, comprised entirely of JRC member musicians, we hope you'll find that this quiet interlude provides both peace and clarity for a new year. If you are a teen or adult musician who would like to play, contact Michelle Brodsky.

Open Mic

Open Mic, held immediately after the morning services on Yom Kippur, is an opportunity for JRC members to share their personal reflections on issues of a religious, spiritual or social nature. In living our lives, we experience and learn many things, big and small; we have awakenings and other life-changing events. Sharing these with our fellow congregants is a way to offer those experiences as inspiration to others. There are a few rules:

  • Personal attacks, endorsements for political office and solicitations for support of political office are not permitted.
  • Open Mic is open only to current adult JRC members.
  • Presentations must be held to 500 words. This is to ensure that we give an opportunity to the maximum number of fellow congregants in the one hour available. Submissions will be returned for editing if they exceed the 500 word limit. 

Submission deadline is September 11.

Past Open Mic Speeches

Shofar Blowing

Everyone who has access to a shofar and wishes to participate in the group shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur is invited to do so. An all-levels shofar-blowing class will be held before the High Holidays with member Carol Goldbaum at JRC. 

Tashlich Service

JRC’s Tashlich service will be held at Lake Michigan on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Monday, October 3 at 4:30 pm. This traditional ceremony of casting sins into the water will be given contemporary meaning. Meet at Dawes Park (Church and Lake Streets) on the north side of the lagoon. 

Yizkor Service & Memorial Book 

Submission Deadline: September 11
It is a tradition to honor our beloved deceased by reciting Yizkor (memorial) prayers on Yom Kippur afternoon. Rabbi Weiss will read submitted names of Members’ loved ones who have died since last Rosh Hashanah during the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur afternoon. In addition, each year JRC members submit names of deceased loved ones for our Memorial Book, which will be distributed at the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur. 

Memorial Book Guidelines Submit to the Memorial Book 

High Holiday Meal Sharing

Are you interested in hosting fellow JRC members for a holiday meal or sharing the celebration at someone's home? It's a great way to make new friends at JRC. We are looking for homes with room at their holiday table for one or more guests for the following meals: Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, lunch for the first day of Rosh Hashanah, or Yom Kippur Break-the -Fast. Contact Linda Hewitt to volunteer to host or be matched with a host family. 


This year everyone is invited to a community break-the-fast potluck at the church following the Ne'ilah service hosted by JRC's Young Adults (20s-30s). Adults and children of all ages are welcome. Please bring a vegetarian/dairy dish to share. Please note that JRC is a nut-sensitive environment so do not bring any food with peanuts or other nuts. 

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