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Welcome to Temple Avodah

Holidays at Temple Avodah

Celebrate and Worship: Holidays at Temple Avodah

Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, Tashlich Service, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, and Passover

Scroll down the pages to see photos and videos from the Holidays at Temple Avodah!

See our calendar for the schedule and for all events.


Selichot are penitential prayers said before and during the High Holy Days and other fast days throughout the year. For many Jews, the High Holy Day season begins with Rosh HaShanah and the start of the new month of Tishrei. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that the preceding month of Elul is a time of soul-searching and reflection to prepare oneself for the magnitude of the Days of Awe. It is during this time that we observe Selichot (also spelled s’lichot).

In Hebrew, selichot translates to “forgiveness,” and indeed there is an emphasis in these prayers on the merciful attributes with which God is said to govern the world. In many ways, the prayers which make up the Selichot service mirror what we find on the Day of Atonement which follows soon after. Reform congregations have developed beautiful and meaningful programs for the observance of Selichot on the Saturday evening prior to Rosh HaShanah. This often includes a study program about the themes of repentance and forgiveness. Many congregations show a popular movie exploring these themes. In addition to the Selichot Service, a meaningful ritual of changing the Torah covers to those specifically designed for the High Holidays often precedes the service. The special covers are usually white, representing purity and the wish that through repentance, our sins will be made white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

At Temple Avodah, Selichot is always a time for our Congregation to gather together. Check the Calendar for the day and time for Selichot this year.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh HaShanah (“Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, which marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance. At Temple Avodah, our Temple family joins together in prayer and reflection in our synagogue. Services led by Rabbi Goren, Cantor Amelia Fox, and featuring our Temple musicians and choir, services for our entire Temple family — adults, children and tots — join to listen to the sounding the shofar to mark the start of a beautiful new year ahead.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance. Part of the High Holidays, which also includes Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. At Temple Avodah, our Temple family gathers for Yom Kippur, the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves.

Tashlich at Temple Avodah at the Waterside

Tashlich, which literally translates to “casting off,” is a ceremony performed on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. During this ceremony, we symbolically cast off the sins of the previous year by tossing pebbles or bread crumbs into flowing water.

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah at Temple Avodah! A very special way to enjoy this joyous holiday, the Torah Scroll is shown from one end to the other, as Rabbi Goren explains all about the Torah to us. Rabbi Goren leads dancing with the Torah in celebration as congregants share in dancing with Torah.


Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. At Temple Avodah, our Temple Family constructs and decorates a sukkah, a small temporary booth or hut, and during the seven-day festival we gather within the sukkah to celebrate, eat and entertain.


Chanukah time is not to be missed at Temple Avodah. Our annual Chanukah Service and Dinner is always a highlight of the winter season. It is a family event with fun for kids and adults alike. The winning of our annual raffle for a great prize is announced, and the lights of Chanukah are celebrated by the Temple Avodah family. Specifics on the Chanukah Celebration for the year can be found on this website in November and/or December each year.


Purim is always a fun and exciting time at Temple Avodah. There is a Service filled with costumed congregants, that always included the retelling of the story of Purim in a unique way that is different each year– often our Temple’s Senior and Junior choirs sing, a Dinner Party, a Kid’s Carnival or other fun event, the winning of our annual raffle by three lucky winners, the gifting of Purim Shalach Manot baskets and of course, Hammentashin for all. Specifics on the Purim Celebration for the year can be found on this page in February and/or March each year.


Passover is an unforgettable experience at Temple Avodah. Our Passover Service each year surpasses the prior year, as Passover is celebrated in an exciting and original way, involving all congregants in celebrating this special holiday. A Chametz Dinner is held prior to the start of Passover. Specifics on the Passover Service and events for the year can be found on this page in March, and/or April each year.

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784