Shema Koleinu – Hear Our Voices
Shirat HaNefesh Holiday Guide 2018/5779

Services are held in the beautiful stained-glass-filled sanctuary and are led by our cantor, Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat, and with Rabbi Gilah Langner on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah.

Soulful Music
Services are filled with both exotic and familiar melodies from our Hazzan, with plenty of opportunity to sing along at every service.
Talks, scholarly insights, and folksy wisdom by our very own congregants.
Children and Teens
Children and teen services are held on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings.   Child care is available upon request in advance, for a modest fee, for under age 10.
Join us for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This year’s theme is “Shma Koleinu” – “Hear Our Voices,” one of the centerpieces of the liturgy. This year, these words find new resonance, as we lift our voices in protest against cruelty and abuse, in defense of democracy and human rights, and in solidarity with those who have been victimized and mistreated. The High Holidays are a return — to our true values, our true humanity, our individual and communal voices.
Our services are a blend of old and new, combining inspiring live music and readings with traditional prayer, Torah, silent meditation, and community study. Stay for as long as you need to renew your spirit for the new year. All are welcome.
Please volunteer to help ensure that our High Holiday Services run smoothly.
Contact us at

Click above to register & order online.

Click above to download a PDF form to mail in.

Click above to download our High Holiday General Information flyer.

Click above to download a full schedule and order of our services.

Registration is required for Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah 1st Day, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Morning.
You may also order prayerbooks, flowers, Child Care, and Memorial Listings.

Selihot Under the Stars, September 1, 2018 – 8:30 pm

Start the High Holiday season off with a special evening of Selihot Under the Stars, on the patio outside the Community Room of NC4. After a potluck dessert reception, Hazzan Ramón will lead us in Havdalah. We’ll kick off SHN’s year-long French Jewish series with a short film, The Infamous Dreyfus Affair, with a discussion afterwards. Rabbi Gilah will join us in leading the Selihot service, starting at about 10:15 p.m Please register by sending email to

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 9, 2018 – 7:00 pm R

Hazzan Ramón Tasat introduces the 5779 High Holiday theme – “Shma Koleinu…Hear Our Voices”

Rosh Hashanah, 1st Day, Sept. 10, 2018 – 9:00 am  R

Introductory Prayers, Blessings, and Songs  – 9:00 – 9:45 am
Shaharit (Morning Prayers)  – 9:45 – 10:30 am
Torah Service (Reading, Discussion, and First Shofar Soundings)  – 10:30 – 11:45 am
Musaf Service (Special Prayers, Full Shofar Soundings) – 11:45 – 1:00 pm
Children’s Service (ages 7 to 10) Community Room – 10:00 – 10:45 am snack — 10:45 – 11:00
Teen Service (ages 11 to16) Community Room – 11:00 – 11:45 am (younger children are welcome)

Tashlich  – (Meadowbrook Park Bridge, Chevy Chase, MD) – 5:00 – 6:00 pm


Rosh Hashanah, 2nd Day, September 11, 2018 – 9:15 am – 12:15 pm

Rabbi Gilah Langner and Hazzan Ramón Tasat will lead services in the Community Room.
Shaharit Service  – 9:15 – 10:15 am
Torah Service and Sermon  – 10:15 – 11:30 pm
Musaf Service – 11:30 – 12:15 pm

Yom Kippur, Kol Nidre, Sept. 18, 2018 – 6:45 pm – 9:30 pm   R

Kol Nidre starts before sundown and is followed by a special Yom Kippur evening service. Please arrive no later than 6:40 pm for this sacred service. Sanctuary doors will close during the Kol Nidre prayer. Latecomers will be seated after the Kol Nidre prayer is concluded.

Yom Kippur Morning, Sept. 19, 2018 – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm R

Introductory Prayers, Blessings, and Songs  – 9:00 – 9:45 am
Shaharit (Includes Pleas for Forgiveness)  – 9:45 – 10:45 am
Torah Service (Reading, Discussion)  – 10:45 – 11:45 am
Musaf Service (Pleas for Forgiveness, Unique Yom Kippur Prayers) – 11:45 – 1:30 pm — (Yizkor – approx. 12:30 pm)
Children’s Services (ages 7 to 10) in the Community Room – 10:00 – 10:45 am snack  — 10:45 – 11:00
Teen Services (ages 11 to16) in the Community Room – 11:00 – 11:45 am (younger children welcome)

Break and Bible Study, Sept. 19, 2018 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm R

In the Bible: When does God answer our Prayers?  – taught by Gideon Amir, we will be looking at stories in the Bible where God responded to petitions, and also cases when God did not; thus trying to see if there is a pattern.

