High Holy Days Guide
5784 • 2023
Fall Festival Services and Events
To see our online and in-person opportunities, please visit our Events Calendar
Whether you are new to La Crosse, Judaism or both, we are here for you. Or, whether your family has been in La Crosse and members of Congregation Sons of Abraham for generations, let us welcome you home.
Join us for the High Holy Days and return to your spiritual home. Our doors and hearts are open. We look forward to welcoming you with
joy and a smile to open your heart and soul to a renewing spiritual experience.
High Holy Days Honors
Participation in High Holy Days Services is an important mitzvah.
Honors are distributed in a way that makes it possible for every
family to be offered an honor if they wish.
Honors include: opening the ark (or uncovering the Torah scrolls, if we are outdoors), carrying the Torah throughout the congregation, lifting and dressing the Torah (Hagbah and Glilah), as well as coming to the Bimah for an Aliyah, the blessings before and after reading from the Torah. On Rosh Hashanah alone, we have 7 aliyot and a Maftir, so you have 8 opportunities to come up to the Torah.
Often, these honors are performed in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate a wedding, bar mitzvah, new baby or another simcha.
Please let your Gabbai or Rabbi know if you are interested in being called up for one of these honors.
Tashlich at the Park was wonderful. Over 30 people attended!
Last Sunday, Michelle Hockersmith led us in a meaningful practice as we symbolically “cast away” our sins as the New Year begins. Traditionally, bread crumbs (or bird seed) are cast upon a body of water as an act of self purification and to fulfill the words of the Prophet Micah (7:19): “And You will cast (vetashlich) all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
After discarding our sins and starting fresh for the New Year, we all headed over to Pearl Cream Parlor for complimentary ice cream (thank you, Jeff and Betty Butler!). What a nice turnout on a beautiful day!
The Yom Kippur service is a very powerful and meaningful observance. For many, the Yizkor section will be very important, as we recite aloud the names of all our dearly departed loved ones.
Mincha & Ne’ilah Service (Yom Kippur Afternoon)
with Glow Sticks and Candles
Monday, September 25 • 5:00pm
Our older CSOA children will carry Havdalah candles and lead us in prayer as glow sticks are handed out to the rest of the children in attendance (and adults who would like them) to experience the beauty and wonder of the Ne’ilah service, and hear the long final blast from the shofar. Final shofar blast at 7:01pm.
CSOA Social Hall, 7:00 PM, Monday, September 25
We will provide a symbolic Break-the-Fast after the Yom Kippur
evening service, approximately 7:00 PM on Monday, September 25. In our social hall, we will enjoy bagels, cream cheese, lox, tuna salad, egg salad and beverages. You will need to reserve your spot at the break-the-fast by the weekend before Yom Kippur. The cost is $18 for adults, children are $5, children under 8 are free. Kindly e-mail us to tell us if you will attend, and how many people you will bring. It is important that we know in advance, so we can buy enough food!
High Holiday Appeal 5784/2023
Power is in the people – play your part!
To Our CSOA Community:
Each of us has the power to make a difference in our community here at Congregation Sons of Abraham. That power comes in different forms for each of us – for some it comes in the ability to serve on the Board of Trustees, for some it comes in the form of voluntary service to the greater community, for some it comes in the form of financial contribution and for many of us, it comes in the form of bettering our congregation. As we continue to get back to our “new normal”, we sincerely hope that the synagogue offers all of you the services, programs and community you are seeking.
As we approach this year’s High Holy Days, we begin fresh, counting our blessings, asking for forgiveness, and providing forgiveness to others. One of the blessings we share is our congregation. Your volunteer efforts and financial contributions allow us to offer extensive programming and maintain our beautiful building. Each and every one of you makes us who we are, and give us the power to do what we do.
For this year’s High Holy Days Appeal, the Board of Trustees asks you to make a commitment to support our Kehillah Kedosha, our sacred community. Your gift to the annual Appeal allows the synagogue to continue to offer remarkable Jewish services and programming, in-person and virtually, to ensure that Congregation Sons of Abraham remains the heart of Jewish life in La Crosse.
If you’ve given in the past, we thank you and ask you to consider increasing your pledge. If you haven’t given in the past, now is the time to invest in Congregation Sons of Abraham.
This year, at Yom Kippur services, you will be able to select your donation on a convenient donation card, which will be handed out at the services.
Thank you again for your commitment to and support of Congregation Sons of Abraham!
Your Board of Trustees
Tree of Life – Etz Chayim
The Congregation Sons of Abraham Tree of Life is a loving way to commemorate weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions, and memories of your family and friends.
Anyone may purchase leaves in honor, or in memory of loved ones. Our Tree of Life is displayed on the back wall of our sanctuary. You are invited to pause and share the special memories in the lives of our community, especially leading up to our High Holy Days. To purchase a leaf, please contact Roger Ziff at email@example.com.