BETHS offers programs in advance of High Holy Days

The Jewish High Holy Days are around the corner, and Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) invites the community to a series of three events in preparation for them.

First up is a Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the sabbath) service and dinner on Friday, Aug. 18. Miriam Giardina will speak on “A Convert Looks at Tshuvah.” (T’shuvah means return or repentance, among other things.) The service will start at 6:30 p.m., with teaching starting at 7 p.m., followed by candle-lighting, dinner, and more teaching. The dinner is primarily vegetarian, usually with one fish dish, and the cost is $10. Those who want to attend should register at the synagogue website,

On the weekend of Sept. 8–9, Beth El will present two programs. Both will look at the machsor—the rich but often bewildering prayer book for the High Holy Days—and both will feature singing.

Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night, Sept. 8, will feature teaching by Barry Starr, on “Not Perfect, But Awakened: The Liturgy of Rosh HaShanah.” (Same times and same format as the Aug. 18 event, featuring another tasty vegetarian-friendly dinner. Register at:

The next day, Saturday, Sept. 9, Beth El will host a Lunch-and-Learn. Lunch will start at about 1 p.m., following the service. The teaching, starting at about 1:30 p.m., will again feature Barry Starr as teacher, on the topic “Not Perfect but Forgiven: The Liturgy of Yom Kippur.” This program is free and there is no need to register, but non-members are asked to call the shul to make luncheon reservations.

Beth El-The Heights Synagogue will again offer free High Holy Day tickets, for the 20th year in a row. The shul is an independent minyan, both traditional and egalitarian. (That sounds contradictory, but we manage to work it out.)

For more information, call the synagogue voicemail at 216-320-9667, or send an e-mail to

Joe Buchwald Gelles

Joe Buchwald Gelles is a book publisher and graphic designer, and a 26-year Heights resident. He and his wife, Mia Buchwald Gelles, have three children: Ruth, 31, Noam, 19, and Shani, 18.

Read More on Religion
Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:10 PM, 08.01.2017