High Holy Days

High Holy Days 5781 (2020)

Join Us Online for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

As we celebrate the Days of Awe together, we will hear the Shofar blast that calls us to connect with our Jewish heritage and with our ancient traditions. More than any other time, the High Holy Days are a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends, both old and new, and to share with each other our hopes and aspirations for the future.

This year, because of COVID-19, Solel will be holding High Holy Day services online only. Being all together as an entire community in-person is one of the things that makes the High Holy Days so special. However, one of our highest ideals is to protect the sanctity of life and so we have made the difficult decision to hold our High Holy Day observances online only this year.

Watch Solel’s High Holy Days services and programs via our live stream:

Solel TV Live & On-Demand
Solel’s YouTube Live Channel
or search for SolelCongregation (all one word) in your YouTube search bar using your computer or Smart TV.
Now also streaming on Facebook Live – Connect with Solel on Facebook to find out more!

For more information about Solel’s High Holy Day programs read on below. Have questions? Call us at (905) 820-5915. Members, guests and visitors alike are welcome to take in all of our live stream and Zoom events.

Find out more about our Schedule, our Services & Programs and our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Month of Elul – Preparing for the High Holy Days

As Elul begins, we begin the process of cḥeshbon hanefesh (literally, accounting of the soul; taking stock of oneself) leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We invite you to join Rabbi Audrey Pollack in a daily spiritual practice of preparation at this holy time. Designed to take only a short amount of time each day, this practice can inspire a more meaningful connection to this season of the Jewish year.

We have these resources to help you with your own daily reflections:

While you can do this practice on your own, we’ll also be gathering weekly for 30 minutes on Zoom for those who want the option to connect with others on this journey. You can join us on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm and Friday mornings at 10:00am from now until Rosh Hashanah. For Zoom connection information, contact the Solel office or check your Shammas electronic newsletter.

Elul Reflections Project

Rabbi Pollack is excited to be one of the contributors to the Elul Reflections project created by the Women’s Rabbinic Network. You can find these inspiring short video teachings on the Women’s Rabbinic Network Instagram and Facebook pages or sign up to have them sent to you via email here.

More Resources for Observing the High Holidays at Home

We have some more resources to help you have a meaningful and fun High Holidays while observing from your own home this year. Download these documents to help you prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur:

  • Preparing Your Own Home Sanctuary – A helpful guide for preparing the space in your own home where you will participating in our High Holy Day service live streams. Make the occasion more special and meaningful by preparing your home and yourself for the spiritual power of the High Holy Days.
  • High Holy Day Scavenger Hunt – Have some fun learning about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by looking for the things on this scavenger hunt worksheet. Share your results with your Solel friends on Facebook or Instagram or email them to Rabbi Pollack and Arliene Botnick to show us how you did!
  • Do It Yourself Tashlich – Courtesy of Rabbi Robin Nafshi, here’s a helpful guide to participating in the age-old tradition of Tashlich – the symbolic banishment of our sins.
  • A Prayer for One Who Cannot Fast on Yom Kippur – This meditation may be recited by anyone who – for whatever personal reason – is unable to fast in the traditional way.
  • Are You a Young Jewish Adult living away from your home synagogue and looking for a place to celebrate the High Holy Days? Solel Congregation of Mississauga is a partner with Synagogue Connect which offers free access to Jewish young adults for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (virtual or social distancing) services. Visit them at www.synagogueconnect.org and search for a synagogue near you. Of course, you’re welcome to participate in Solel’s virtual High Holy Day services and programs from wherever you are!

High Holy Days Schedule


12 Sep



Solel Selichot Zoom Schmooze
Get together with your Solel friends to enjoy each other’s company. We’ll meet on Zoom. The conversation will be fun, and maybe even thought-provoking as we prepare for the start of the High Holy Days. Contact the Solel office to get Zoom connection details.

12 Sep



Canada-Wide Selichot
It’s an evening of meaningful conversations and worship, presented by the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism. Join Solelniks and people from across Canada as we listen to special guest speaker Dr. Larry Hoffman, participate in discussions, and celebrate Havdalah and Selichot worship:

  • 9:00pm: Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Larry Hoffman speaking on Unetaneh Tokef
  • 9:30pm: Discussions facilitated in Zoom Breakout Rooms
  • 10:00pm: Havdalah – led by NFTY and URJ Camp George
  • 10:30pm: Selichot Worship Service – led by Rabbis and Cantors from across Canada

Contact the Solel office for the Zoom link, or check your Solel Shammas monthly newsletter or the Shammas Weekly Update.

