High Holy Days

Each year the Pardes Hannah community selects a theme to guide us through the Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe). Community members reflect on this theme, and at various points during the services, share some way its key concepts have resonated in their lives. It is one of the ways that we, as a community, do heshbon nefesh (spiritual account-taking) for the year past, while opening up new personal and communal “heart-space” for the year that is a-borning.

This year


We focus this year on Being Present: Lih’yot Nokhah.

A short reflection on this theme by Rabbi Elliot

A longer reflection on this theme, also written by Rabbi Elliot

Rabbi Ginsburg will lead services on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah, Monday, September 30 from 9:15 am to 1:30 pm at St. Aidans Church on 1679 Broadway in Ann Arbor. This will be a traditional Jewish Renewal service with prayer, chant and Torah reading, blowing of the Shofar, and Kiddush.  Second day of Rosh Hashanah service is a Meditation Service, Tuesday, October 1 from 9:30 am to 1 pm at St. Aidan’s followed by a Kiddush, potluck lunch and tashlich at the home of Lucinda Kurtz and Oran Hesterman (350 Rock Creek Drive).

On Tuesday October 8, Kol Nidrei preparations will commence at 6:15 pm and services will begin at 6:45 pm at St. Aidans Church.  On Wednesday, October 9, Yom Kippur Day services will begin at 9:15 am, with Open Time/ Walking Meditation at 2:30 pm, Meditation and Study at 3:45 pm, Mincha (Spiritual wakening) at 4:45, Yizkor /Memorial Service at 5:30 pm, Neila at 6:30 pm and Shofar blowing and Havdalah at 7:42 pm. Break-fast will follow.

A summary of 2019 offerings and this year’s theme for the high holidays  was written up for the Washtenaw Jewish News by Lucinda Kurtz.

Past years 


A particularly challenging year in the political and global realms, and community members felt strongly that we should explore how to create deeper connections rather than focusing on what divides us from each other.  In addition to the traditional themes of turning and renewal, the focus of 5779 high holy days was on the theme of forgiveness.

5778/ 2017

Ve-taher libenu le-ovedekha be-emet

Purify our hearts so we may serve You—and serve our communities and serve our planet–in truth

Reflections on the theme from Reb Elliot Ginsburg

As musical accompaniment for our davenen: consider two texts on the Pure Heart…one taking off from the Liturgy (R. Zalman) and the other an excerpt from Psalm 51.

The following YouTubes for Psalm 51: Lev Tahor/Pure Heart (one version in in Hebrew and one in English) are from the Jerusalem Renewal Community Nava Tehila

 5777/ 2017

Gosher Gesharim: Creating webs of radical connection

Reflections on the theme from Reb Elliot Ginsburg 

5776/ 2016

Mishkan / Sanctuary

Reflections on the theme from Reb Elliot Ginsburg

Lekha eli teshuqati (Diwan ha-Lev)

Lekha eli teshuqati (Hayim Yisrael)

5775/ 2015

Shalom, Large and Small

Reflections on the theme from Reb Elliot Ginsberg

5774/ 2014

Weaving the Generations:  Mi-dor le-Door

Reflections on the theme from Reb Elliot Ginsberg