Your Guide to the Best Elul and High Holidays Classes and Events

Prepare for the Jewish year 5781 with these unique classes from dozens of other Jewish organizations and synagogues.

Jewish communities and organizations across the U.S. and the world are offering a plethora of online classes, workshops, and livestream events in preparation for the High Holidays. We’ve scoured the web and connected with partner organizations to bring you some of the best learning opportunities currently being offered.

Editor’s Picks

Click on the title of any event for registration information.

A Talmudic Perspective on Yom Kippur, from Pardes Institute for Jewish Education

Pardes, a Jewish learning community based in Jerusalem, offers a look inside the Talmudic Tractate Yoma to explore the Yom Kippur concepts of fasting, affliction, and atonement. Led by veteran instructor Leah Rosenthal.

When: Wednesdays, September 2 through September 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 am PT. 

Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days with Meditation and Text, from the Peninsula Jewish Community Center:

This community center in Foster City, CA, is offering a month’s worth of unique holiday programs during Elul, including this workshop led by Rabbi Dan Feder.

When: Thursday, September 3 at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT.

A Close Reading of Akedat Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac, from the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education

Drisha, an educational organization offering text-based study for adult learners, offers this close study of the story of the binding of Isaac, which is read from the Torah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

When: Tuesdays, September 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT.

High Holiday Teaching Series, from Hadar

Join Hadar, an egalitarian educational institution based in New York City, for a series of holiday explorations from their faculty, including Rabbi Aviva Richman, Rabbi Ethan Tucker, and Dena Weiss.

When: The evening before each holiday begins, starting Thursday, September 17 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT

The Apologies Exchange: A Tashlich Project, from HighHolidays@Home

Join HighHolidays@Home, a platform for Do-It-Yourself Jewish New Year rituals. This session is a tashlich webinar to help you cast your sins away, led by the founder of Haggadot.com, Eileen Levinson.

When: Thursday, September 10 at 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT.

Elul Reflections with the Women’s Rabbbinic Network

Watch video reflections from inspiring rabbis from the Women’s Rabbinic Network, an organization for female Reform rabbis.

When: Ongoing, leading up to the High Holidays.

Additional Learning Events Throughout the Month:

High Holidays ReCreation Workshop with Judaism Unbound and Jewish Live

Join Judaism Unbound and Jewish Live, organizations that produce a weekly podcast and many other Jewish events, for a 3-part series on how to develop meaningful rituals for the High Holiday season. Led by Dan Libenson and Natalie Goldfein.

When: Two tracks available. Sundays, September 6, 13, and October 25 at 11:00 am ET/8:00 am PT, and Tuesdays, September 8, 15, and October 20 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

Knocking at Our Hearts, with Mayyim Hayyim

Join Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh and educational center based in Boston, MA, in preparing your body and soul with the transcendental power of song, text study, and reflection. Led by popular Jewish musician Joey Weisenberg.

When: Wednesday, September 9 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

Finding Our Voices: A High Holiday Learning Experience with the Jewish Federation of Seattle

Join The Jewish Federation of Seattle for this 4-part series on listening, forgiving, and rebuilding.

When: Thursdays, September 10, 24, and October 1 at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT. The series culminates in an online community celebration on Tuesday, October 6 at 11:00 pm ET/ 8:00 pm PT.

Elul Together, with Hebrew College

Join Hebrew College, a non-denominational college of Jewish studies in Newton, MA, for weekly teachings, art, and journal prompts to accompany you as you prepare for the High Holidays.

When: A new video will be posted every Monday through September 14, and archived teachings can be found on the same page. 

Return: A Four Part Journey, with HaMaqom

HaMaqom, a learning community based in Berkeley, CA, offers this learning series that draws from music, silence, and text study. Led by Rabbi Darren Kleinberg.

When: Wednesday, September 16, Saturday September 19, Wednesday September 23, and Monday September 28. All sessions meet at 6:00 pm ET/ 3:00 pm PT.

Art as Spiritual Practice: Weekly Crafting Projects Through the High Holidays, with Here For

Here For is an organization that supports Jewish home-based ritual, offering a homemade weekly craft project throughout the High Holidays.

When: New projects are posted on Fridays, and all past projects can be accessed at this same link.

Renewing Our Communities and Ourselves: An Elul Workshop Series with Ritualwell

Ritualwell, a website for creating and sharing Jewish rituals, invites you to a 2-part series in preparation for Rosh Hashanah. The first session, “Who By Silence?” is led by Rabbi Emily Cohen, and the second session, “Cultivating Trust” is led Rabbi Dorothy Richman.

When: Sundays, September 6 and 13 at 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT.

The Shofar Project, with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality, an organization that focuses on Jewish contemplative traditions, is offering a series of classes in preparation for the High Holidays.

When: Throughout the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah.

