Temple B’nai Chaim (TBC) will hold all upcoming 2014 High Holy Day services on site at he synagogue’s recently expanded building in Georgetown (82 Portland Ave.). This will mark the first time since 2001 that High Holy Day services celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have been held at TBC. In recent years, services have been held at Wilton High School.

“We’re delighted to be observing this year’s High Holy Days at our physical and spiritual home,” said TBC’s Rabbi Rachel Bearman, who will be presiding over her first High Holy Day services since joining TBC in June. “We’re also excited to be adding a new, less formal and more participatory ‘contemporary’ service to our traditional adult and children services. These diverse worship opportunities will allow us to provide all of our members and guests with a spiritually and religiously fulfilling High Holy Day experience.”

The term “High Holy Days” refers to the belief that the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the holiest in the Jewish calendar. The Jewish prayers, music, and readings for this period focus on the themes that are specific to these holidays – self-reflection, repentance, and commitment to beginning anew.

On Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year on the evening of Sept. 24, Jewish communities everywhere will sound the shofar (ram’s horn) to announce the beginning of the Jewish year. It is a joyous holiday that allows communities and individuals to consider the missteps made in the past and look forward to the possibilities of the upcoming year.

Yom Kippur, beginning on the evening of Oct. 3, is also known as the Day of Atonement. Jewish people will often fast as they strive to focus on their commitment to better themselves and move closer to God. The prayers of Yom Kippur’s services are beautiful and powerful, appealing to both Jewish tradition and emotional experiences. For this year’s Afternoon, Yizkor (memorial), and Neilah (concluding) services, TBC is excited to join a select number of congregations that will be piloting the Reform Movement’s new High Holy Day prayer book, Mishkan HaNefesh (“Sanctuary of the Spirit”).

More than 200 families are expected to participate in High Holy Day services at TBC, including current congregants and others in the community. Details of the schedule and ticket information are available on TBC’s web site.

Overflow parking will be available at Branchville Elementary School, at 40 Florida Rd., Ridgefield, with continuous bus service to and from the Temple. Attendees are asked to arrive at least 25 minutes early to accommodate the special parking arrangements.

About Temple B’Nai Chaim

Temple B’nai Chaim is located in Georgetown, CT, and includes families from the Fairfield County towns of Wilton, Weston, Westport, Ridgefield, Redding, Bethel, and beyond. For more than 30 years, Temple B’nai Chaim has welcomed and connected diverse individuals into a warm and inclusive congregation. We are a vibrant synagogue, dedicated to sustaining a strong, Jewish community and fulfilling our members’ spiritual and social needs, encouraging the principles of Reform Judaism, and championing social justice. Our religious school extends from pre-K to 10th grade and makes a special effort to accommodate children with different learning styles and diverse family and cultural backgrounds. For more information, visit the TBC website.