Our annual free High Holy Day Services for Reform Jewish college students began in 1966.
They are open to students, faculty, military people and other young men and women away from home. NO TICKETS ARE REQUIRED. For information on contributions, see our Donations page.
Our founders were Dr. Edward Jacobson, Irving Trubo and Arthur Siegel, members of the New York Metropolitan Conference of the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhoods (now Men of Reform Judaism or MRJ), an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Since New York City is a college Mecca, these gentlemen recognized a need for a Reform Jewish High Holy Day service for students and young adults away from home.
Bernie Silverman, past president of the New York Metropolitan Conference, was the Chairperson for the College Youth High Holy Days Committee for more than thirty years before he passed away in 2006. Bernie was a committed Jew and had a passionate interest in young people and their development. Bernie became the face of our High Holiday Services, and his warmth, generosity and great wit imbued every aspect of the Committee’s work. After Bernie’s passing his wife, Naomi Gale, who had been active in planning the services, became coordinator. Bernie’s memory and spirit continue to be an inspiration and driving force behind these services.
In 2017, we formed Bernie’s Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, to take over the services from MRJ and ensure that young adults away from home will have a place to celebrate the High Holidays in New York City for years to come.
This is a once-a-year congregation. Services are held on Rosh Hashanah Evening, Rosh Hashanah Day, Yom Kippur Evening and Yom Kippur Day. On Yom Kippur Day, in addition to the service, there are a Teach-In and discussion groups and usually a musical performance. Services are relaxed and “congregants” participate in the readings. Since students and young adults come in all categories, and many graduate and post-doc students are married and have children, we welcome families.