Mah nishtanah? Indeed, this has been a High Holy Days (HHD) season unlike any other in our congregational history. Through the extraordinary efforts of an enormous number of volunteers and our dedicated rabbis, cantor, and staff, we were able to celebrate this season as a congregational community with warmth, creativity and kavanah. Through the wonders of a technology that was infused with the human spirit, we saw each other face to face in our virtual Sanctuary, studied together, and heard the shofar blasts throughout the month of Elul. We even lingered after services and other programs to kibbitz in our on-line “parking lot”.

Oseh Shalom created more programs and activities than ever before for this High Holy Days season, beginning in the month of Elul (beginning August 21) and continuing through the conclusion of Sukkot and Simhat Torah. Almost all were accessible through Zoom to anyone who registered to receive the special HHD password.

Because this extensive use of the Zoom platform is so new, we need to hear from as many of you as possible to know what worked and didn’t. We want to hear how YOU experienced this sacred season under such unique circumstances.

Please use the COMMENT feature throughout this survey to provide more specific information. There is no word limit. FYI: No need to comment on everything. We provided a list in chronological order simply to stimulate your recall.

Please complete survey on-line here if at all possible. It also is available for download and printing out on the website, www.oseh-shalom.org. If you have any trouble with this version, hard copy may be available upon request at the synagogue (speak with Mark Cook, Synagogue Administrator, ext. 101).

Todah rabbah!

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* 1. If you choose to do so, please enter your names(s), phone, or e-mail address.  This information is optional and confidential.

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Was this your first time experiencing Oseh Shalom's High Holy Days services, programs and activities?
Would you recommend Oseh Shalom to anyone you know who is looking for a place to go for the holidays?
Do YOU plan to come back next year?  And if not, please let us know why in the Comment box below.

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* 4. ZOOM World:  How was your experience using Zoom with respect to quality of the technology and ease of access to HHD services, programs, and activities?

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* 5. What could we have done to make the Zoom experience easier or more meaningful? Use Comment box below.

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* 6. HIGH HOLY DAYS SEASON OF SERVICES, PROGRAMS, AND ACTIVITIES. Events are listed chronologically. In rating each, consider such things (where relevant) as topic, content and presentation, timing, length, balance of Hebrew and English, readings, cantorial, instrumental and previously recorded music, honors, written resources available, etc. Did the experience of participation expand your understanding and/or heighten your sense of meaningful connection with the holidays and our community?  [Note:  text and/or video recordings of the rabbis' sermons are linked on our website homepage.]

  Poor Fair Average Good Excellent N/A
A.  Shofar Soundings:  Tuesdays & Sundays through 9/15 (Andy Friedman, Stan Kusnetz, Steve Muchnick, Harvey Rapp)
B.   Jewish Meditation:  Tuesdays & Sundays, 8/25-9/15, 8:00am (Rabbi Daria and Maryrita Wieners)
C.   Elul Reflections:  Daily during Elul (Brad Sachs)
D.  Rabbi Josh:  Making Jewish Prayer Real:  5 sessions, beginning 8/31 & continuing; see website calendar
E.  Rosh Hashanah Model Seder:  Tuesday, 9/15, 5:00pm (Ray & Diane Wacks)
F.  Erev Rosh Hashanah Evening Service:  Friday, 9/18, 7:30pm
-1.  Rabbi Daria's sermon:  "Paradox and Power".  In this time of feeling powerless, our individual and collective power is needed even more. May we each show up for others in the new ways our present work situation requires, especially with the loss of our "greats" -- John Lewis and Justice Ginsburg.
G.  Rosh Hashanah Morning Service:  Saturday, 9/19, 9:30am
-1.  Rabbi Josh's sermon:  "Who by Fire, Who with a Knee in the Back of his Neck"?  As Jews, how are we/will we engage in this liminal time of racial reckoning in our country?
H.  Family Service:  10-10:45am (Rabbi Rebecca and John Riehl)
I.  Virtual Rosh Hashanah Experience with Shofar & Tashlih:  9/19, 1:30pm (Rabbi Daria, Dan Glaser, Maryrita Wieners)
J.  Rosh Hashanah 2nd Evening Service:  9/19, 7:30pm (John Riehl)
K.  Rosh Hashanah 2nd Day Morning Service:  Sunday, 9/20, 9:30am
-1.  Reflections and discussion, led by Rabbi Daria, about the Akedah as portrayed in the 5-part poem/midrash "The Binding".  How do we understand the meaning of compromise, sacrifice, even martyrdom?  How might we see this story in the poem's many voices and in own lives.
L.  Tashlih and Picnic in the park at Laurel Lakes:  Sunday, 9/20, 2:30pm (Dan Glaser)
M.  Creating Our Own Personal "Vidui":  Tuesday, 9/22, 7:30pm (Maryrita Weiners)
N.  Erev Yom Kippur - Kol Nidre: Sunday, 9/27, 7:30pm
-1.  Rabbi Daria's sermon:  "Cracks, and Stories for a 'Great' Transition".  What story are we telling about the tumultuous world in which we are living, and our possibilities for maturing out of an "adolescent" level of development?  To move towards a future where humanity thrives, we are all called to engage fully.
O.  Yom Kippur Morning Service:  Monday, 9/28, 9:30am
-1.  Rabbi Josh's sermon:  "The Blessing of the 13 Attributes of Compassion".  These13 middot are the 'through-line' of our tradition--giving us a framework and practices for going deeper spiritually and  for living in the world. [Note:  watch/listen to a clear recording on the website homepage link.]
P.  Family Service:  10-10:45am (Rabbi Rebecca and John Riehl)
Q.  Torah Study:  "David's Choice":  3:00pm (Curtis Menyuk)
R.  Chanting and Meditation:  4:30pm (Rabbi Daria and Maryrita Wieners)
S.  Martyrology Service:  5:15pm (Maryrita Wieners & John Riehl, and musicians Lili Barouch & Brad Sachs)
T.  Minhah  Service:  5:45pm (Maryrita Wieners, John Riehl)
U.  Ne'ilah and Havdalah:  7:00pm
V.  Erev Sukkot Service:  Friday, 10/2, 7:30pm
W.  Sukkot Morning Service:  Saturday, 10/3, 10:00am
X.  Simhat Torah/Hoshana Rabba Service:  Friday, 10/9, 7:30pm
Y.  Simhat Torah/Shemini Atzeret Service with Yiskor:  Saturday, 10/10, 10:00am