Praying with Confidence, with the Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis

The Jewish Mindfulness Center of St. Louis, an organization that helps incorporate mindfulness practice into daily life, is hosting a conversation for those who may be unaccustomed to High Holiday prayer, with an opportunity to ask questions.

When: Wednesdays, September 2 and 9 at 8:00 pm ET/7:00 pm CT/5:00 pm P.T.

Inside Mishkan Hanefesh: A Conversation on Today’s Machzor, with CCAR Press

The editorial team of this popular High Holiday prayer book discuss its philosophy and innovation. Mishkan Hanefesh was first released in 2015 by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the central organization of the Reform movement.

When: Thursday, September 3 at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT.

DIY High Holidays 2020: A Practical Guide, with the Pop-Up Beit Midrash

The Pop-Up Beit Midrash, a new Jewish educational enterprise in London, teams up with Grassroots Jews, Yelala, and Moishe House for this series focusing on practical questions for how to cope with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at home.

When: Wednesdays, September 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 5:45 pm ET/2:45 pm PT.

Confessions of the Heart: 30-Day Racial Equality Challenge with the Jewish Emergent Network

This program with the Jewish Emergent Network, an organization comprising seven path-breaking Jewish communities across the U.S., offers a weekly prompt and two communal conversations.

When: Wednesday, September 2 and Tuesday September 15 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

High Holiday Workshops, with National Jewish Outreach Program

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, in three sessions with Rabbi Buchwald.

When: Tuesday, September 15, 22, and 29 at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

Mastering the Machzor, at the Jewish Center

The Jewish Center, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in NYC, offers this learning session about the High Holiday prayer book. Led by Rabbi Elie Buechler and Hazzan Joe Green.

When: Wednesdays, September 16 and 23 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

30 for 30, with Temple Emanuel of Bergen County

Temple Emanuel, a Conservative synagogue in NJ, offers a different learning opportunity every day of the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah 5781.

When: Every day until Rosh Hashanah, September 18.

DIY Rosh Hashanah at Home, with Orangetown Jewish Center

This 3-part series on how to prepare for the High Holidays at home, is offered by Orangetown Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Rockland County, NY.

When: August 27, September 3, and September 9 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

The Torah of Elul, with Ikar

Rabbi David Kasher from Ikar, a Jewish community in Los Angeles, CA, asks: What do the Torah and commentary say about how to get ready for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?

When: Wednesdays, September 2 and 9 at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT.

A Different Voice? Women and Shofar in a Time of Pandemic with Torah in Motion

Join Torah in Motion, a  Jewish educational institution based in Toronto, Canada, for this session led by Laurie Novick.

When: Sunday, September 6 at 11:00 am ET/ 8:00am PT.

Music and Liturgy for the Season at Union Temple

Join Union Temple, a Reform congregation in Brooklyn, for a session on High Holidays music and liturgy.

When: Sunday, September 6 at 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT.

Teshuvah 2020 Style, at Sutton Place Synagogue

Join Sutton Place Synagogue, a Conservative synagogue in NYC, to address these questions: What have we learned about ourselves this year, and how will we enter the year ahead?

When: Fridays, September 4 and 11 at 11:00 am ET/8:00 am PT.

Past, Present, and Future: Reflecting on the Year That Was and Will Be, at Bnai Israel Congregation

Rabbi Michael Safra of Bnai Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Rockville, MD, leads this class on the Rosh Hashanah musaf service, and how to derive meaning from the liturgy this year.

When: Tuesday, September 8 at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT.

Forgiveness and the High Holy Days, with Temple Israel

Join these sessions on the topic of forgiveness with Rabbi Moss and Rabbi Nemitoff-Bresler of Temple Israel, a Reform congregation in Westport, CT.

When: Fridays, August 28, and September 4 and 11 at 12:00 pm ET/9 am PT.

Teshuvah Lecture at Congregation Or Zarua

In this year’s annual lecture, Dr. Daniel Gordis addresses the question: Will Teshuvah bring American and Israeli Jews Closer Together? Congregation Or Zarua is a traditional egalitarian synagogue in NYC.

When: Wednesday, September 23 at 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT.

Slichot Across Brooklyn

Attend an online service on the Saturday evening before Rosh Hashanah, with a group of Brooklyn synagogues.

When: Saturday, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT.

Statewide Slichot Services, Maine

This service with the Center for Small Town Jewish Life in Maine, will offer the opportunity to pray, sing and reflect.

When: Saturday, September 12 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

Selihot Night Live, with the Conservative Movement

The Conservative movement comes together to learn, sing and connect. Over 60 rabbis and cantors will present, and there will be a number of service options.

When: Saturday, September 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT

Plus: Don’t miss My Jewish Learning’s own High Holidays services, classes, and more! Check out our full schedule here.

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