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Where to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in New York City this year



This story will be updated throughout Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

(New York Jewish Week) — Labor Day Weekend signals two things: The end of the summer and, for the Jewish community, the onset of the High Holidays.

On Rosh Hashanah, a two-day holiday that begins on the evening of Sept. 15, Jews usher in the New Year of 5784. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins with the Kol Nidre service on the evening of Sept. 24 and continues through sundown on Sept. 25

Not a member of a synagogue or not sure how you’re going to mark the holidays this year? Not to worry. The New York Jewish Week has put together a list of local options, ranging from traditional synagogue services and family-friendly programs to volunteer opportunities and comedy shows. Our selection spans boroughs and price points, though all are open to the public. 

Whether you celebrate the High Holidays with a festive meal, praying in shul with fellow Jews or listening to a concert of liturgical music, there’s no shortage of ways to spend the Days of Awe in New York City. Keep scrolling to learn more. 

Is your synagogue or Jewish organization hosting High Holiday services or events that are open to the public? Send an email to with the details if you’d like us to add it to our list!

High Holiday services in Manhattan

Temple Emanu-El’s downtown campus offers programming curated for families with young children, including honey tasting, music, crafts and food. (Temple Emanu-El)

Ohel Ayalah 

Ohel Ayalah is hosting in-person services for both days of Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. The traditional, egalitarian service is aimed at Jews in their 20s and 30s who are not already connected to a Jewish community. The service is free and open to the public, though pre-registration is recommended

JCC Harlem

Rabbi Mira Rivera, one of our 2023 “36 to Watch” honorees, will lead in-person services open to the public at JCC Harlem this year on each day of Rosh Hashanah, as well as on Kol Nidre and Yom KippurTickets start at $18 for family services and $36 for standard services. JCC Harlem and Embrace Harlem will also host a “wine down” walk and tashlich (casting one’s “sins” into a body of water) in Morningside Park on Sept. 17 at 4 p.m., with tickets starting at $54 per family.

B’nai Jeshurun 

The Upper West Side congregation will host a number of offerings for their Aviv community, which they describe as “Jewish young adults in their 20s and 30s, professionals and students, singles and couples, all committed to creating a Jewish life.” Aviv programming includes an Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, Rosh Hashanah day one morning services, Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur and Break Fast. Tickets are $36 per service per meal for non-members. Learn more here. 


This year, the Upper East Side community center is hosting in-person services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There will be a family service for those with children under 6; a youth service for kids ages 6-12 and a main service for adults. A combined all-access ticket costs $299, while individual services cost $95. Buy tickets and learn more here.

Temple Emanu-El 

The Upper East Side’s Temple Emanu-El will host a range of High Holiday services open to the public this year. Rosh Hashanah services for families with young children at the Helen Mills Theater in Chelsea will include honey tasting, music, crafts and food. The ticket for this service starts at $220, and is part of a package that includes access to the teens, young families and “participatory singing” services throughout the holidays. There will also be a Young Professionals Rosh Hashanah Shabbat Dinner on Sept. 15 for $45 per person. Many of the services will be livestreamed for the public on Facebook and Youtube. See the full schedule here.


Experimental Jewish community Lab/Shul is back at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center this year with High Holiday offerings centered around the theme of “Havaya,” which they translate to “Everpresence” or “Existence.” Per Lab/Shul’s website, the services will be “meaningful, musical and meditative celebrations that fuse our oldest liturgies with contemporary art, engaging learning programs, and communal conversations.” The services are “all ages, all backgrounds, god-optional, artist driven, everybody friendly.” Tickets are $110 per service or $370 for all-access; they will also be livestreamed for free. Register here

High Holiday services in Brooklyn


Dirah, a Chabad-affiliated organization and open-to-all community in Carroll Gardens,  is hosting High Holiday services this year at Hannah Senesh Community Day School. Their website describes the offerings as “engaging and explanatory services [that] will blend contemporary meditations & messages with timeless melodies and traditional prayers.” Tashlich will be held at the Gowanus Canal. No membership or fees are required to attend. Learn more here.