Yom Kippur Afternoon, September 19, 2018 – 4:30 pm – 7:50 pm

Minhah (Torah Reading, the Book of Jonah, and discussion)  – 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Neilah (Our last prayer as the sun sets & the gates close)  – 6:00 – 7:40 pm
Final Shofar Blast and Havdalah  – 7:50 pm

Community Break the Fast (Community Room) – 8:00 pm  Register here

Join our community in marking the end of Yamim Noraim,  for our joyous Break-the-Fast pot-luck. Indicate what dish you will bring to share. Your contributions help us all celebrate.

Community Break the Fast (Community Room) – 8:00 pm  Register here

Join our community in marking the end of Yamim Noraim,  for our joyous Break-the-Fast pot-luck. Indicate what dish you will bring to share. Your contributions help us all celebrate.


Our High Holy Day prayer book, Machzor Eit Ratzon .


Add beauty to our services with potted chrysanthemums that you can take home afterwards ($18 per plant).

Memorial Listing

The High Holy Days call to mind our loved ones who are no longer with us. To include their names on our Memorial Plaque, use the registration form or contact Amy Plotnick ( or 301.593.6633). The suggested contribution is $18 per name. Please register no later than September 7 so we have time to prepare the Memorial Plaque.


Volunteer to help ensure that our High Holiday Services run smoothly. Contact us at and we will get back to you with details.

Full members

Shirat HaNefesh members, dependent children and college students may attend at no cost.

Associate members, non-members and guests

Registration for associate members, guests and non-members of Shirat HaNefesh is available for a suggested donation of $225 per adult (but no one is turned away — please make a meaningful contribution within your means to help us underwrite the costs of providing these services). Register Here

All services are held at   North Chevy Chase Christian Church 8814 Kensington Parkway Chevy Chase, MD 20815. (Download map.)
Rosh Hashanah, Sep. 10

Children’s Services (ages 7 to 12) from 10:00 – 10:45 Teen Services (ages 13 to 16) (younger children welcome) from 11:00-11:45

Family Tashlich, Sep. 10, 5:00 pm

Bridge at Meadowbrook Park, Chevy Chase

Yom Kippur, Sep. 19

Children’s Services (ages 7 to 12) from 10:00 – 10:45 Teen Services (ages 13 to 16) (younger children welcome) from 11:00-11:45

Child care is available for children under age 10.

The total cost for all three services is $30 per child. Reservations required. Contact  or  Register Here

Rabbi Gilah LangnerShma Koleinu
A High Holiday Message from Rabbi Gilah Langner

Welcome to Shirat HaNefesh and the Yamim Noraim, the High Holidays.  We often say that “the holidays are late this year,” or “the holidays are early.”  Of course, Rosh Hashanah always falls on the first of Tishrei, and Yom Kippur on the 10th.  What we mean by early or late is where the holidays fall on the solar calendar by which we mark our seasons.  This year, with Rosh Hashanah starting a week after Labor Day, the holidays are definitely on the early side.

But in terms of our current state of affairs, the holidays are coming not a minute too soon.  For almost two years we have seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, racism, and hatreds of all kinds.  Our nerves are frayed by the rapid series of crises dominating the headlines.  The rock-solid stability of our American democracy that we have been confident about has been severely shaken.

Enter the High Holidays – right on time.  A time to pull back, to turn off cable news, to make a brisket and buy a round challah, to ponder the state of our souls as well as the state of our nation.

A time to acknowledge at least some of the ways we have failed to live up to our ideals, and to ask forgiveness of those whom we can reach.

A time to remember that our busyness is not always meaningful, that our multitasking mode is not the same as connecting deeply with our souls and other souls.

A time to pray from the heart, to allow the tears to flow, to ask God to hear our voices and the voices of all who are distressed, impoverished, in need of healing and assistance.

Shma koleinu.

Let us also hear our own voices as we send them forth – and then let us rededicate ourselves, every week, every day, every hour, to repairing and renewing our relationships and actions in the world.

Join your voice with ours, and together – listening to one another, speaking our truths, hearing one another – let us bring in the new year.

— Rabbi Gilah Langner

The Yamim Noraim experience can be transformative.

Many of us are finding that Judaism can be inspiring and above all … happy! Seekers of a spiritual compass, we may not have to search outside of Judaism, after all, to encounter a vibrant source of spiritual inspiration. Returning home feels good.

The services that we will share over the High Holidays are filled with music that will reach your heart…

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