Shirat HaNefesh Holiday Guide 2017/5778

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 accompanied by our Instrumental Ensemble for Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah 1st Day, Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur morning, and Neilah. We are also honored to have Kolot HaLev, our resident choir now celebrating its 10th year, perform.


Talks, scholarly insights, and folksy wisdom by our very own congregants.


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 up to age 9.

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.

Click above to go to an Eventbrite page 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 and present an evening of niggunim, including the melodies that will be featured at High Holiday services. Rabbi Gilah will join us in leading the Selihot service, starting at about 10:15 p.m

You may register by emailing

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 20, 2017 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm   R  M

Hazzan Ramón Tasat introduces the 5778 High Holy Day theme – “Create for Me a Pure Heart.”

Rosh Hashanah, 1st Day, Sept. 21, 2017 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm  R  M

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 Services (ages 7 to 10) Community Room – 10:00 – 10:45 am
Teen’s Services (ages 11 to16) Community Room – 11:00 – 11:45 am

Tashlich  – (Meadowbrook Park Bridge, Chevy Chase, MD) – 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Rosh Hashanah, 2nd Day, September 22, 2017 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Rabbi Gilah Langner and Hazzan Ramón Tasat will lead services in the Community Room. Rabbi Gilah’s sermon topic is the Journey of the Soul: Can Jewish Notions of an Afterlife Be Meaningful in Our Day?
Shaharit Service  – 9:00 – 10:15 am
Torah Service  – 10:15 – 11:45 pm
Musaf Service – 11:45 – 1:00 pm

Yom Kippur, Kol Nidre, Sept. 29, 2017 – 6:15 pm – 9:00 pm   R  M

Kol Nidre starts before sundown and is followed by a special Yom Kippur evening service.
Please arrive no later than 6:10 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. 30, 2017 – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm  R  M

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

Children’s Services (ages 7 to 11) in the Community Room – 10:00 – 10:45 am
Teen’s Services (ages 12 to16) in the Community Room – 11:00 – 11:45 am

Break: 2:00-4:00 pm

Yom Kippur Afternoon, September 30, 2017 – 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Minhah (Torah Reading, the Book of Jonah, and discussion)  – 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Yizkor (Memorial prayers for our loved ones)  – 5.30 – 6:00 pm
Neilah (Our last prayer as the sun sets & the gates close)  – 6:00 – 7:15 pm  MFinal Shofar Blast and Havdalah  – 7:32 pm

Community Break the Fast (Community Room) – 7:45 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.

R = Registration required    M  = Special musical services with the Shirat HaNefesh Instrumental Ensemble


Our High Holy Day prayer book, Machzor Eit Ratzon .


Add beauty to our services with potted chrysanthemums that you can take home afterwards.

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, contact Amy Plotnick at or call at 301.593.6633. The suggested contribution is $18.


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).

All services are held at

North Chevy Chase Christian Church
8814 Kensington Parkway
Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
(Download map.)

Rosh Hashanah, Sep. 21

Ages 7-12 from 10-10:45
Snack from 10:45-11:00
Ages 12 and up from 11-11:45

Family Tashlich, Sep. 21, 5:00 pm

Bridge at Meadowbrook Park, Chevy Chase

Yom Kippur, Sep. 30

Ages 7-12 from 10-10:45
Ages 12 and up from 11-11:45

Child care is available for children up to age 9.

The total cost for all four services is $25 per child.

Reservations required.

Contact  or Register Here

Rabbi Gilah LangnerCreate for me a pure heart….
Isn’t that exactly what we seek on the High Holidays?

A sense of being washed clean, of starting over, of returning to a simpler time and a more innocent outlook. God knows we need that after this year of turmoil and uncertainty.  And yet, in Psalm 51 from which this line comes, there is a deep understanding that it is not so easy to be cleansed, that what we’ve done and been through cling to us like a layer of skin. 

The High Holidays are the days of scrubbing clean our souls, our hearts, the layers of cynicism and disappointment, the mistrust and resignation to the ways of the world. Rosh Hashanah is known traditionally as Yom haDin, the Day of Judgment, and it asks us to evaluate where we are — individually, communally, globally — and what we have achieved. But it is also Yom Harat Olam — the day the world was born, which calls us to look on the world with new eyes, begin again with a new resolve, and strengthen ourselves to grow and change as we need to in the year ahead.

Bring your heart, wherever it is right now, and come listen to it, tend to it, stretch it a little more open. Fill it with the gorgeous music of Shirat HaNefesh, with the voices and insights of our speakers and prayer leaders, and with quiet meditative moments.

This year our extraordinary hazzan/cantor, Ramón Tasat, will be joined by co-leaders for many of the services. We are blessed with many talented singers, musicians, speakers, and leyners in our community. We thank them, and our cadre of volunteers, for making the High Holiday experience happen. Please give them a hand and volunteer alongside them. Contact us at to volunteer and we will get back to you. Your heart will thank you, as we all will!

Shanah tovah — a good healthy 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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