Egalitarian Sephardi and Mizrahi services 

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice has organized egalitarian Sephardi and Mizrahi services for Erev Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Neilah (Yom Kippur afternoon), which will take place in the social hall of Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim. The services will be led by musician Laura Elkeslassy, a New York Jewish Week “36er” from 2022. There is a suggested ticket price of $36 per service. Learn more here.

Congregation Beth Elohim 

Congregation Beth Elohim will host several services open to the public, including a free, all-Hebrew service for Israelis led by Rabbi Josh Weinberg. Rabbi Matt Green will lead Brooklyn Jews, “an experimental community for young Brooklynites looking to enter the Jewish conversation through art, text, politics, food and ritual,” for services at CBE in Park Slope and at the Union Temple House of CBE in Prospect Heights. Tickets are $40 per service or $140 for an all-access pass.

East Midwood Jewish Center

Want to spend the High Holidays in the same sanctuary that Mrs. Maisel and her family prayed in? Get tickets to attend services at East Midwood Jewish Center, a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue in the heart of Midwood, Brooklyn, which was used as the location for all the synagogue scenes in the beloved Amazon show. Non-member tickets cost $200 for either the sanctuary or Zoom, covering all holidays, and all services led by Rabbi Cantor Sam Levine. There are multiple kids services and activities, for children 12 and under, all free of charge. Learn more here.

Romemu Brooklyn 

Join Romemu Brooklyn, a “growing, dynamic, and Neo-Hasidic congregation,” for High Holiday services focused on the theme of “looking up.” The main “looking up” musical service will be led by Rabbi Scott Perlo and Hazzan Basya Schecter. Other offerings include an Erev Rosh Hashanah concert featuring music and stories, family services for children under 6 and a one-hour service, “Kids Rock the High Holy Days,” for elementary school-aged kids. The services will take place at The Arches, an event space and outdoor garden in Crown Heights. Tickets range from $49-$99, with an option to buy an all-access ticket to all services for $297. Learn more here.

High Holiday services in Queens


Malkhut, a progressive Jewish spiritual community in Western Queens, is hosting free and open-to-the-public High Holiday services this year at CUNY School of Law in Long Island City centered on the theme “Enough.” Register and find more information here.


Ashreynu, a pluralistic, musical congregation based in Astoria, is hosting free services open to the public. The first day of Rosh Hashanah will be at the synagogue while the second day will be at Ralph Demarco Park. RSVP and find the full schedule here.

High Holiday services in the Bronx

Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, also known as The Bayit, is offering “guest seats” to the public for the High Holidays. The synagogue is “open Orthodox,” which they define as “serving the entire Jewish community by warmly embracing all Jews, regardless of affiliation, commitment, orientation, race, or background.” In addition to services at The Bayit, there will also be an outdoor minyan in partnership with Century Minyan. Tickets for the Bayit service start at $350 for the entire High Holiday season; tickets for the outdoor minyan start at $225. Register and find the full schedule here.

High Holiday services in Staten Island

Congregation B’nai Israel

Join Congregation B’nai Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Staten Island, for services this year. Tickets start at $100. Email to register in advance.

Beyond the synagogue services

Rabbi Steven Blane will lead the Sim Shalom Jewish Universalist Online Synagogue’s High Holidays services at the Bitter End jazz club. (William Alatriste)

The Nosher’s gluten-free holiday baking class 

On Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., our partner site The Nosher will host a holiday baking class focusing on all the delicious ways to make your favorite treats gluten-free. The class will be taught by Orly Gottesman, a “36 to Watch” honoree and the owner and chef at Modern Bread and Bagel and Thyme and Tonic. Tickets for the online event start at $25.

Reverse tashlich with Repair the Sea

Join Repair the Sea on Sunday, Sept. 10 for their annual “Reverse Tashlich”: a day of volunteering doing waterfront cleanup. Several New York area synagogues are organizing clean-ups; check out the full list and register to join them here.

