HIGH HOLY DAYS 2021/5782

Join us for a reset

This year, more than ever, we need a reset to recall our best selves, to regain our sense of awe, to reconnect with one another. Please join us for online services, in person outdoor rituals and through our social justice work. Let the sound of the shofar reawaken us!

Are High Holy Day services In-Person or On-Line this year?

Our main High Holy Day services will be on-line (Zoom).  A few events, including Children’s Services, Tashlich, and Kever Avot v’Imahot (Graveside Service)will be held in person, outdoors. 

To attend either in-person or on-line components you MUST register first!

Before attending any in-person events, please read our fragrance-free policy and reopening values, and sign our brit (covenant of well-being). 

Register Today

Tickets are not required, but everyone must register online to attend. We welcome members and friends of Sha’ar Zahav to join us.

Once registered, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. Details, including a full list of services, classes and instructions on how to participate, will follow.

Preparing for High Holy Days

We have put together High Holy Day Resources, for those new to SZ High Holy Days and those new to High Holy Days at Home!

What makes Congregation Sha’ar Zahav services unique?

Sha’ar Zahav has been building sanctuary for decades, embracing a diversity of individuals of all sexualities, genders, races and abilities. We welcome all households, including single member, interfaith, single-parent, multiple-parent and multicultural families. We are rooted in historic traditions and create new Jewish traditions that reflect our modern lives. Our liturgy reflects these values.

Each High Holy Day service is unique. Our beloved clergy, Rabbi Mychal Copeland and Cantor Sharon Bernstein, teach us with their insight, energy, and spiritual guidance. Our talented and diverse lay leaders add their stories and wisdom.

Are other programs offered beyond the High Holy Day services?

Yes. Elul is the Hebrew month preceding the High Holy Days, and during this time we will be preparing ourselves spiritually for the days ahead, creating a sense of sanctuary in our lives.  Click to view our Explore Elul events page.

How can children participate?

Services and play for kids under 12 and their families will be held at Golden Gate Park on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning. See the schedule below for details.

How can I access the Machzorim (High Holy Day prayer books) to participate online?

We use the CCAR’s “Mishkan Hanefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe prayer book set for our services.

The CCAR is offering several free and paid options this year.

Rosh HaShanah

Yom Kippur

Purchase the print book set for both from the CCAR Press (appox. $53 with shipping)

Is hearing / audio assistance available?

Yes.  This year we are offering live transcription (closed captioning) for the main room (Room A) services.  No special equipment is required.

I’m new. Will I feel comfortable at High Holy Day services?

Every year we welcome many new participants and members. Our services embrace both those experienced in traditions and those new to High Holy Days. We invite each and every person joining us to bring their unique gifts in creating our sanctuary together.

Schedule of Services and Events

All services and events are by Zoom unless noted otherwise.  

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – Erev Shabbat Shuvah

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Erev Shabbat Shuvah in the Parkin person at Dolores Park

Shabbat Shuvah is the Shabbat of Return between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We will meet near the corner of 18th and Church behind the tennis courts and bathrooms, near the accessible path. Bring your own blanket and siddur. Masks are required for unvaccinated persons and encouraged for everyone.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Kabbalat Shabbat Service – By Zoom, a similar offering to the Dolores Park Shabbat Shuvah service.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 – Shabbat Shuvah

10:00 to 11:15 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Service


10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Kever Avot v’Imahot (Honoring our Ancestors)  in person at Hills of Eternity Cemetery

Join us as we walk through the grave sites of our beloved community members as we recite poems, liturgy and names. Whether or not you have personally had a loss in your life, this contemplative short service is for anyone wishing to contemplate life and death amidst supportive community. Bring your own lunch. Masks required for all regardless of vaccination status.


7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Kol Nidre Service 


9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m
Yom Kippur Services

  • Morning Service
  • Torah Service
  • Mincha Service
  • Niggun (Singing) Service
  • Breakout sessions
  • Yizkor
  • Neilah

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Services & Play for Kids Under 12 & their Families – in person at Mother’s Meadow & Playground in Golden Gate Park

While the adults Zoom into prayer we will have short (45 minute), festive, fun services for kids under 12 and their families. Stay and play for a while after services. Masks (for all participants regardless of vaccination status) and an accompanying adult are required at all times.

Directions to Mother’s Meadow & Playground in Golden Gate Park.

Please note:

Times above subject to change. We will post schedule updates here.

Many of the services above include multiple options from which you can choose for a more personal experience, in between the parts of the service that we do with the entire community.   Full details, including links and instructions, will be sent via email to all registered High Holy Day participants.

When attending Zoom events please don’t use virtual or blurred backgrounds, as they cause migraines for many people.

Before attending any in-person events, please read our fragrance-free policy and reopening values, and sign our brit (covenant of well-being).

Register here!

Please Update Your Zoom Software Before Services

To have the best possible experience for High Holy Day services please update your Zoom software to the latest version today. The new split-screen viewing feature will allow you to enjoy the services the way we designed them.

If you have difficulties registering or finding the Zoom links to access the services, please contact our High Holy Days team of staff and volunteers at [email protected].

Additional questions?

We look forward to answering your questions. Please contact our High Holy Days team of staff and volunteers at [email protected].



Elul 2021 Events

High Holy Days At-Home Resources

Newcomers Holy Days Guide

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