High Holy Days

High Holy Days 5782 (2021)

Download this year’s High Holy Days prayer booklet.
Join Us Online and In-Person 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.
On this page:

We are looking forward to getting back into our building for High Holy Days this year, but we will not yet be getting back to normal by any means, unfortunately. One of our highest ideals is to protect the sanctity of life and so we have made plans to hold limited in-person services and activities as part of our High Holy Day observances this year. We will continue to live stream all our indoor services for those who aren’t able or aren’t yet comfortable coming to Solel for services in-person.

Important Limitations

Please note the following important facts about our in-person High Holy Day services this year:

  • There will be strict capacity limits, which will require us to use a reservation system for in-person services.
  • Because of these limits, we may not be able to accommodate every one of each person’s reservation requests.
  • After taking everyone’s reservation requests, we will confirm reservations for specific services based on stated preferences and our best ability to give everyone who wants it fair access to our in-person services.
  • Only those who are fully vaccinated may attend in person.
  • We will have some opportunities for family events and activities at which children under 12, who are not yet eligible for vaccination, can attend with their families and anyone else who would like to participate. Our High Holy Days schedule, below, includes the details of these events.

Here are some important details about our High Holy Days reservation process:

  • Reservations open on Tuesday, August 3 and close promptly at 5pm on Friday, August 27.
  • Extended family members, non-members and guests will be placed on a waiting list until the reservations close and we can determine whether there is space available.
  • Our reservation form will ask you which services you most want to attend in-person. We will do our best to accommodate everyone’s preferences, but we expect to have to turn some people down for our most popular services.
  • Reservations are not official until they are confirmed by the Solel office.

Please also note:

  • Several aspects of our worship services will be modified for everyone’s safety.
  • Everyone attending in person must wear a mask at all times inside the building.
  • Everyone must maintain 2m of physical distance from every other person unless they reside in the same household.
  • Everyone attending in person must complete our COVID-19 active screener before attending each service.

How to Watch Online

Here’s how you can watch Solel’s High Holy Days services via our live stream.

You can watch all of our services live as they happen or you can watch later, on demand!

Special Prayerbooks for Our 2021 High Holy Days Services

This year we will be praying our new liturgy that we began developing in 2020 rather than using our traditional machzor, Gates of Repentance. As we will have a mixture of in-person and live stream worship this year, our prayers won’t be on the screen like last year. Instead we have a different printed booklet for each of our services.
If you are attending in-person, we will have copies ready for you. If you are attending via live stream, we have a limited number of hard copies that you can pick up from Solel. You can also download your own soft copies on our High Holy Days Downloads page.

High Holy Days Schedule


28 Aug



Canada-Wide Selichot (via Zoom)
It’s an evening of meaningful conversations and worship, presented by the Reform Jewish Community of Canada. Join Solelniks and people from across Canada as we are hosted by Rabbi Josh Weinberg and participate in discussions, and celebrate Havdalah and Selichot worship.
Contact the Solel office for the Zoom link, or check your Solel Shammas monthly newsletter or the Shammas Weekly Update for the Zoom registration link.

Rosh Hashanah

6 Sep



Erev Rosh Hashanah Service (in person and by livestream)

7 Sep



Rosh Hashanah Morning Regular Service (in person and by livestream)
Rosh Hashanah Family Activity & In-Person Tashlich (at Solel)
Note: unvaccinated children under 12 welcome
Virtual Tashlich via live stream (replay of 2020 live stream)

8 Sep



Rosh Hashanah Day 2 L’dor V’dor Multi-Generational Service (in person and by livestream)

Shabbat Shuva

10 Sep



Erev Shabbat Shuva Service (in person and by livestream)

11 Sep



Shabbat Shuva Service (in person and by livestream)

Yom Kippur

15 Sep



Erev Yom Kippur Kol Nidrei Service (in person and by livestream)

16 Sep



Regular Yom Kippur Service (in person and by livestream)
Virtual Ella’s Walk via live stream (replay of 2020 live stream)
Zoom Text Study: Yom Kippur Parshiot (Pre-registration required)
Ella’s Walk In person / outdoors at Solel
Family Yom Kippur Activity (at Solel)
Note: unvaccinated children under 12 welcome
High Holy Days Past as Solel (livestream video presentation)
Yizkor / Ne’ilah / Havdalah (in person and by livestream)

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 Activities

A shorter service geared to younger Solelniks and their parents and grandparents, with participatory worship and storytelling. This year we will be outdoors, weather permitting, or inside in case of rain. Note that these events are open to children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination. All those who attend and are eligible for vaccination must be fully vaccinated, just as with all other in-person worship services.

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.

Ella’s Walk

A one hour guided stroll outdoors. Participants share thoughtful readings based on the themes of the High Holy Days. This year we will offer both an in-person walk and also we will be replaying the recorded live stream from 2020.


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.

Resources for Observing the High Holidays at Home

We have some more resources to help you have a meaningful and fun High Holidays. 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 – 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.