Monajat album release party with Galeet Dardashti 

In a new album, singer Galeet Dardashti has reimagined the tradition of Selichot, the prayers of repentance said in the lead up to the High Holidays. Dardashti has put together an album of original songs inspired by recordings of the Jewish prayers of her late grandfather, the Persian singer Younes Dardashti. In collaboration with the Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life, Dardashti is releasing this album at Littlefield NYC on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $18. Learn more here

Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan on the Upper West Side will host a number of ways to engage in and prepare for the High Holidays. On Sept. 12, join Rabbi Miriam Herscher and Rabbi Adam Huttel for “The Healing Shofar: A Night of Remembrance,” a free virtual class about grieving the loss of a loved one. On Kol Nidre, the JCC will host an orchestral concert with Israeli cellist Elad Kabilio featuring liturgical and secular music. Get tickets for $25. There will also be a “pay-what-you-wish” tashlich service on Sept. 19 at Riverside Park. Visit their website for more info

Workers Circle 

The Workers Circle will host hour-long Zoom events on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. The Rosh Hashanah session will be a “joyous musical celebration of unity, action, and renewal” and will include readings and performances by Jewish educators and Yiddish musicians. The Yom Kippur session will feature similar performances with an aim to “sing, share stories, reflect on the past year, and together commit to critical activism to make our world a better and more beautiful place for all.” Tickets are $25 for Workers Circle members and $36 for non-members; click here for info

Shofar Across Brooklyn

UJA-Federation New York has once again teamed up with several synagogues and communities in Brooklyn to put together the “Shofar Across Brooklyn,” a free, out-of-doors way to listen to the blowing of the shofar on Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in various neighborhoods throughout the borough. Check out the map to find the location closest to you

The Sway Machinery concert with Congregation Beth Elohim

Jeremiah Lockwood will be performing with his band, The Sway Machinery, for an immersive musical experience titled “The Dream Past: A Sonic Conjuring.” The concert, which will focus on cantorial revival music and draw upon High Holiday liturgy, will take  place Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. It is hosted by Congregation Beth Elohim and will take place at Union Temple House in Prospect Heights. Tickets start at $18.

Rosh Hashanah at The Bitter End 

Join Sim Shalom, a Jewish universalist synagogue, for their annual concert and jazz-heavy services led by Steven Blane, a musician and rabbi, and featuring a jazz quartet, held Sept. 16 at The Bitter End in the West Village. Sim Shalom will also be hosting online services for all the services throughout the holidays, including a livestream of The Bitter End concert. Tickets for The Bitter End concert start at $149; access to services online also start at $149.

Bowl Hashanah with Rabbi Daniel Brenner and Jeremiah Lockwood

Rosh Hashanah returns to Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl this year with musical performances led by Jeremiah Lockwood, Antibalas’ Jordan McLean and others, plus a traditional Torah service led by Rabbi Daniel Brenner. Tickets for the Sept. 16 service start at $60. Learn more here.

Yom Kippur comedy show

Prepare for the Yom Kippur fast by laughing alongside Jewish comics at West Side Comedy Club. Orli Matlow hosts “The Days of HA: A Jewish High Holidays Comedy Show” on Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. Comics include Ariel Elias, Eitan Levine, Josh Gondelman and Dana Friedman. Get tickets for $10 here.

Famous Jewish food of New York tour

Get ready for the Yom Kippur fast by filling up on all of New York’s best Jewish food, including bagels, pastrami and lox, with Scott Goodfriend, who leads Ultimate Food Tours around New York City. He is hosting a special tour of Jewish food and history on the Upper East Side on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. Get tickets for $90.

Looking for more? 

