As part of the larger American Jewish community we live with our feet firmly in two different calendars. The Jewish calendar presents us with opportunities throughout the year to mark time, as have our people throughout the millennia.
High Holy Days
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
We welcome the New Year and observe our Day of Atonement in a manner that offers as broad a range of opportunities as possible. We have family centered worship, intergenerational worship, formal services in our main sanctuary and, on both holidays, a program and worship experience targeted for grade school students. In addition, we have created an entire afternoon worship experience for Yom Kippur that is both relevant and meaningful.
Here is our schedule for 2017:
Erev Rosh Hashanah - September 20
5:30pm Erev Rosh Hashanah Family Service
7:30pm Erev Rosh Hashanah Service
Rosh Hashanah - September 21
8:30am Early Service
8:30am Children’s Program
11:15am Late Service
2:15pm Intergenerational Service
4:00pm Tashlich, South Orange Duck Pond
Shabbat Shuvah - September 22
Kol Nidre - September 29
6:00pm Early Service
8:30pm Late Service
Yom Kippur - September 30
8:30am Early Morning Service
8:30am Children’s Program
11:15am Late Morning Service
1:30pm Current Affairs: Israel Update
1:30pm Meditation Service
2:15pm Intergenerational Service
3:30pm Afternoon Service/Yizkor/Neilah
Other Holidays and Festivals
Our congregational sukkah is built the day before the festival begins and is available for use by any member of the congregation. Our religious school students spend time in it during the holiday as do our pre-school students. In addition we hold a variety of different programs that take advantage of our sukkah throughout the week. (These change from year to year. Please see our calendar for current programming.) Shabbat evening worship during Sukkot ends in the Sukkah… weather permitting of course.
On the last day of the festival we hold a morning service at 10:30am that, as is the case on Passover and Shavuot, includes a Yizkor memorial service. This service is followed by a light lunch.
Of special note is our congregational celebration of Simchat Torah. During the service, numerous members of the congregation are invited to carry the Torah around the sanctuary for the various Hakafot. In joyous celebration of finishing the annual cycle of reading from the Torah and beginning it once again we unroll the entire Torah so our community can see it stretching from the ark all the way down into the congregation. Every member of the congregation is invited to participate in supporting the scroll as it is unrolled and participates in the special blessings as we finish the cycle of reading and begin it anew. This evening is a highlight of the year for our TSTI family members of all ages.
To provide an opportunity to have the largest number of people celebrating together we hold this particular service on the closest Shabbat evening to Simchat Torah on the Hebrew calendar.
Our Chanukah observance takes place on the Shabbat that falls during the festival of lights. In addition to the traditional Shabbat worship we celebrate with special Chanukah songs, a communal lighting of the Chanukah menorah and special treats for the kids.
Tu Bishvat, also known as The Birthday for the Trees, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat has come to be connected to Jewish Environmentalism. Our Green Team has led TSTI’s commitment to educating our community and making significant changes within our building.
Our observance of Purim takes place on the closest Sunday to the holiday. A brief worship service is followed by our staff-led Purim spiel. After the Purim spiel our young people are invited to participate in by our annual “Purim Extravaganza” a.k.a. Purim Carnival.
Recognizing that Passover is first and foremost a home Festival, we do not hold a Congregational seder but we do our best to give each and every household in the congregation the tools necessary for them to hold their own meaningful seder and, when requested, do our best to find host households for those who are in need of such an opportunity.
At the end of the Passover festival we hold a morning worship service at 10:30am. As is the case during Sukkot and Shavout it closes the festival but also allows us an opportunity to observe Yizkor and honor the memories of family members who have died. This service is followed by a light lunch.
On the Friday evening after the festival of Shavuot, Shabbat worship is led by our 10th grade Confirmation Class. Always a meaningful opportunity it lets us celebrate our commitment to Jewish learning and celebrate our young people who have demonstrated their own commitment as part of our larger community.
On the last day of the festival we hold a morning service at 10:30am. As is the case during Passover and Sukkot, it closes the festival but also allows us an opportunity to observe Yizkor and honor the memories of family members who have died. This service is followed by a light lunch.
Festival worship for Sukkot, Shavuot, Simchat Torah and Passover are constantly evolving and details about specific worship and experiential opportunities can be found in our weekly e-newsletter and in that month's Temple bulletin.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a somber day each year. We mark it on the closest Shabbat and are part of a larger annual community observance. Our Yom Kippur Memorial service also includes a special Holocaust Memorial Service.
Israel Independence Day is a time of celebration throughout the Jewish world. Our observance of Yom Ha’Atzmaut various from year to year but always take place on the closest Shabbat evening.
Other special services and worship opportunities take place throughout the year as we are always looking for new ways to celebrate tradition and create new traditions in our ever-evolving congregation. As is the case in every corner of our community, our goal is to be open and welcoming.
You do not need ot be a member of our congregation to join us for worship. The only exception to this (due to space and security constraints) are the evening and morning services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Live Streaming Service
Both of our main worship spaces are equipped with a streaming video service that allows those who wish to worship with us but are unable to be present physically to participate. Simply click the "Watch From Home" tab in order to access this system. If a service is taking place you will be able to join in within a few seconds.
Shabbat Worship (Select to view Shabbat specific information)