High Holy Days 5783

Return again, return again, return to the land of your soul.
Return to who you are. Return to what you are. Return to where you are born and reborn.

To help prepare for the High Holy days this year we are providing a direct link to the Middlebury College Landing Page. An abridged listing of service times and locations can also be found below.

Rabbi Ira Schiffer and alumnus Aaron Mendelsohn (’95) will reunite and lead in person services together this year. This also marks the 30th anniversary of Aaron assuming the role of Cantorial soloist for the chagim. Rabbi Yitzhak Nates (Interim Hillel Rabbi) will offer the Yom Kippur sermon.

Zoom Link for All Services: You can access all of our High Holiday services this year via zoom webinar here. There is no need to register in advance!


7:00-8:00 pm College Chapel

Erev Rosh Hashanah Services
Welcome the New Year with our Erev Rosh Hashanah service, and a sermon from Rabbi Ira Schiffer.

8:15pm Forest East Lounge

Apples and Honey Reception

Please join us for the Ashkenazi tradition of dipping apples in honey for a sweet new year, along with honey cake and apple cider.  All are welcome.


9:30 am College Chapel

Shacharit, morning service. This service will sing us into a prayer space where we can begin to reflect on the themes of the New Year.  Leora Segal ‘23 will offer the sermon.

5:00 pm Pond behind the Mahaney Center for the Arts MOVED TO TUESDAY DUE TO WEATHER

Tashlich – Casting the Old Away
This is a short, outdoor service where we cast our old ways into the water to make room for the new. Rabbi Ira will lead a few Israeli dances, followed by Rabbi Yitz Nates leading the Tashlich service.  All are welcome.  Weather permitting; we will post on the College landing page by 3:00 if weather prevents this outdoor gathering.


9:30 am Havurah of Addison County

Shacharit, morning service

For the second day of Rosh Hashanah we will hold services at the Havurah of Addison County at 56 North Pleasant St. All are welcome to attend.  Contact Ellen McKay Jewett (emckay@middlebury.edu) for directions.

Potluck Lunch at Havurah

Join Havurah for a lunch following Second Day Rosh Hashanah Services, at the Havurah House. Please bring a dish to share, but if that is not possible please come anyway!  All are invited.

High Holiday Nature Walk- Based at The Knoll and adjacent section of the Trail Around Middlebury

This nature pilgrimage will lead you through a series of reflections and experiences related to Rosh Hashanah.  Twelve signs are posted along the TAM section adjacent to The Knoll. As you walk at your own pace, each sign will invite you to pause and reflect on a different aspect of the holiday.  This pilgrimage will be up from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur.  Special thanks to Living Tree Alliance for creating it.  


7:00 pm College Chapel

Kol Nidre
Join us for the moving melodies of Kol Nidre and a sermon offered by President Laurie Patton.


9:30 am College Chapel

Shacharit – Morning Service Rabbi Yitz Nates will be giving the Yom Kippur sermon this year.

~11:15 am College Chapel

Yizkor – Memorial Service
Anyone is welcome to Yizkor, whether you are remembering someone specific this year, or would just like to take a moment to acknowledge the enormous loss of life our country, and the world, has experienced recently.  

2:30-3:00 pm College Chapel

Discussion: The Power and Light of Yom Kippur

A discussion led by Rabbi Yitz based on the morning sermon.

3:30-4:30 pm Goldsmith Lounge, Virtue Field House

Gentle Yoga for Yom Kippur Afternoon

Joanna Colwell, a beloved local yoga teacher, will be leading us through a gentle practice that supports both fasting and reflection as we prepare ourselves for the final prayers of this day. Joanna teaches in the Iyengar style; please wear comfortable clothes and bring a mat.

5:00 pm College Chapel

Minchah – Afternoon Service, and Ne’ilah – Concluding Services
The closing of the gates.  This is our last opportunity on Yom Kippur to turn toward a new approach for the new year. 

7:00 pm College Chapel

Shofar Blowing and Havdalah
We’ll hear the sound of the shofar for the last time of the season, and re-enter regular time through the havdalah ceremony.  Bring a shofar to blow if you have one!

7:30 pm Redfield Proctor Dining Room


RSVP for Break-the-Fast by Sept. 28