Selichot . . . Preparing for Rosh Hashanah

Beginning the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah and continuing through Yom Kippur, Jews recite “Selichot”, special prayers for forgiveness that prepare us for the High Holidays. 

The month of Elul is a time for personal reflection and spiritual preparation for the New Year. It offers an opportunity to examine what holds us back from being who we really want to be. If we use Elul to take concrete steps towards change, we can make a difference!

The Selichot prayers are pleas for mercy. The melodies are sad and full of longing, expressing the despair that accompanies separation from God and the desire to repent. The words, which express the feeling of life’s fleetingness and the burden of vanity that motivates so much of what one does, cause us to ponder how to break the cycle of our lives and change ourselves for the better.

High Holiday Services

Contemporary Service

This High Holiday service is designed for Hebrew school students and their families. This service emphasizes communal participation (without the choir). We use the Mishkan HaNefesh High Holiday prayer book, and the service is 1½ hours in length.

Traditional Service

Our traditional Temple Beth-El High Holiday service with the choir uses the Mishkan HaNefesh High Holiday prayer book and is 2 hours in length.


The ancient custom of casting our sins into the waters will take place on Monday, September 30 at 3:45 pm at Wood Oaks Park in Northbrook.

Kever Avot Service

Shalom Memorial Park will offer traditional Kever Avot services on Sunday, October 6.  Families join in solemn remembrance of their departed loved ones. Prayers are led by rabbis and cantors representing all branches of Judaism. We invite you and your family to participate. The program begins promptly at 10:00 am in the funeral home chapel.

High Holiday Opportunities for Families with Young Children

Young Children’s Program

Children age 2 through 2nd grade can attend an age appropriate supervised program in the cafeteria at Glenbrook South while parents worship at the 10:15 am Services on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Stories, games, crafts and other fun surprises are planned to introduce children to themes of the holidays. Please send a nut-free lunch for your child clearly marked with first and last names. Refrigeration is not available. Cost is $10 per child for each holiday. NO child will be admitted without pre-registration. The parent’s High Holiday ticket must be shown at drop-off. (We will not have anyone to change diapers at these sessions).

Young Children’s Family Service

This service is designed for children below 3rd grade and their parents to introduce them to an age appropriate High Holiday service experience. Tickets are not required for this service. Infant seats and strollers are only permitted in the auditorium during this service. This service takes place at the Glenbrook South High School Auditorium, therefore food is not permitted. It is open to the community. Invite your friends. This service will be ASL interpreted. Sign up is required for the services so we can be prepared for the number of guests and send you any updates.

Rosh HaShanah Youth Service

Join Rabbi Helbraun and Cantor Kahan as Temple Beth-El introduces its exciting Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur service designed for 2nd – 6th Grade students. This unique and engaging program will guide this group towards getting the most out of their High Holiday experience. We will provide a copy of Gates of Repentance for Young People for this meaningful and invigorating afternoon service. (Parents are welcome to attend with their children.)



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