Parkland synagogues
Cantor Andy and Rabbi Kaplan wear masks during portions of Temple Beth Chai’s High Holiday services. {Courtesy Rabbi Kaplan}

By Jill Fox

The apples and honey are the same, but the congregation will look a little different during the Jewish New Year, while Parkland temples once again prepare for the high holidays during a time of uncertainty.

On the two most attended religious days of the year, local temples determine the best ways to celebrate with or without an in-person L’Shanah Tovah (Hebrew for Happy New Year) greeting.

At Congregation Kol Tikvah, services will be held both in person as well as via live stream. The temple has even gone high-tech with e-tickets for in-person experiences.

Their website reads, “We are looking forward to welcoming back our congregational family and starting a joyful year together.”

Seating will be limited to 50 percent capacity to allow for adequate physical distancing, masks are mandatory, and everyone attending indoor holiday services must show proof of vaccination.

Family Services will be held outside on Rosh Hashanah Morning, and access is free and open to the public regardless of vaccination status.

At Temple Beth Chai, virtual plans aren’t quite as simple.

The congregation typically has 600 to 700 people attend Rosh Hashanah services at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School auditorium.

“We don’t have our own building,” said Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan, who will pre-record services in a Boca Raton sanctuary to post them on Facebook and YouTube.

The clergy promises to take viewers “on a journey through the days of awe with their most inspirational, spiritual and uplifting services.”

They will also hold a free live Zoom service for children on Monday, September 6 at 5 p.m.

Chabad of Parkland has a reservation system for seating at live services in the main synagogue, socially distanced with optional facial coverings. Attendees can call the office to reserve a ticket, or open seating is available at no charge.

Other opportunities open to everyone include hearing the shofar sounded outdoors on September 6 and 7 at 12 p.m. and an indoor unique interactive service geared towards families of anyone with special needs on September 6 at 2 p.m.

Chabad created a “Shofar Chauffeur” service for Parkland residents for those who choose to stay home. To request this, contact Rabbi Shuy Biston.

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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