Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Resources

Wishing you a shanah tovah u-metukah—a good and sweet year. We invite you to use the resources below to enrich your understanding and observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Join JTS for Free High Holiday Services
Please join us as we sing, pray, think, speak, and strive for moments of spiritual connection this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Our services are egalitarian and open to the public, and at once spirited and serious, intellectually stimulating and inspiring, traditional and forward thinking. We use Hebrew prayers interspersed with English readings, short teachings, and comments, and gently encourage participation.

Read Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen's article "Bridging the Secular/Religious Divide in Ourselves and the World" in the Huffington Post.

Looking for recipes and craft projects to help you celebrate the High Holidays? Follow JTS on Pinterest


Jewels of Elul

In preparation for the High Holidays, on each of the 29 days of Elul, the Jewels of Elul posts a "jewel' of an inspiration from an eclectic group of contributors. Enjoy this year's jewels, and those that came before, including Elul 17 by Chancellor Arnold Eisen.

The Esslingen Mahzor
The Esslingen Mahzor, a 13th-century "winter mahzor" for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, was completed by the scribe Kalonymos ben Judah of Esslingen in 1290. The volume-historically significant as the earliest recorded Hebrew manuscript written in Germany-was separated at an unknown date, with only the second half available to scholars until a manuscript at The JTS Library was identified as the first half by Dr. Evelyn M. Cohen in 1990. (Several folios between the two halves still remain missing.) The known parts of this glorious manuscript, held by The Library and by the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana at the University of Amsterdam, respectively, can now be examined together at Read more about the manuscripts, and view the digital facsimiles.

Topics in Talmud
This digital lecture featuring Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, discusses the meaning of The High Holidays in the minds of the rabbis of the Talmud.

New Year's Postcard Collection, early 20th centuryPhoto credit: New Year's Postcard Collection, early 20th century, courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Torah Commentaries
From the archives of the weekly Torah commentary, enjoy these reflections on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur written by leaders of The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rosh Hashanah

Yom Kippur

"How to Love Yom Kippur"

"The Gift of Anxiety and Dread"

"On Judaism and Islam"

"Seeing the World Around Us"

"The Psychology of our Prayers"

"The Signing of Freedom"

"The Path to Mitzvah"

The Poetry of Forgiveness"

"Life is Good"

"Public and Private Atonement"

"The Inspirational History of Rosh Hashanah"

"The Ease of Redemption"

"A Universal New Year"

"A Nation of Priests"

"On Radical Amazement"

"Crafting a Moral Compass"

"Writing Your Own Obituary"

"9/11 in Perspective"

"A Meditation on Prayer"

"Good in the Face of Evil"

"Taking a Spiritual Inventory"


"Pluralism in Israel"

"The Path Towards Perfection"

The Eternal Light Radio Program
What happens when a rabbi refuses to continue Yom Kippur services? Find out in this archival recording of The Eternal Light radio program.