In addition to the guide we’ve put together, be sure to check out UJA-Federation New York’s “Find-A-Service” list of High Holiday services across the city and surrounding areas, which includes services open to non-members at a range of ticket prices. (UJA-Federation is a funder of 70 Faces Media, the New York Jewish Week’s parent company.) Chabad Lubavitch also has a portal on their website to locate a Chabad-run service happening near you. For those that can’t make it to in-person services this year, our partner site, My Jewish Learning, has put together a list of virtual options of every service this High Holiday season. 


The post Where to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in New York City this year appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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A Jewish-owned hot dog empire began on this Coney Island street corner




(New York Jewish Week) — For many generations of New Yorkers, eating a Nathan’s Famous hot dog from their Coney Island flagship location is a staple of summer. The iconic hot dog stand just celebrated its 107th season at the city’s iconic beachside destination. 

Nathan’s Famous — which started as a nickel hot dog stand and grew to a franchised business that today has over 350 locations in 12 countries — may be most famous today for its annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. It is named for its founder, Nathan Handwerker, a Polish Jewish immigrant who, along with his wife, Ida, opened Nathan’s Famous in 1916, when he was 19.

“It was his life,” Handwerker’s grandson, Lloyd Handwerker, who made a 2014 documentary and wrote an accompanying book about his family history, both titled “Famous Nathan,” told the New York Jewish Week

“He had brilliant instincts about running a business — basic ideas which seem simple, but they work well,” Lloyd said. “Which is keeping the price low, having the quality be great, being a stickler, paying people well and caring about the customer.”

On Sept. 24, 2016, the 100th anniversary of the founding of Nathan’s Famous, New York City co-named the corner of the Surf and Stillwell Avenues Nathan and Ida Handwerker Way. 

“Nathan and Ida Handwerker worked together for over 50 years and were part of the few generations who formed the rich Coney Island culture that is now renowned throughout the nation and all over the world,” Lloyd Handwerker’s cousin, William, said at the unveiling event. “It is an honor to celebrate their legacy by memorializing their names on the street corner that houses the original Nathan’s.”

(Lloyd was supposed to give a speech alongside his family, but his father, Sol, died just days before the ceremony.) 

Also present that day was Eric Adams, who at the time was Brooklyn Borough President, and Mark Treyger, the Jewish city council member for District 47, which includes Coney Island. “The corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island is now known as Nathan and Ida Handwerker Way, after the husband and wife team who grew a hot dog food cart into a brand that is known worldwide,” Treyger said at the ceremony. 

“The inspiring story of these two immigrants, who came to this country facing an uncertain future, working hard to create a product that means so much to so many, is what the American Dream is all about,” he added.

Handwerker arrived in the United States from Poland in 1912 and took a job as a delivery boy during the week. On the weekends, he sliced rolls at Feltman’s German Gardens, a restaurant in Coney Island — where he met a waitress who would become his wife. 

By 1916, the couple had saved $300, enough to open their own, competing hot dog restaurant. They used Ida’s secret spice recipe to make their hot dogs, for which they charged 5 cents — half the price of a dog at Feltman’s. 

Considering the low price of the product, customers were skeptical at first, so Handwerker allegedly hired men to wear white coats while eating his hot dogs. The image would lend his business credibility, as customers figured that if doctors were eating the hot dogs, they could, too. 

The business grew steadily over the next half century, with Handwerker working 18-20 hours a day cooking food, selling it and running the business. When the company went public in 1968, Handwerker was elected chairman of the board.

“As a grandfather, he was a very sweet, soft guy. I had no idea what kind of boss he was,” said Lloyd. “It’s different for different people, but I found out he was pretty tough. He was a stickler, and he was clearly a perfectionist about everything — about the quality, about the workers.”

As for Ida Handwerker, in addition to creating the recipe for the hot dogs, she was often in the back kitchen, peeling and chopping onions, garlic and potatoes, Lloyd said. “My grandmother, too, my dad said, was also pretty tough in her own way,” he said. “She worked in the business for many, many years alongside [Nathan], especially in the early days. She was a great grandmother, warm and wonderful. But I guess they both came up hard and tough.”