Rosh Hashanah

18 Sep



Erev Rosh Hashanah Service

19 Sep



Rosh Hashanah Morning Regular Service
Rosh Hashanah Family Service
Virtual Tashlich directly following the family service

20 Sep



Rosh Hashanah Day 2 L’dor V’dor Multi-Generational Service

20 Sep



Tashlich (In Person, but Physically Distanced)
At Erindale Park. Please wear your masks and stay physically distanced from other family groups.

Shabbat Shuva

25 Sep



Erev Shabbat Shuva Service

26 Sep



Shabbat Shuva Service
Featuring Stump the Rabbis – your chance to get answers to your most burning questions about Judaism!

Yom Kippur

27 Sep



Erev Yom Kippur Kol Nidrei Service

28 Sep



Regular Yom Kippur Service
Self-Directed Healing, Meditation & Prayer Guide (Click Here to Download)
Ella’s Walk
Family Yom Kippur Service
Yizkor / Ne’ilah / Havdalah

Solel’s High Holy Day Services & Programs

Regular Service

In the usual style of Solel’s services, with music, prayers in both Hebrew and English, and thoughtful reflections from our Rabbi.

Family Service

A shorter service geared to younger Solelniks and their parents and grandparents, with participatory worship and storytelling. Includes a modified Torah Service geared to kids plus a Shofar Service on Rosh Hashanah.

L’dor V’dor
Inter-Generational Service

A simplified service geared to Solelniks of all ages, held on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Features prayer and music.


A wonderful, centuries-old ritual in which we symbolically cast off our sins by throwing bread crumbs into a nearby stream. Fun for adults and children alike. We observe Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 immediately following the Family Service to make it more convenient for families of all ages to participate.

Self-Directed Healing, Meditation & Prayer Guide

We’ve prepared a resource guide to use on Yom Kippur afternoon for those who would like to engage in healing prayer and meditation. The guide will be downloadable from this page on Yom Kippur.

Ella’s Walk

A one hour guided stroll outdoors. Participants share thoughtful readings based on the themes of the High Holy Days. This year you can find trails conveniently located to wherever you live. Bring your phone (with mobile data) to hear readings presented via Solel’s live stream.


We remember those who have gone before us, including especially those who have been persecuted for their faith. With special memorial prayers and thoughtful readings.


The concluding service of Yom Kippur during which it is said that the Gates of Repentance close. We hear the blast of the Shofar once more.

High Holy Days – Frequently Asked Questions

When do we wear a Tallit?
A Tallit is normally worn at morning services only. The exception is Yom Kippur Evening, for two reasons. First, it’s a way to acknowledge the special holiness of this day. Second, in earlier times it was a custom to come to synagogue on Erev Yom Kippur and to stay throughout the night and next day to the conclusion of Ne’ilah; thus worshippers would bring their Tallit that evening. We aren’t planning such a marathon, but it’s still appropriate to wear the Tallit on Erev Yom Kippur.

Why do the Torah scrolls have white mantles?
White represents purity, which we seek for our souls during the Days of Awe. It is also appropriate to wear white clothing during this time, including a white Kippah if you wish.

How do I decide whether or not to fast on Yom Kippur?
From the age of 13 onward, it is a mitzvah to fast from sunset to sunset. Children approaching this age might try to fast for as long as they can manage. If fasting would make you ill, or if you are taking medication that requires food, Jewish law rules that you should not fast.

Why do we have group aliyot at this time?
It is our way of honouring the many Solelniks who devote their time and effort to our congregation all year long. Therefore, we have a group Aliya for members of our Bet Sefer Solel teaching staff, for the officers of our Board of Directors, for committee members, for the ushers who serve our congregation all year, and for grandparents and great-grandparents. This year, to preserve physical distancing, group aliyot are done by individual representatives of each group.

Why is the High Holy Day prayer book called a Machzor?
The word “Machzor” means a returning cycle, referring to the cycle of seasons that we celebrate each year. The High Holy Days are a time to take stock of our deeds over the past year and, with God’s help, to plan the next chapter in our Book of Life. It is also a time to celebrate the vital role that community plays in our lives. Surrounded by fellow Solelniks now and throughout the year, we never need to feel alone.


Find out more about the High Holy Days and get great tips for food and family fun at ReformJudaism.org.