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High Holidays Registration Letter 5781/2020

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well with you at this tumultuous time of COVID-19 when so much of our world and routine have been turned upside down.

We are less than a month away from the Yamim Noraim and we are deep into planning what will be a very different but, we hope, really meaningful and inspiring Chaggim season at KMS.  Our staff and lay leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that as many of our members who would like to can attend a minyan, and that any of our members who will not be coming will still feel connected in a variety of ways.  We are thankful to them as well as to all our volunteers for their tremendous efforts thus far.

Please see below for some important information as we begin registration for the Yamim Noraim.

Tefillot:

  • We are hosting multiple minyanim both indoors and outdoors (under open walled canopies) on the KMS campus as well as at one or two potential offsite locations. All standard KMS health and safety protocols (detailed here) will be strictly enforced at all KMS minyanim.
  • Tefillot will be briefer than normal to maximize the number of minyanim we can hold and to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  We have carefully crafted the tefilla service to retain all the major components that we look forward to each year (including limited singing) and to convey, as much as possible, the feel of a normal Yamim Noraim tefilla. 
  • A full seder hayom will be sent to you in the coming weeks so that you can properly prepare and follow the service. Detailed halachic guidelines addressing all aspects of the holidays will be provided for those who will be davening at home.

Shofar:

  • On the second day of Rosh Hashana (we do not blow shofar on the first day this year, which is Shabbat), in addition to shofar blowing during tefilla (following safety protocols detailed here), we will offer a “shofar blowing only” option in the KMS parking lot in the afternoon for those not attending minyan. In addition, there is a community-wide effort underway to offer neighborhood shofar blowing around town at various times during the day. More details will follow.

Machzorim:

  • Machzorim are available to purchase from KMS or to be borrowed for the entire Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, for use in Shul or at home.  To buy a Koren Machzor from KMS click here. The times when you will be able to come to KMS to borrow a Birnbaum machzor will be announced.

Youth and Children:

  • Seats are available for children in fifth grade and above, including unmarried adult children. Due to limited space we will not be able to provide seats to married children and their families.
  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer childcare this year. However, we intend to offer other creative programs for KMS youth throughout this time period. Stay tuned.

Registration:

  • Registration for High Holiday seats is now open and will close on September 2nd. Seats will be assigned on a first come first serve basis for all full membership categories. Family units will be seated together to maximize the number of people we can accommodate in each minyan.
  • All seats will cost $70 (per holiday) this year and payment will be required at registration. If this poses a financial burden for you, please contact Aryeh Shudofsky at executivedirector@kmsynagogue.org to discuss payment options.
  • There will be no seating priority available for Triple Chai or Double Chai members this year, but they will have priority as to their preferred minyan time.
  • Due to the constraints of COVID-19 and Montgomery County regulations we are limited in the number of seats we can safely and legally offer. It is possible that not everyone who wants a seat will be able to get one. Please register promptly so we have the time to try and accommodate all demand.
  • Associate members will not be assigned seats until all full members registering on time have been assigned seats.
  • Seat notifications will be sent out before Rosh Hashana.
  • If a family member cannot sit in shul for the duration of davening (2.5 hours on Rosh Hashana and 3 hours on Yom Kippur) please consider having that individual stay home to allow the limited shul spots to be available to others. People should not congregate outside of predefined minyan spaces. Hallways and lobbies will be off-limits other than as routes to and from the bathrooms.

Importantly, if you register for a seat please make sure to come on time. Otherwise you will be depriving someone else of attending minyan on these important days.

Please click on this link to begin the registration process. If you decide not to daven at a KMS minyan, please consider supporting KMS by purchasing a virtual seat.

Thank you for being part of our amazing KMS Family!  We look forward to the day when we can return to a packed building filled with the camaraderie of friends and the complete sounds of our tefillot. In the meantime, may Hashem give us the wisdom and strength to chart the right path forward.  May Hashem keep us safe and grant us life in the coming year.

Wishing you a joyous, meaningful, and safe beginning to the month of Elul.

Rabbi Brahm Weinberg
Larry Lerman, President
Aryeh Shudofsky, Executive Director

Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780