Honoring Rabbi Meyer

SHIRAT HANEFESH HOLIDAY GUIDE 2019/5780: Services are held in the beautiful stained-glass-filled sanctuary and are led by our cantor, Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat, and with Rabbi Gilah Langner on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah.

Soulful Music
Services are filled with both exotic and familiar melodies from our Hazzan, with plenty of opportunity to sing along at every service.
Talks, scholarly insights, and folksy wisdom by our very own congregants.
Children and Teens
Children and teen services are held on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings.   Child care is available upon request in advance, for a modest fee, for under age 10.

Join us for a High Holiday season like no other.  More than ever, this is the year to come together in community and in relationship. 

Please check the schedule below for our full listing of services and activities, starting in early Elul (Aug. 23).  And be sure to register so we can send you the Zoom links for our online services.  Donations are gratefully appreciated.  You may wish to order a prayerbook or flowers, or to contribute to our Yizkor slideshow.  And please let us know if you can volunteer to help. 

Click below to reach the Registration/Order form, or to download a copy and mail it in.  For all questions, please contact our coordinator Janet Braun at info@shirathanefesh.org

Click above to register & order online.

Click above to download a PDF form to mail in.

Click above to download a PDF of the order of our services and activities.

Starting on the first of Elul, August 23, join Hazzan Ramon Tasat for a month-long exploration of the spiritual process of teshuvah/return as we examine traditional poetry and modern Israeli songs.  We’ll be on Zoom every weeknight at 8 p.m. (Sundays through Thursdays) from August 23 thru September 24 for a 20-minute dip into our spiritual traditions, led by a variety of leaders.

Selihot Service – September 12, 2020 – 8:30 pm


Please register by sending email to  HHD@ShiratHaNefesh.org.

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 18, 2020 – 6:30 pm R

Rabbi Gilah Langner and Hazzan Ramón Tasat lead a combined service for Shirat HaNefesh and Kol Ami Congregation.  Rabbi Gilah will be speaking about the theme of Zochreinu L’Chayim, Remember us for Life.  

Rosh Hashanah, 1st Day, Sept. 19, 2020 – 9:00 am  R

Hazzan Ramón will lead services for 1st day of Rosh Hashanah. 


Rosh Hashanah, 2nd Day, Sept. 20, 2020 – 9:30 am – 12:15 pm

Rabbi Gilah and Hazzan Ramón will lead services. .

TASHLICH  Jones Mill Road Park, a few meters from Jones Mill and Levelle Drive Chevy Chase, MD – 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Yom Kippur, Kol Nidre, Sept. 27, 2020 – 6:15 pm – 8:30 pm   R

Kol Nidre starts before sundown and is followed by a special Yom Kippur evening service, led by Hazzan Ramon.




Yom Kippur Morning, Sept. 28, 2020 – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm R


Yom Kippur Afternoon and Evening , Sept. 28, 2020 – 2:00 pm – 7:34 pm R


Minhah (Torah Reading, the Book of Jonah, and discussion)  – 4:00 – 5:45 pm

Neilah (Our last prayer as the sun sets & the gates close)  – pm
Final Shofar Blast and Havdalah  – 7:34 pm


Our High Holiday prayer book is Dr. Joe Rosenstein’s Machzor Eit Ratzon .  If you would like to borrow a copy, we will be distributing them on Sept. 13, 1-2 p.m. at NC4.  Please sign up for a slot on the registration form.


Add beauty to your home on the High Holidays with native flowers ($18 per plant).  Pickup on Sept. 13, 1-2 p.m.

Apples and Honey

Add a touch of sweetness with locally sourced apples and honey ($18 per set).  Pickup on Sept. 13, 1-2 p.m.

Yizkor Listing

The High Holidays call to mind our loved ones who are no longer with us.  This year we are able to offer you the opportunity to sponsor a page on our Powerpoint scrapbook which will be shown during Yizkor, and which will also be accessible on our website.   You can send photographs and names of those whom you will be remembering to our High Holiday Committee.  Each page in the scrapbook can take two photos, and costs $25. Please send all materials to Sam Eisen at suzsam@comcast.net by August 30.


Volunteer as a “Zoom gabbai” to help our Zoom services run smoothly.  We will offer training beforehand.  Contact us at HHD@shirathanefesh.org and we will get back to you with details.

We invite everyone to make a donation to Shirat HaNefesh in honor of High Holidays.  The suggested donation for services is $180;  please make a meaningful contribution within your means to help keep our beloved community thriving Here

All regular services will be held on Zoom in 2020. 

