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The Jewish month of Elul starts Thursday night, August 17th. Traditionally, Elul is a time of reflection and preparation for the High Holidays which begin with Rosh Hashanah on September 15th. TAA is hosting several programs during Elul and the High Holidays to help you prepare for the High Holidays. Each event below has its own registration. Please join one, many or all.

Note: This table of events is easiest to read on a desktop computer or tablet (landscape).





Sep 25th




In-person only

Why be good

This session led by Jewish educator Arnold Zar-Kessler (husband of our HHD Cantor) will explore Jewish texts around reward and punishment, including discussing readings from the Bible, Pirkei Avot, Maimonides and a Hasidic story.  We will discuss some of the answers of our texts and tradition to the generative question - "why be good?" Study sheets will be provided. We will be using some Hebrew as well as ample translations. Join us just before the start of the afternoon Yom Kippur service.


Hope you will join many of our programs during this special time in the calendar.  Many thanks to our lay leaders and visiting clergy who have stepped forward to teach, lead and moderate.

Past Events

Thank you for attending these Elul events with us.




Aug 29th

5:30pm - 6:30pm


In-person only


Learn to Blow Shofar

During High Holiday services, we will invite anyone who wants to blow shofar to join in. At this session, Marilyn Kramer will teach adults and kids about the shofar and how to blow it. Bring your own shofar or we will provide a loaner. 


Aug 30th

6:00pm - 7:30pm


In-person only


Teshuva (Atonement) Questions to Ask Ourselves

Teshuva is one of the central themes of the High Holidays. The term is often translated as "repentance" or "atonement," but literally, the Hebrew word means "return."

Dale Rosen and Stuart Siegel will guide you in a unique experience of reflection. You and a trusted loved one or friend will explore a text of challenging personal questions in a private, supportive and safe environment. Most of this session will be in chevruta, traditional learning pairs. We recommend you register to come with someone with whom you'd like to share the experience. If you are coming on your own, let us know, and we will assist in finding a partner for you.

Links to advanced readings will be provided after registration. Pizza and childcare to be provided.


Sep 7th

7:00pm - 8:00pm


and online


High Holiday Melodies

Our High Holiday Cantor Lorel Zar-Kessler will teach some of the melodies she will use during services.


Sep 9th

8:00pm - 9:00pm


and online

Selichot and Study

The Thirteen Attributes of God:  How it Started and How It’s Going

"Adonai, Adonai, El rachum v'chanun..." For many of us, these words in the High Holiday prayers can summon up deep feelings: awe, nostalgia, faith, maybe even terror. In a short study session, we will explore the original Biblical context of the 13 Middot (attributes of God) and see where they turn up in other texts. 

Join Rabbinic Intern Naomi Gurt Lind as we immerse ourselves in these evocative words and contemplate their power together. After the session, Rav Naomi and Rabbi Kudan will lead us in the penitential Selichot service. 


Sep 13th

7:30pm - 8:45pm


In-person only


Israel in Crisis: A Gathering of Voices

These last months have been among the most unsettled and
difficult times in Israel’s history. Those of us in the Diaspora who
cannot vote must watch and wait and pray. As individuals we are
isolated; as a community we can come together to hear and try
to understand each other’s points of view.

Listening to each other may lessen our frustration and despair
and offer hope.. We invite you to speak, and we ask everyone to listen deeply, to take in what each of us says and feels. A “talking stick”—in this case a yod, the pointer we use when reading the Torah—will be passed to each person to speak. In response to each other’s words, we will simply say “Thank you.” All our voices are important, a gathering of feeling, a gathering of souls. Please come and sit and share with us what you think and how you feel.

Moderated by Ellen Solomon.


Sep 21st

7:30pm - 8:30pm

On Zoom

Online only

Hesbon NaNefesh

Hesbon NaNefesh literally means "an accounting of the soul."  At this session, Laila Goodman will guide folks through their own personal accounting or reflections


Additional Elul Resources

Here are additional Elul resources that you may enjoy as you prepare for the High Holidays.



In this series of classes, we will examine each of these concepts over the course of three weeks: What is the nature of Teshuvah and what are its limits? What is the role of the self in prayer? And what does it mean to put Tzedakah in action? 

Each week will feature a 3-day course on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, as well as a different, standalone class offered each Wednesday. Participants are encouraged to attend as many as they'd like. 


The Shofar Project: Getting Real for a New Year

August 13 – September 15, 2023

Join the IJS faculty for five weeks of ongoing Jewish spiritual practice grounded in teachings drawn from This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared, by Rabbi Alan Lew z”l, the contemporary classic describing the spiritual arc of this period of the Jewish year.


Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784