Welcome to TBI for the High Holy Days

Here is an easy reference guide to our schedule of services, followed by all the details you might need.

Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner

New this year, we are holding a community Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner before services on Sunday, September 29.  Chicken, brisket, potato knishes, and other holiday favorites will be served. Please mention if you require a vegetarian meal or have other food considerations when you sign up.

  • When:  Sunday, September 29 at 5:30 pm. Services begin at 7:30 pm.
  • Sign up: Please contact the Temple office or link here to sign up online before Sunday, September 22.
  • Cost: $25 per person; children under 12 are free. 

Seats for Members and Visitors

Seats at all High Holy Day services are not assigned. Please take any available seats in the sanctuary when you arrive.  If you have a favorite seat or special seating needs, please arrive early so an usher can assist you.

We would appreciate a donation of $50 for each parent, adult child, other immediate family members, and visiting out-of-town guests of members who themselves are members in good standing at another synagogue.  We suggest a donation of $100 for each visitor who is not a member of another synagogue.


Ushers will distribute honors to those who are present. Honors include having an aliyah (reciting blessings at the Torah), lifting or wrapping the Torah, opening the ark, reading a prayer in English, or participating in some other way. If you would like an honor, please contact the Temple office before the High Holy Days, or speak to an usher at services. We will do our best to distribute honors to those who request them. If offered an honor, please take your place on the bimah at the appropriate time so services flow smoothly.

Children’s Services, Childcare, and Teen Activities

Children’s Services. Children are welcome at our services.  Please bring quiet toys for them to play with!  TBI will hold children’s services for each day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning at 10:30 am. Led by Aki Yonekawa, these services include singing, storytelling, and movement, and provide an opportunity to meet other families in the greater Waltham area.  Services are geared for children ages 2-7 but kids of all ages (and their parents!)  are welcome.

Childcare. We will offer childcare each day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning from after the chidren’s service (about 11:00 am) until 1 pm, and for Kol Nidre (if there is enough interest).  Pre-registration is required, as we need to hire the appropriate number of staff. Please contact the Temple office by September 15 so we can properly plan for these services.  A contribution to defray the cost of providing childcare is appreciated.

We have a large, carpeted playroom downstairs with a variety of books, toys and games and plenty of space for both quiet and active play.  Please note that the downstairs playroom is accessible only to those who can use stairs. Children also are joyfully welcome to move between the playroom and the main service, especially to hear the sounding of the shofar or when the Torah is carried through the congregation in the sanctuary.

Teen Activities. We will offer a special “meet up” for teens on the first day of Rosh hashanah and on Yom Kippur, from 11:30 to 12:15 pm.  This program, led by Aki Yonekawa, will include songs, prayers, and interactive learning about the High Holy Days.

We will honor all teens with a group aliyah on the first day of Rosh Hashanah during the Torah service at approximately 10:15 AM. We invite all teens, including those with recent and upcoming b’nei mitzvah, to join their parents in the main services for the Holy Days.

Courtesy and Consideration

Please remember to silence your cell phone before you enter the sanctuary. If you must check your phone or make a call, please do so quietly outside the sanctuary.

On Erev Yom Kippur, please arrive on time, as the doors will remain closed during the chanting of Kol Nidre. On Yom Kippur day, doors will remain closed during Yizkor. If the sanctuary doors are closed, please wait until the ushers open the doors before taking your seats. 

Please refrain from wearing any colognes, perfumes, or other scents to be considerate of those with fragrance sensitivities.

Please use the restrooms on the lower level if you are able, to leave the restroom located in the family room at the rear of the social hall available for those who cannot use the stairs.

Please make use of the chapel or the library to shmooze with other congregants and wish them a Shanah Tovah, and try to keep conversation in the sanctuary to a minimum. Voices carry.

Please leave spaces in the Temple parking lot available for those with who need to park closer to the building. If the Temple parking lot is full, you may park along Russell Street, or in the Hannaford lot by the Bank of America building. Please do not park in the driveway or in the circle in front of the building. Please do not park in the CVS lot diagonally across from the Temple, as you may be towed.

Community Safety

Waltham Police have been notified of our service schedule and will provide additional patrols of the synagogue area. Synagogue doors will be open at the start of services each day.  A greeter will monitor the door.  Please do not bring any large bags or backpacks into the synagogue building.  If you require items for childcare or medical needs, please notify the Temple office in advance. Please report any suspicious individuals to any of the greeters or ushers, or to any Temple officer or board member.

Volunteer Opportunities

Several volunteer opportunities are available before, during, and after the High Holy Days. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, and meet members of the TBI community.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch! We will provide you with all of the guidance, assistance, and information that you will need.

Please contact the Temple office to offer to assist with any of these:

Sanctuary Set-Up.  Change Torahs to white covers, set up additional chairs, replace Shabbat prayer books with High Holy Day prayer books.  Time involved: 1 to 1.5 hours on Sunday Morning, September 29, starting at 10 AM. Contact the Temple Office to let us know you are coming. We will have bagels and pastry ready for you!

Services Greeter.  Welcome people as they arrive in the lobby; direct them to the coat room, restroom, sanctuary or children’s services, or other locations; assist those who need to use the lift to access the sanctuary. Greeters play a crucial role in helping members and guests feel comfortable and welcome when they arrive. Time involved: 1 hour during any Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur service, and a brief training beforehand on using the lift in the lobby. Sign up at http://bit.ly/TBIUshers2019 or contact the Temple office to let us know which day and times you are available. 

Usher.  Keep track of the progress of the service, distribute honors to congregants at appropriate times.  Monitor the door to minimize traffic. Time involved:  1 hour during any Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur service. Sign up at http://bit.ly/TBIUshers2019 or contact the Temple office to let us know which day and times you are available. 

Food Preparation or Clean-up.  Assist with preparing food for, or cleaning up after, the Erev Rosh Hashanah community dinner or the Break the Fast on Yom Kippur.  Call the Temple office to let us know how you’d like to help.

To help with any of these activities, please contact the Temple office at 781-894-5146 or andrea@tbiwaltham.org .

We welcome you and look forward to spending the High Holy Days together. May the new year be a sweet one and bring blessings for you and for all those you love.

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