The enormous tent on our wide back lawn that is used for High Holy Day services is emblematic of our welcoming ethos. There is no assigned seating and no tickets are required. We request a voluntary contribution and advance registration, but will turn no one away. Guests may attend the main service in the tent and/or the family service in our sanctuary.
Our services mix serious prayer, joyful singing, and thoughtful intellectual content. As led by our rabbi, Lester Bronstein, and his wife, Cantor Benjie Schiller, High Holy Day services at Bet Am Shalom are at once unusual and traditional. In the Main Service, Shacharit (the early morning service) is led by congregants so the rabbi is free to lead the Family Service; the rabbi returns in time for the Torah service, where the Torah and Haftorah portions are chanted entirely by our post b’nai mitzvah teens; a congregant choral group presents a musical program during the Martyrology, and the d’vrei torah (Torah portion explications) are given both by our rabbi and by congregants.
Led by our rabbi and followed by a family kiddush, the one-hour Family Service mixes the music of prayer with song and learning. It is inclusive of even the youngest family members; children gather close around the rabbi as the Torah is read and the shofar is sounded. Afterwards, many families migrate to the tent to join the main service; babysitting and children’s programs are also available.
Please click here to read what one congregant wrote about the experience of "praying in the tent".
Please click here for more information about the High Holy Days 2012/5773.
Click here to read High Holy Day drashot (sermons) by BAS congregants and Rabbi Bronstein.
Click here for High Holy Day Teen Readings.