High Holidays

Shana Tovah! Though it is true that we cannot physically pray together, with our melodies, prayers and learning, we can transform our physical houses into sacred spaces – our Temple homes. At Temple Israel, we pride ourselves on our commitment to tradition and modernity, adhering to customs, but also being innovative. This year we are excited to offer a variety of virtual experiences that represent these beloved Temple values as we celebrate.

The following live events will be available via Zoom link, which will be provided at a later date (pre-registration required). Highlights will be offered on Temple Israel’s Facebook page. We suggest you create community by viewing these on a TV or large screen in your family or social bubbles. Please let us know if we can help you with the technology set up in advance by contacting the Temple office.  Watch as much as you want, when you want!


Calling all toddlers as well as the young at heart!

Rabbi Mikelberg aka as Rabbi Rogers is back with his friends Judy and David Gershon. Fun and fabulous kiddie centred virtual episodes will be posted on  Facebook on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur schedule

They’re Ba-aack!
Rabbi Daniel alongside kiddie super stars David and Judy Gershon have a Yom Kippur episode that will leave you singing, laughing, crying (just tears of joy!). Jonah the whale will also make a guest appearance. Make sure to visit the Temple Facebook site on Sunday morning. Fun for the whole family.

Sunday Sept 27

Kol Nidre, 8:00 pm-9:15 pm:
Each year the notes of Kol Nidre pierce our soul, perhaps this year more than ever, as we reflect on our current state of being and our pathways forward. Dina Namer on piano, Nina Gordon’s cello and Daniel Geigerman’s voice will accompany us on our musical journey. Please bring your candles to the digital service so that we can begin with communal blessings.

Monday Sept 28th

Melodies of Yom Kippur, 9:30 am-10:30 am:
We will continue our Yom Kippur observance with the melodies of this solemn day. The morning service will include an interactive Vidui, a confession of the soul for the 21st century.

Choose Life, 11:15 am-12:15 pm:
Our traditional morning Torah reading places us at the border of the Promised Land. The Israelites are instructed to make the best of the opportunity before them. First we will hear the blessings and chanting, followed by a teaching from Rabbi Steven Garten on our individual and community responses to the challenges of COVID. He will introduce us to the concept of the “Tragedy Test.” Break out discussions will follow.

Healing Service, 1:30 pm-2:15 pm:
Many of us use Yom Kippur afternoon to nourish our souls. Join Rabbi Steven Garten and Lisa Hans on this musical and spiritual journey to heal as a community. Limited spaces available to join in person. Please reserve your spot with the Temple office.

Sailing the Waters with Jonah, 2:45 pm-3:30 pm:
Mort Bercovitch will take us on a theatrical journey with his reading of Jonah. Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg will continue with a text study of this riveting tale of a naïve man trying to run away from his responsibilities.

Yizkor Memorial Service, 4:00 pm-4:45 pm:
This has been a difficult year for our community as we have lost so many that are dear to us. Even as we may feel alone, we will join together virtually to grieve, support and carry the legacy of our loved ones.

Neila Concluding Service, 5:15 pm-6:00 pm:
This has been a holiday season like none other. As the sun begins to set, we will join together one final time for concluding prayers.

Break-the-Fast, 6:30 pm-7:00 pm:
Have your honey cake and gefilte fish ready for a virtual nosh.

Rosh HashanahRosh Hashanah

Friday Sept 18th

Hineni – I Am Here, 6:00 pm-7:00 pm:
The emphasis of our first worship service is centering ourselves and being present in the moment. In these crazy times, there are a lot of distractions. We will ground ourselves with rituals, song and learning as we begin the new year. Bring your candles and kiddush cups so we can commence and conclude with communal blessings as one.

Saturday Sept 19

Melodies of Rosh Hashana, 9:30 am-10:30 am:
Over recent months, we have craved to hear our traditional holiday melodies of Avinu Malkeinu, Unetaneh Tokef and Sim Shalom. Join Student Cantor Daniel Geigerman, Temple’s Liturgical Choir and Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg as we focus on music to guide us through the first half of the morning service.

Climbing Mount Moriah, 11:15 am-12:15 pm:
Our traditional Rosh Hashana Torah reading is the Binding of Isaac. We reflect on Abraham’s journey with his son Isaac. Was he wearing blinders as he ascended the mountain? We will hear the Torah blessings and chanting. Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg’s teaching will examine the implicit biases that we carry. We will then share our thoughts in small break-out discussion groups.

