This New Year at KAM Isaiah Israel
Dear KAM Isaiah Israel Family,

Our plans for the High Holy Days are proceeding, and we have some creative experiences that will deepen your connection both to the festivals and to our community. This digest will give you a better understanding of what to expect this year. We'll send additional information in the coming weeks as we continue to finalize all of the details to make your experience complete.

What will we be doing? In a word: lots. First, we will live-stream services on the evening and the morning of the Holy Days and for the Yizkor Memorial and Concluding service for Yom Kippur. Knowing the fatigue that experiences through computer screens can cause, we have planned our live services this year to allow for the grandeur and spiritual uplift that these days create without requiring anyone to be in front of a screen for longer than 75 minutes. We also will have recorded service elements, such as the Torah service, and a very select few outdoor experiences, such as Tashlich.

The cantor and I will lead these services, often accompanied by our organist and a quartet of singers. The decision to include these accompaniments came only after we deliberated and consulted with both the High Holy Day Working Group and the Executive Committee. Ultimately, we did not think that we could have moving and uniquely KAM Isaiah Israel services without the music of Max Janowski. Because that music calls for a choir, we have figured out how to have one in a form that is as safe as possible.

Pikuach nefesh—the saving of a life—is one of the most important Jewish values, and so we are doing what we can to protect all involved in making all of this happen. Our choir will have four voices instead of eight, and they will be spaced out in the far corners of our main sanctuary with no singer closer than thirty feet to another singer. We are also investigating special masks to mitigate further any risk. We also have backup plans so that if circumstances require changes, we will all be able to participate in spiritually meaningful services.

We will also have other programs available to enhance your High Holy Day experience and we will deliver a High Holy Day Kit to members of the congregation in the Chicagoland area. Scroll down for more details or visit our website, which will be continuously updated over the next several weeks.

Every year, our High Holy Days are a partnership, and that is especially true this year. What can you do to improve our High Holy Days? First and foremost, treat them like you would any other High Holy Day. Wear what you would wear to come to the synagogue. Set yourself up in a more formal space than bed. If you are able stream on a larger screen, such as your television, do so! Participate in the readings and sing along—now there really is no need to worry whether you are a good singer! Through the rest of the Days of Awe, participate in the other offerings that are available on the website.


Rabbi Frederick Reeves
Services and Program Schedule
Our building remains closed for services through the High Holy Days. Future emails will detail our virtual offerings and a select few outdoor experiences.
Rosh haShanah (September 18-20) events will include:
  • Erev Rosh haShanah service
  • Family service
  • Traditional Morning service on Day 1
  • Shofar sounding stations throughout the city
  • Tashlich
  • Teen program
  • Participatory Morning service on Day 2 (email Rabbi Reeves if you would like to lead a small part in English or Hebrew).

Visit the website for more details and the complete schedule.

Yom Kippur (September 27-28) events will include:
  • Kol Nidre service
  • Family service
  • Morning service
  • Study session with Rabbi Reeves
  • Book of Jonah reading and discussion
  • Teen program
  • Meditative walk
  • Avodah and Eilah Ezkerah services
  • Yizkor memorial service and N'ilah concluding service

Visit the website for more details and the complete schedule.
A "Zoom Lobby" will be available before and after all of our morning and evening services to visit and catch up with others in our community, similar to how you might run into familiar faces in the lobby during the High Holy Days.
Curating Your High Holy Day Experience
Learning session: Creating Your High Holy Day Experience |
Tuesday, September 1, 8:00-9:00 PM
How can the High Holy Days be meaningful this year? It's going to be a very different Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, that's for sure, and we want to help you figure out how to make it special. Rabbi Reeves and educator Lauren Reeves will talk about ways to prepare yourself and your space to have a spiritual experience outside of the sanctuary this year. We'll talk about some details as well as how to envision your holidays.

Join us on Zoom, Meeting ID: 814 2514 9848

Important Reminders
High Holy Day Kits for Every KAM Isaiah Israel Member
Passover Seder Essentials Kit
As we will be physically distant from one another during High Holy Days this year, KAM Isaiah Israel is making an extra effort to remain spiritually connected. A group of volunteers led by Roslyn Cohen and Crystal Johnson is preparing High Holy Day Kits for every KAM Isaiah Israel member. The kits will include items to view, hold, and even taste as you enter the Jewish New Year. With everything from a printed book to child/adult friendly coloring pages to a homemade treat, the kit will help every member feel connected to the KAM Isaiah Israel family.

To make sure that every member household receives a kit, we are looking for volunteers to help with contact-less delivery and distribution on Sunday, September 13 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Email with the subject "delivery help" to indicate that you are available to volunteer your time on that day.
Deadline for Book of Remembrance | Monday, August 31
Book of Remembrance
The Book of Remembrance is a traditional way of honoring departed relatives, friends, and members of our congregation. We look to it each year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we remember our loved ones who have died recently or in past years. Different from past years, the Book of Remembrance will be available online in early September and mailed to the homes of those who request it.

To ensure the names of your departed loved ones appear in this year's book, use one of the following options:

And One Last Thing...
Focus on Spiritual Prep for High Holy Days with The Shofar Project |
August 20 – September 18
Shofar project
As we approach a High Holiday season unlike any other, many want to open their minds and hearts to listen, reflect, wake up, and stay awake. To help you do this vital spiritual work, Institute for Jewish Spirituality (IJS) is excited to announce The Shofar Project, a free program open to all who want to make this a year of continued awakening, responsiveness, renewal, and transformation.

Presented in partnership with an historic cross-denominational coalition of 11 rabbinic, cantorial, and congregational associations, The Shofar Project will take place during the Hebrew month of Elul, a traditional period for spiritual reflection, introspection, and moral accounting (August 20 – September 18).