Guide to High Holiday Services 2020/5781

Where to sign up? Do I need Zoom? (The answer is yes). High Holiday services in Southern Maine are mostly happening online or outdoors this year, so a little advanced planning is needed. To make things a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list* of where you can go to sign up for services and to find resources for the New Year. Shana Tova from the JCA!

* Did we miss any services or links?  Email JCA Marketing Director Trevor Geiger at tgeiger(at)


Congregation Bet Ha’am

Since its founding in 1985, Bet Ha’am has committed to being a house of worship where all feel welcome. We invite you to join us for any Bet Ha’am service or event, including High Holy Day worship. There is no charge to join us and no tickets. We hope that you–Jewish or non-Jewish, Mainer or guest visiting from away–will join us at this time of community celebration.

This year, we are presenting all of our services online. Please register here. We will send service links one or two days before services to people who are registered.

Beth Israel Congregation

The story of Beth Israel Congregation rests on the energy and dedication of a few Maine Jews and their welcome in Bath by the non-Jewish community in 1886. Today, we are an active congregation serving midcoast Maine and beyond. Please join us; all are welcome!


B’nai Portland

Bnai Portland is doing High Holidays remotely and you can sign up from their website (see link below). Please join us.

Please Register Here for a Zoom Link

Chabad of Maine

11 Pomeroy Street, Portland, ME

We at Chabad of Maine  join you in hope and prayer as together we approach the new Jewish year of 5781.  Together we’ll listen to the call of the Shofar, and recommit to G‑d on Yom Kippur.  Join us this year to celebrate together outside of our synagogue, at 11 Pomeroy Street in Portland.

Congregation Etz Chaim (Biddeford)

Congregation Etz Chaim in Biddeford is offering a full schedule of services for the High Holidays. At this time, to keep everyone safe and healthy, we are offering virtual services. All services will be streamed on ZOOM and Facebook Live with Cantor Beth Strassler and Dr. David Strassler leading services from our beautiful sanctuary. To receive the ZOOM links for services, you will need to provide Congregation Etz Chaim with your name, e-mail address, and contact phone number. Find us on FaceBook at @etzchaimmaine. In order to follow along with our virtual services, Congregation Etz Chaim’s Samuel Osher Memorial Library will be lending High Holiday prayer books. Prayer book distribution will occur between September 13 and September 17.

Please contact Cantor Beth Strassler at ​or 207-967-5833 to receive the ZOOM link and/or to make arrangements for borrowing a prayer book.

Click here to read a High Holiday message from Cantor Strassler

Etz Chaim Synagogue

The LIVE Rosh Hashanah service is at capacity.  If you have not already reserved a space, please feel free to follow all services on Zoom.

We are not able to gather in our building for the High Holy Days. We will all certainly miss being in person together, with the majesty of large crowds standing close, singing in harmony all our familiar  tunes. But we will be “together” safely – in our own homes. This year, we have a unique opportunity to create a sacred space in our home for the High Holy Days and beyond.

Please follow the service which will be shown on Zoom or in the special prayer books that we have created and will emailed to you.

Click here to send an email to get your Zoom invitation and Holiday prayer book by email.

Shaarey Tphiloh

Shofar service and Tashlich: Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11am at Payson Park, near Back Cove, followed by Shofar sounding at some area retirement communities.

Virtual High Holiday Services 2020/5781 available here:

Temple Beth El – High Holidays Website

During these unusual times of the coronavirus pandemic, Temple Beth El’s planning of the High Holiday experience presents some challenges as well as opportunities.

High Holidays mean many things to many people. Some are most drawn to the liturgy, while others are most eager for the Rabbi’s sermons. For some, it is tashlich—tossing breadcrumbs into the water—and for some it is the sound of the shofar that evokes a spiritual transcendence. For some it is the first bite of round challah with raisins and apple dipped in honey; for others it is the first sip of cider to break the fast.

Many of these experiences and expressions and customs of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we take for granted. But this year, we have found new and creative ways to make meaningful and joyful experiences for you away from our sanctuary at 400 Deering Avenue.

Please explore the website (link below) for information about this year’s High Holiday offerings, including a full schedule of Zoom services and additional resources for you to use to make your own holidays rich and memorable.

In-Person Shofar Service: Sunday, September 20, 3:00 – 3:30PM at TBE’s Susan T. Goldberg Courtyard and adjacent lawn. Tickets are limited and available only to TBE members. RSVP by 9/17 or while tickets last. Tickets required for entry. Those who are not able to attend in person may view the event live on YouTube.

In-Person Ne’ilah Service: Monday, September 28, 6:15 – 7:30PM at TBE’s Susan T. Goldberg Courtyard and adjacent lawn. Tickets are limited and only available to TBE members. Tickets are required for entry. RSVP by 9/17 or while tickets last.


Organized by the Center for Small Town Jewish Life with support from the JCA and other partners 

Sign up to access a free collection of High Holiday resources created especially for the Maine Jewish community – inspiring music, song, reflections, and words of Torah to add to your High Holidays experience. These resources include: 

  • Mindfulness and Melodies with Cantor Sheila Nesis 
  • Seven High Holiday Prayers and Reflections with Feliza and Or Zohar  
  • A High Holiday Concert with Nefesh Mountain 
  • Reflections onUnetaneh Tokef  with Reverend Kate Braestrup 

 You will receive a confirmation email with a unique link for your own use after sign up. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please make sure your registration was accepted. Questions? Contact Liz Snider, 

Sign up here: 


High Holidays at Home Guide from PJ Library!

Includes materials for Rosh Hashanah —including a haggadah and tashlich ritual—and Yom Kippur.

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