North Shore Temple Emanuel’s plans for the High Holidays at home

August 11, 2021 by Community newsdesk
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Sydney’s North Shore Temple Emanuel (NSTE) High Holy Day services are to be conducted communally despite members being unable to leave their homes due to lockdown.

Blending the wonders of technology with the deep meaning, stirring drama, and communal spirit of the yamim nora’im, the liturgical team at NSTE plans to make High Holy Days Together@Home 5782 an unforgettable season of reflection and renewal.

President of NSTE Julia Selby said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world and we are adapting to our present reality. The current lockdown means that we cannot congregate in our shule, however, thanks to the power of the internet and our devoted group of volunteers, we will still all be together . . . at home.”

Rabbi Nicole Roberts added, “We are committed to creating an inclusive, engaging and uplifting worship experience, and facilitating the introspection that the season demands.  Our services will blend live prayers and music from the sanctuary, honours from home, and creative features designed to draw everyone into the spirit of the yamim noraim.  Congregants of all ages will have meaningful opportunities to participate, creating a feel of connection across our whole community.  Our services will be so much more than simply a streaming broadcast.”

“Whilst we are unable to bring together the large choir that would normally be a hallmark of our High Holy Day services, we have found new and innovative ways to build on the uplifting Together@Home experience of last year,” noted NSTE Music Director, Judy Campbell.  “We have had to be very creative and are delighted that our choristers will ‘come together’ as a ‘virtual choir’ to perform from their living rooms along with pre-recordings of both our choir and a number of talented ‘guests’ from around Australia and the world,” enthused Campbell.  “Despite the restrictions, we are thrilled to be able to present such musically infused services.”

“We have tried to find a way to deliver everything that our members cherish at this time”, Julia Selby added.  “This includes providing adult, family, tots, Yizkor, and meditative services.  Our tech team have even developed an eFoyer that enables members to greet each other before services commence!

Through ingenuity combined with a dash of pragmatism, our forebears adjusted to the conditions of the times. We look ahead to the High Holy Days, knowing that for safety and our foremost Jewish value of pikuach nefesh–preserving life–our practices need to adapt”.

Community members who would like to participate in NSTE’s Together@Home High Holy Day services are invited to visit for details or contact the NSTE office via

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