FAQ

Are these services really free?

The services are free for students and military personnel away from home. Other men and women are welcome, but we ask them to make contributions. For information on contributions, see our Donations page.

Who pays for the services?

Our services are funded by donations. For more information, see our Donations page.

Who was Bernie?

Bernard “Bernie” Silverman was the chair, and the inspiration, of the College Youth High Holy Days Committee for more than thirty years before he passed away in September 2006. To learn more about him, click here.

Do I need a ticket for the services?

No.

What about security?

Appropriate security measures are taken, as with all large Jewish gatherings. Support is provided by the Police Department of the City of New York. Students must bring a valid student ID, and all others must bring a photo ID, to each service you attend. Please do not bring backpacks, large bags, or food or drink.

Do I have to sign in?

Yes. Please be prepared to print your name and email address on our sign-in sheet at each service you attend. And please print legibly!

How long do services last?

How long do services last? On Rosh Hashanah eve, the service, which begins at 6 p.m. will last about 75 minutes. Rosh Hashanah morning, about 2 hours. Yom Kippur eve (Kol Nidre), about 2 hours. Yom Kippur Day, the morning service is followed immediately by Yizkor, about two and a half hours. On Yom Kippur afternoon, there is a study session beginning at 3:30 p.m., followed by the Concluding service, which ends at about 5:45 p.m. (Click here for the detailed service schedule.)

How should I dress?

Dressy clothes are not required; but if that’s what you choose to wear, do so. Men may wear shirts and long pants, suits or sports jackets, if they choose; ties are optional. Women may wear dresses, skirts, slacks, or suits.

What about a yarmulke or tallit?

Neither is required. Some people choose to wear yarmulkes. A few may be available at the entrance, but it is best to bring your own if you want to wear a yarmulke. Most people do not don a tallit. None will be available at the entrance; if you want one, bring your own.

What kind of music do we have?

Traditional High Holy Day music is sung by a quartet for professional singers. They are led by Dr. Jason Roberts, who is the director of choristers at St. Bartholomew’s Church and associate director of music there. He is a graduate of Rice University, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Manhattan School of Music. We welcome full-throated participation in the service.

Who conducts the services?

Rabbi Leonard Schoolman conducts and preaches at all services, assisted by a panel of lay readers. If you’d like to participate, we would love to have you. Please indicate how you’d like to participate by clicking here. 

Is this a regular congregation?

It is a congregation that has been gathering each year, since 1966, for High Holy Day services. It is an ongoing once-a-year congregation. Beginning in 2017, it is organized by Bernie’s Services, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation set up to ensure these services will be offered for years to come.

Feel free to email us if you have any additional questions.