By the time Nathan Handwerker died in 1974 at 81, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs was a household name. Over the years, the hot dog stand became a favorite for celebrities like Barbra Streisand and Regis Philbin. In 1936, the hot dogs were served at a lawn party hosted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. 

The Coney Island location was also an essential stop for politicians from City Council members to the president of the United States. “No one can hope to be elected to public office in New York without having his picture taken eating a hot dog at Nathan’s,” former New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller once told Handwerker during a campaign visit to Coney Island, according to the New York Times. 

Handwerker retired to Florida in 1972, with his son Murray taking over and expanding the business. Nathan’s first hot dog eating contest was that same year.

Lloyd Handwerker, grandson of Nathan Handwerker, founder of ‘Nathan’s’, standing in front of ‘Nathan’s’ restaurant in Coney Island, New York, NY, June 29, 2016. (Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Lloyd Handwerker, who was 17 when his grandfather died, began working on his film in the 1980s, and over the course of 30 years he interviewed some 75 friends, family members and associates of Nathan’s Famous. “My grandfather was always telling stories around the dining room table at the holidays and dinners,” he said. “By the time I took a video class and had access to a camera, my grandfather and my grandmother had passed away, but I still thought ‘we should be preserving this history.’”

Though he never worked at Nathan’s Famous, Lloyd, who grew up in a Reform Jewish household in Long Island, said that he has fond memories of visiting his grandparents’ office in Coney Island, as well as celebrating Jewish holidays at their house in Florida. “My grandmother cooked amazingly, so I have a lot of great memories of Passover in particular,” he recalled. Lloyd said that though his grandfather grew up traditionally religious in Poland, he didn’t keep many traditional customs by the time he came to the United States. 

And yet, some tenets of Judaism were deeply ingrained in the entrepreneur: Though he didn’t hire a rabbi to certify the kitchen, Handwerker coined the term “kosher-style” for his restaurant, because his hot dogs were made with 100% beef and therefore could be kosher. 

Plus, “the one day that the restaurant was closed out of the whole year was Yom Kippur, so it still obviously meant something to him,” Lloyd said of his grandfather. 

Nathan’s Famous is now owned by Smithfield, a subsidiary of the Chinese meat and food processing company WH Group. However, the family still owns the original Coney Island building and is the landlord for Nathan’s Famous there.  

“As far as his legacy, he was obviously very proud of what he created,” Lloyd said of Nathan. “He was a pretty humble guy, but look at what he did: He came from starvation in Poland, without an education. He didn’t know how to read or write, he was basically illiterate and he built this institution that  everyone has a story about. It’s amazing.”

The post A Jewish-owned hot dog empire began on this Coney Island street corner appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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​​Biden’s new book ban czar is a longtime progressive Jewish leader




(JTA) – The Biden Administration’s new point person for combating book bans at school districts and public libraries across the country is a gay, Jewish progressive activist who has served as a government liaison to the Jewish and LGBTQ communities.

The appointment of Matt Nosanchuk comes as the thousands of book challenges nationwide have focused on books with LGBTQ as well as Jewish themes, in addition to works about race. Nosanchuk was named a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Education’s civil rights office earlier this month. In that role, he will lead training sessions for schools and libraries on how to deal with book bans — and warn districts that the department believes book bans can violate civil rights laws.

An Education Department official recently told the 74, an education news site, that the bans “are a threat to students’ rights and freedoms.”

“I am excited to return to public service to work on behalf of the American people,” Nosanchuk posted to LinkedIn earlier this month. “There is a lot of important work to do!”

The Education Department declined to make Nosanchuk available for an interview. He has already taken heat from conservative outlets, which have pushed the narrative that the books being removed from schools and libraries are too sexually explicit for children. Kayleigh McEnany, the Fox News host who served as Donald Trump’s press secretary, called him a “porn enforcer” on-air.

