The Jewish calendar presents us with opportunities throughout the year to celebrate and reflect, as our people have done throughout the millennia. In addition to the major holidays, there are many other special services and worship opportunities that take place throughout the year as we celebrate tradition and and create new rituals to elevate our modern lives
As is the case in every corner of our community, our goal is to be open and welcoming. You do not need to be a member of our congregation to join us for worship, except for the evening and morning services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (due to space and security constraints).
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
We welcome the New Year and observe our Day of Atonement with as broad a range of opportunities as possible. In addition to our traditional, “classic” services, we have family and intergenerational services as well as fun and educational programming for K-5th or 6-7th grade students.
Our congregational sukkot are built the day before the festival begins and are available for use by any member of TSTI. Our religious school students spend time in it during the holiday, as do our preschool students. We also hold a variety of different programs that take advantage of our sukkah throughout the week.
On the last day of the holiday, we hold a festival service at 10:30am that, as is the case on Passover and Shavuot, includes a Yizkor memorial service. This service is followed by a light lunch.
TSTI’s celebration of Simchat Torah is a special one. In joyous celebration of finishing the annual cycle of reading from the Torah and beginning it anew, members of the congregation are invited to carry the Torah around the sanctuary for the various Hakafot. During the service, we unroll the entire Torah so our community can see it stretching around the sanctuary. Every member is invited to help support the scroll as it is unrolled and participate in the special blessings. This evening is a highlight of the year for TSTI family members of all ages.
Our Chanukah observance takes place on the Shabbat that falls during the festival of lights. In addition to the traditional Shabbat worship, we celebrate with special young family programming, guest musical artists, singing Chanukah songs, lighting of the Chanukah menorah, and special treats for all. We also celebrate our 10th grade students, who help to lead services and share reflections on their Jewish identity; a perfect tie-in for a holiday focused on rededication!
Tu B’shvat, takes place on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat and has come to be connected to Jewish environmentalism. TSTI members dedicated to climate change and the environment take this opportunity to educate our community and make significant changes within our building.
Our observance of Purim takes place on the closest Sunday to the holiday. A brief reading of the Purim story service is followed by our kid-friendly, staff-led Purim spiel. After the spiel, children and families are invited to come to our annual “Purim Extravaganza” a.k.a. Purim Carnival.
A night on the town for our adults-only rendition of the Purim story — conceived of and performed by TSTI clergy and staff — is a more recent addition to our celebrations and not to be missed!
Our Seniors group, Prime Connection, holds a community seder that is open to the congregation (with prior registration), and we often have a multi-generational Women’s Seder — both of which are highlights of the year!
At the end of the Passover festival, we hold a morning worship service at 10:30am. As is the case during Sukkot and Shavout it closes the festival but also allows us an opportunity to observe Yizkor and honor the memories of family members who have died. This service is followed by a light lunch.
On the Friday nearest to the festival of Shavuot, Shabbat worship is led by our 12th grade class as they mark their graduation from our Hebrew High program. The students reflect on all that they learned through their education at TSTI, what they will miss, and most importantly, what learning they will bring forward into the next chapter of their lives.
On the last day of the festival, we hold a morning service at 10:30am. As is the case during Passover and Sukkot, it closes the festival but also allows us an opportunity to observe Yizkor and honor the memories of family members who have died. This service is followed by a light lunch.
Festival worship for Sukkot, Shavuot, Simchat Torah and Passover are constantly evolving and details about specific worship and experiential opportunities can be found in TSTI Today and the TSTI calendar.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a somber day each year. We mark it on the closest Shabbat and participate in our community’s annual interfaith observance. Our Yom Kippur Memorial service also includes a special Holocaust Memorial Service.
Israel Independence Day is a time of celebration throughout the Jewish world. Our observance of Yom Ha’Atzmaut varies from year to year but always takes place on the closest Shabbat evening.