North Suburban Synagogue Beth El
High Holy Days – The Days of Awe

High Holy Days – The Days of Awe

The High Holy Days are a powerful time in our Jewish calendar set aside for spiritual renewal.  We enter this period on the Shabbat prior to Rosh Hashanah with Selichot meaning forgiveness. It refers to the solemn penitential prayers recited by prior to the onset of the High Holy Days. We traditionally gather together for study and then for services.

The ten-day period, the Days of Awe, begins with Rosh Hashanah (Literally, “Head of the year”) and culminates on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). Our spirit during these days is marked by introspection, prayer, and repentance. It is a time of remembering mingled with a time to look ahead to the new year. It is also a time to be together as a community.

Worship Opportunities for Adults and Children

In our Field Family Sanctuary, services are held on both days of Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and on Yom Kippur morning and afternoon. Parallel services are provided at the Highland Park High School on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings and afternoon. Our clergy alternate days at both locations. Our Hazzan remains at the main sanctuary with our choir; and we have a service leader from Israel at our high school services. He has joined with us for the High Holy days for over a decade and is a beloved member of our community. Yizkor (a service in remembrance of our departed loved ones) is recited at both locations for the morning services.

During the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah we gather on the back lawn of our Synagogue over looking Lake Michigan and walk to the shore for Tashlich (Casting Forth). This spiritual practice led by our teens, includes reciting prayers and throwing pieces of bread onto the water to symbolize casting away our sins.

Concluding the Days of Awe
Our community gathers together in the Field Family Sanctuary for Mincha and Neilah, the dramatic closing services of Yom Kippur and a beautiful Havdalah service with our children in the Field Family Sanctuary.

We invite you to join our NSS Beth El Family for a spiritually deep High Holiday experience.  Let the Year Begin with all it’s Blessings.

Children High Holy Day Services

We want to celebrate the High Holy Days with all of our community in an age-appropriate and engaging way. We are pleased to offer Children’s Services in our two locations: at NSS Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, and at the Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Avenue, Highland Park. There are several factors that may determine which location you are interested in, and we hope you feel free to contact us to determine what makes sense for your family. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, children’s programming is available at both locations. On the second day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur all programs are at Beth El.

At the NSS Beth El Location, we offer:

  • Babysitting (ages 6-23 months)
  • *Pre-School Family Services (Babies through 1st graders and their families)
  • *Young Family Service (Kindergarten and 1st graders and their families)
  • Gan Chagim (age 2)
  • Tot Chagim (ages 3-5/Pre-School)

More Formal Services

  • Pre-School Family Services (ages 3-5)
  • Family Service (Kindergarten-Grade 1)
  • Mini Minyan (Kindergarten-Grade 2)
  • Junior Congregation (Grades 3-5)
  • Kadima Congregation (Grades 6-7)
  • Teen Leader Program

*Families attending services at Highland Park High School can also register for the Pres-School and Young Family Services at NSS Beth El. At our Pre-School Family Service, space is limited and we require pre-registration.

At the Highland Park High School Location, we offer:

  • Babysitting/Young Family room (ages 6 months -2 years)
  • Tot Chagim (ages 3-5/Pre-School)
  • Children’s Services (Kindergarten-Grade 7)
  • Teen Leader Program

At the Highland Park High School location, we combine age groups together based on registration numbers.  Age groups will have age-appropriate programming throughout the day, and will be together for community prayer and snacks.

Due to Highland Park High School being in session on Tuesday, September 11 we cannot offer Children’s High Holiday Services or babysitting at the high school on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah.

However, children are welcome to join you in the main auditorium or you can register to attend the Young Family Service at the NSS Beth El location.  The Children’s Service Ticket will gain your child access to the high school main auditorium on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah.

Snack policy: We serve nut-free snacks to all children on the first two days of Rosh Hashanah and to children younger than kindergarten on Yom Kippur. Make sure to fill out the appropriate section about food allergies on the online registration form.

If you have questions as you fill out your registration for Children’s High Holiday Services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our registration is online and can be found at .  If you have questions and would like a separate link emailed to you, please contact Ana Igornov at or call 847-432-8900.

We cannot guarantee appropriate staffing and administration for late registrations.


  • Children’s 2018-5779 High Holiday Registration
  • Teen Leaders Registration for Both Locations

High Holy Day Sermons 2017/5778