Circumstances permitting, we will hold Tashlich services on Sunday Sept. 20 at Jones Mill Road Park, a few meters from Jones Mill and Levelle Drive in Chevy Chase, MD.

Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 19

Children’s Services with Carol Boyd Leon at Kol Ami  (under age 7) from 10:00 to 10:30

Children’s Services with Carol Boyd Leon at Kol Ami  (ages 7-12) from 11:00 to 11:45

Teen Services with Marni Loffman at Kehila Chadasha (ages 12 to 18) from 11:45 to 12:45   Register here

Family Tashlich and Shofar Blowing, Sep. 20, 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Sign up on the Registration form for a 15-minute interval between 5 and 6 pm.

Location:  Jones Mill Road Park, a few meters from Jones Mill and Levelle Drive Chevy Chase, MD

Yom Kippur, Sept. 28

Children’s Services with Carol Boyd Leon at Kol Ami  (under age 7) from 10:00 – 10:30

Children’s Services with Carol Boyd Leon at Kol Ami  (ages 7-12) from 11:00 – 11:45

Teen Services with Marni Loffman at Kehila Chadasha (ages 12 to 18) from 11:45-12:45  Register here

Teen Zoom Lounge open, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Rabbi Gilah Langner
A High Holiday Message from Rabbi Gilah Langner

I am sitting in a doctor’s office in July as I write these words – waiting a couple of hours to be seen, a little nervous about the number of people in the waiting room, a little jumpy every time someone greets a patient in a loud voice.  And I start thinking about the nurses and technicians here, the doctors and receptionists, the person at the front door taking temperatures and asking the now-usual questions.  And I think how they are here, every day doing tasks, racking up exposures they do not want, worrying about the parents with diabetes they go home to at night, or the next patient coming through the door who might not want to believe that the cough they’ve had for a week is covid.    

This year, the line from our High Holiday prayers — who shall live and who shall die — no longer feels like the high drama of a medieval romantic poet.    It feels urgent, real, agonizing.  Mi yanuach u-mi yanua?  Who gets to live in relative safety, and who must go back to work in order to feed their families?  Mi ba-ra’ash u-mi ba-magefah?  Who will die in storms, and who will perish in the plague?  At the heart of our High Holiday services our Unetaneh Tokef prayer confronts us each year with our deep vulnerability.  And this year — whether because of our age or our health conditions, or because we are living in a country that has not taken the necessary precautions to keep its citizenry safe — we are especially vulnerable, we are angry, we are deeply worried.  

But we are instructed by another phrase in the High Holiday Amidah, Zochreinu l’chaim / Remember us for life.  We pray that we will be written into the Book of Life for this coming year.  But meanwhile, every moment we are keenly aware that our own actions will help determine our fate.  This year,  perhaps we translate zochreinu l’chaim as keep reminding us to choose life!   Every time we put on a mask, every time we keep physically distant, every ounce of patience we muster as we take precautions — let’s whisper to ourselves:  zochreinu l’chaim, remember us for life, remind us it’s for the sake of life. 

And because this is a year like no other, we need one more motto for the High Holiday season.  At Rabbi Gerry Serotta’s suggestion, we chose the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel:  “In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”  Our High Holiday confessional prayers have been trying to make us take responsibility collectively for the ills of society.  But we are also response-able — we are able to respond and therefore we must.  We must act, speak out, support, criticize, do something to remove the terrible inequities of fate in our country.  Both the coronavirus crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement have opened our eyes to the depths of continuing racial injustice, to the disproportionate burdens suffered by people of color in our society.  We are responsible to right the wrongs of the past, to repair what is broken in our society, to remove the inequalities that have suffused this land with such harshness. 

But that too is one of the messages of the High Holidays — that second chances are possible if we truly turn and change our ways.  Let’s spend the weeks before the High Holidays engaging in study, discussion, and reading, in a process of discernment as to how we can fix our souls and fix the world.  We invite you to read Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist, which will be a topic of discussion on Yom Kippur afternoon.  And we invite you to engage in an extended Selichot practice, Sephardi-style, with Hazzan Ramon, beginning on August 23rd, the first of Elul.  Details, and our full listing of services, are available below.  We welcome you to join us at Shirat HaNefesh on this necessary journey. 



The Yamim Noraim experience can be transformative.

Many of us are finding that Judaism can be inspiring and above all … happy! Seekers of a spiritual compass, we may not have to search outside of Judaism, after all, to encounter a vibrant source of spiritual inspiration. Returning home feels good.

The services that we will share over the High Holidays are filled with music that will reach your heart…