High Holy Days

High Holy Days FAQs


I attended High Holy Days 5780 (2019) at IKAR, and I loved it! Where can I find the fiery, passionate sermons delivered by IKAR rabbis over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, so I can share them with my friends and family?

Thank you for being with us! You can find the rabbis’ inspiring words and calls to action here, with audio, text and video (when available). And please do share as widely as you please, tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever social media platform you’re loving right now.


When are services for 5780 (2019)?

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sunday, September 29, 6:00 pm
Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Day 2, Monday-Tuesday, September 30-October 1, 8:30 am
Tashlikh, Sunday, October 6 (Lifeguard Station 26), 3:00 pm beach cleanup; 4:00 pm service (using found objects from the beach instead of bread)
Kol Nidre, Tuesday, October 8, 5:45 pm
Yom Kippur, Wednesday, October 9, 9:00 am
Yizkor, Wednesday, October 9, 2:00 pm
Neilah, Wednesday, October 9, 5:45 pm


What is an IKARd?

IKARds are your High Holy Day Entrance Cards at IKAR. They include your name and the unique QR Code for the HHD services & programming you are registered for. You need an IKARd to get into to any and all of our HHD services & programs.


Who needs an IKARd?

EVERYONE! Whether this is your first time at IKAR or you’ve been here since day one, every single person who walks through the doors must have an IKARd. Members are automatically registered and will receive an IKARd, but non-members need to register in advance, even if you’re only coming for Family-Friendly or free services.


How can I help with High Holy Days? 

IKAR High Holy Days are high and holy, but you’re the ones who make it happen. Sign up to volunteer with us; we’ve got tasks for everyone. Like schmoozing? We’ve got tasks for you. Like avoiding people? We’ve got tasks for you. Like working from home while watching The Bachelorette? (No judgments, we get it.) We have tasks for you, too. Even 30 minutes makes a difference. Start 5780 off with a mitzvah and sign up!


I’m a new member/I have renewed for the coming year. Are IKARds (High Holy Day entrance cards) included in membership? 

Yes, and they will be waiting for you at the check-in desk when you arrive for services. A few things to know:

  • Associate membership does not include IKARds.
  • Bringing guests? IKARds for guests can be purchased through your custom link until we reach capacity, or you can have your guests register themselves here.
  • Bringing kids? Childrens’ Programming IKARds are only included for Limudim & ECC families. All others must register their kids for Children’s Programming through the custom registration link.
  • Staying for Disco Break Fast? Yom Kippur Break Fast meal IKARds must be purchased separately – this goes for members and non-members alike! Register now.


 How do I know if I need a Child IKARd? 

Kids two years of age through 6th grade must have a Child IKARd and be enrolled in Children’s Programming. This program runs concurrent to all of our High Holy Day services and can be purchased as a full package or for individual days. Children’s Programming provides fun, creative, and interactive holiday activities taught by professional teaching staff.
Children under the age of two must be with their grownups at all times and may be asked to lap-sit in main sanctuary services.

What if my child is only coming to the Family-Friendly Service and then going home? Do I need an IKARd? 

The short answer is yes, everyone needs an IKARd.

Available at *no cost, Family-Friendly Services take place in the Beit Midrash on the third floor and do not include access to the main sanctuary. This programming is divided into three sessions grouped by age: K-2, 3rd-6th graders, and our Bite-size Service is appropriate for infants through Pre-K.

Children only attending Family-Friendly Services must register and be accompanied by their grownups at all times.

*There is a one-time nominal administrative fee per person.


Why all the forms? Can I just send a check? 

Lots of folks come through IKAR’s doors during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and we do everything we can to make sure everyone has what they need. Our online system allows us to compile all relevant data and organize for the High Holy Days as efficiently as possible. If you need any help, please call us or e-mail 411@ikar.wpengine.com.


Wait – why do I have to pay to pray?  

It costs money to run HHDs — to pay for everything from staff to air conditioning to apples & honey! We promise we’ll make it worth your investment. But also: Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah Day 2, and Yom Kippur from Yizkor through Neilah are available at no charge*. To attend these free services you still must register in advance and bring a photo ID. (*There is a one-time nominal administrative fee per person.) We are committed to ensuring that financial constraints are never a barrier. For more information, see our Ezra page.


How do I get my IKARds? 

Members: IKARds will be automatically printed for all current members. You may pick them up at Shabbat services leading up to the HHDs, at the IKAR office, or at the main check-in desk on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. You must show a valid photo ID to get your IKARd, regardless of the pickup spot. We recommend picking up your IKARds in advance to avoid the long lines at check-in.

Non-members: If you purchased IKARds online, they’ll be waiting for you at the main check-in desk when you arrive.


What do I need to bring with me to services? 

YOUR ID. Whether you’re a member with IKARds ready in-hand, or a guest picking up on the day of, no ID = no entry. If you have your own Mahzor, we encourage you to bring it with you. We’ll provide copies of Mahzor Lev Shalem. If you have a kippah and tallit, please bring them. If you’re going to be with us for Yom Kippur afternoon yoga, bring a mat and towel (we’ll provide a storage space for your yoga mats). Don’t bring bags that you cannot keep with you. Just like at an airport, any unattended baggage will be confiscated by security.


What should I wear? 

A suit and tie. Or jeans and a t-shirt. Or something in between. Our services are not about your clothes, they’re about your spirit. We’re happy to have you no matter what you’re wearing – as long as you’re wearing something, please.

A tallit is worn during the day on Rosh Hashanah, and on Yom Kippur, the tallit is worn throughout all services, from Kol Nidre to Neilah. Our custom for all of Yom Kippur is to wear white, a sign of spiritual purity, and to avoid leather shoes. Wear comfortable sneakers, and bring sweats and a towel if you’ll be joining us for restorative yoga during the afternoon break.


Where do I park? 

Shalhevet’s parking lot will be closed. There will be an designated Accessible drop-off only area in front of the building. We will have a very limited number of Accessible parking spots available on a first come basis. Unfortunately, we cannot reserve parking spots for anyone.

  1. The city relaxes some parking restrictions on this part of town on the High Holy Days – IKAR High Holy Day parking 
  2. Carpool with Green Action’s new IKARpool Ride Share! Request a ride or offer a ride here. 
  3. The Petersen Museum on Fairfax right up the street has open spaces. $12/spot, open 6:00 am -11 pm. Perfect for Kol Nidre and Break-Fast.
  4. Leave your car at home and use a ride share service or an actual city bus. Check out Metro’s routes or, for West-siders, the Big Blue Bus.

And once more, just in case…


Do I really NEED an IKARd? You already know me!

YES! Everyone coming to services needs an IKARd, including the Rabbis, and who is cooler than them? (Hint: No one.) And every every everybody needs a valid photo ID.