Sunday Sept 20

Communal Tashlich, 2:30 pm:
We are excited to meet in person at the parking lot of Mooney’s Bay with a bag full of crumbs to repent for our transgressions of days past. Our creative, physically distant, Tashlich ritual will also include an open air live shofar blowing. There are additional locations and times across the city to participate in. Of course, you can also follow along virtually on Facebook.

We’re proud of the efforts of our Temple Israel Liturgical Choir in producing extraordinary virtual videos for us to delight in all holiday season.

Giving 2020

Temple Israel is excited to launch “Giving 2020” a fundraising campaign that will provide strong support for Temple during these uncertain times. If you are enjoying our virtual programming and visiting online with our community, please consider a gift to sustain our synagogue. Learn more and find out how you can donate.


Rosh Hashanah is almost here. There is lots new with this festival season, including the need to register for a zoom link to partake in services. The Zoom link is unqiue for High Holiday Services and can only be used for the registree. Once registration is complete you will recive a email from the Temple office with payment confirmation and your High Holiday Zoom Link!

Register for Services this year.
CLICK HERE  to register for Zoom access.

How to Turn Your Home into a Sanctuary for the High Holiday

by Rabbi Goldstein, City Shul, Toronto
Article on the URJ website

With the current health pandemic, and restrictions on group gatherings, our kitchens have become our classroom, our basements are our yoga studios, and the dining room is now our office. Where then, is our synagogue?
Read these tips…

Recipe Exchange

Recipe Exchange

Raise a glass and join us at our virtual table on the Temple Israel Facebook page! Temple Israel invites you to celebrate the new year and explore themes of the High Holidays through symbolic foods and recipes, as well as interactive culinary programming. We are seeking your input: Do you have a favourite honey cake recipe you’d like us to feature? A Rosh Hashana playlist to listen to while cooking? Are you interested in a Zoom-based potluck or trivia night with other Temple members? And for those of you who feel extra “apples and punny,” we’d love to learn about the simanim plays on words that you incorporate into your food traditions!

Please contact chef Emma (emmakhazzam.ek@gmail.com) and aspiring foodie Susan (susanincanada96@gmail.com)

Rosh Hashana Cocktail

Shana Tova!  Thank you for joining us for a Rosh Hashana cocktail hour.  We look forward to welcoming you back (virtually for now!) to our kitchens soon.  We enjoyed the opportunity to gather with community, share holiday meal planning tips and memories, and discuss the symbolism linked to Rosh Hashana: round foods to represent the cycle of the year, the 613 seeds of the pomegranate – a new fruit – to represent mitzvot, and of course, apples and honey for a sweet New Year!  (And the whiskey, just because it is delicious)!  L’chaim!

Ingredients and instructions for our cocktail hour recipes follow:

For the Sangria:
·      1/2 cup honey (plus ½ cup water)
·      1 pomegranate, seeded
·      1 red apple, sliced
·      2 cups seedless red grapes
·      1 bottle of dry red wine
·      2 cups pomegranate juice (100% natural juice)
·      1 cup grape juice
·      1/4 cup triple sec or other orange liqueur
·      1/4 cup brandy
·      1 can ginger ale

Mix the honey and water in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the honey dissolves into the water.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Place the pomegranate seeds into the bottom of a large glass pitcher.  Add in the apples and grapes.  Pour the red wine into the pitcher, followed by both of the juices, triple sec, and brandy. Add the honey syrup.  Stir well to blend all of the flavours.  Chill the sangria for a few hours before serving.  Right before serving, stir again and add the ginger ale.  (Based on a sangria recipe by blogger Tory Avery).

For the Warm Cider:
·      2 cups apple cider
·      3 teaspoons of honey
·      1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
·      1 apple, sliced in thick slices
·      A sprinkle of cinnamon
·      4 oz of whiskey or bourbon

In a saucepan, add cider, honey, lemon juice, apple slices, and cinnamon.  Heat and mix until the honey is dissolved and the mixture is fairly warm.  Remove saucepan from heat and add whiskey/bourbon.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Yom Kippur Videos

Rosh Hashanah Videos