But his appointment has been celebrated by librarians and book access activists. “This is a step forward for the Biden Administration, who has heard the concerns of parents and taken action, but it is just the beginning,” the National Parents Union, a progressive parental education activist group, said in a statement.

Nosanchuk’s career has largely focused on working with the LGBTQ and Jewish communities. In 2009, after serving in a number of roles in Washington, D.C., Nosanchuk was appointed as the Department of Justice’s liaison to the LGBTQ community — a position he held while Obama was still publicly opposed to same-sex marriage. He later worked on the Obama administration’s opposition to a law barring same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

He subsequently served as the White House liaison to the Jewish community during Obama’s second term, and in 2020 was the Democratic National Committee’s political organizer for Jewish outreach and LGBTQ engagement. That same year, he cofounded the New York Jewish Agenda, a progressive policy group that he led until earlier this year.

Nosanchuk’s first webinar in his new role was held Tuesday in partnership with the American Library Association, an organization with which a number of Republican-led states have recently cut ties. He begins his work after a year that has seen several school districts take aim at books focused on Jewish experiences or the Holocaust.

Two weeks ago, a Texas school district fired a middle school teacher reportedly for reading a passage from an illustrated adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary to eighth-grade students. Other schools’ removals of “The Fixer,” a Jodi Picoult novel about the Holocaust and other texts have been likened to Nazi and Stalinist book burnings —  comparisons that proponents of the book restrictions reject.

Democratic politicians, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, have accused Republicans of wanting “to ban books on the Holocaust.” A recent Senate hearing on book bans included testimony from Cameron Samuels, a Jewish advocate for access to books, along with numerous references to “Maus,” a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust that was pulled from a Tennessee middle school curriculum last year.

PEN America, a literary free-speech advocacy group, welcomed Nosanchuk’s appointment.

“Book removals and restrictions continue apace across the country, as the tactics to silence certain voices and identities are sharpened,” the group said in a statement. “Empowering the coordinator to address this ongoing movement is critical.”

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Ohio high school football coach resigns after players use ‘Nazi’ in play calls




(JTA) — A high school football coach in suburban Cleveland has resigned after his team used the word “Nazi” in addition to racial slurs in its play calling during a game on Friday against a team in a heavily Jewish town.

Tim McFarland, the coach of Brooklyn High School in Brooklyn, Ohio, submitted his resignation Monday and apologized via a statement written by the district, the Cleveland Jewish News reported. Local Jewish groups have also reached out to district officials, who have indicated a willingness to work with them.

Brooklyn was playing the team from Beachwood, a suburb with the second-highest rate of Jewish residents in the country.

The offensive play calls were first flagged by Beachwood’s head coach, Scott Fischer, at halftime, the school’s athletic director told parents in an email after the game.

“During my discussion with Coach Fischer at halftime, we agreed that if these actions continued we would pull our team off the field,” wrote the school’s athletic director, Ryan Peters, as reported by the Cleveland Jewish News. Peters said that McFarland admitted to using the “Nazi” play and agreed to change the name of the play for the game’s second half. The mother of a Beachwood cheerleader told the Cleveland Jewish News they couldn’t hear the offensive language in the stands.

The language was also condemned by the mayor and city council of Beachwood.

It was not the first time in recent memory a high school football team employed antisemitic language in its play calling. In 2021 a Boston-area school was found to have used terms including “Auschwitz,” “yarmulke” and “rabbi” in its own plays for at least a decade, part of what an investigation revealed was a long history of antisemitic and homophobic behavior. That school’s football coach was also fired, and the state of Massachusetts soon passed new laws to require genocide education in high schools in response to that and other antisemitic school sports incidents in the state.

In recent months, Jewish high school sporting events in Miami and Los Angeles were home to alleged antisemitic taunts. Both were alleged to have come in response to antagonistic or even racist behavior by Jewish students, according to local reports. Another high school in the Sacramento area is investigating reports that four students made Nazi salutes on social media earlier this month.

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