High Holy Days 2023/5784

We’re Calling YOU!

Especially now, we each need space and time to reflect upon the wonders of the world and recharge.  To Be. In Awe.

We’re here for that. And we’re here for you and your friends and family.

Please join us by registering below.

Register Today


Are High Holy Day services In Person or Online this year?

Most High Holy Day services will be both online (on Zoom) and in person at the Herbst Theater (at 401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco). See the schedule below for details.

To attend either in person or online you must REGISTER first! If you are unsure how you will be attending, please register and mark “undecided.”

Tickets are not required, but everyone — members, family and guests — must register to attend either online or in person.  After you register, you will receive an email confirmation.  Those who do not register in advance may be able to join us, but only on a space-available basis.

What makes Sha’ar Zahav services unique?

Our congregation and our liturgy are rooted in the LGBTQI community and open to all.  We embrace all sexualities, genders, races and abilities. We welcome a diversity of participants: single members, interfaith, single-parent, multiple-parent and multicultural families. We lift each other up to do what we never thought possible.

We are led by our extraordinary clergy, Rabbi Mychal Copeland and Cantor Sharon Bernstein, as well as by several talented and diverse lay leaders.

I’m new. Will I feel comfortable at High Holy Day services?

Every year we welcome many new participants and members. Our services embrace both those experienced in traditions and those new to High Holy Days. We invite every person joining us to bring their unique gifts in creating our sanctuary together.

What are your safety and health requirements? 


We require personal photo identification for all in person events. For members with key cards, this will serve as your photo ID.  For all others, we will check photo ID’s against registration lists. 

Vaccinations and Masks

For the health and safety of our community, it is Sha’ar Zahav’s expectation that all members and visitors who attend in person services and events will be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. If you are unvaccinated, sick or experiencing any symptoms of illness, please enjoy services and events via Zoom. As an added precaution, we encourage everyone to take a COVID home test before attending in person at the Herbst Theater. 

Masks are no longer required at in person services and events. But we are mask-friendly and fully supportive of visitors, members and service leaders who choose to wear masks for their own personal protection. 

The Herbst Theater continues to strongly recommend that patrons wear masks inside the theater. For more information about the Herbst Theater’s health and safety practices, click here.

Capacity restrictions and physical distancing

We will not be imposing any additional health-related capacity restrictions or physical distancing requirements.

Fragrance-Free Environment

Sha’ar Zahav maintains a fragrance-free environment at all its services and in person events. In order to support Sha’ar Zahav attendees who are physically harmed when exposed to chemical fragrances (difficulty breathing, migraines, flu-like symptoms), please refrain from wearing perfume/cologne or using other scented products. For more information on this subject, please click here.

Zoom Backgrounds

When attending Zoom events please don’t use virtual or blurred backgrounds, as they cause migraines for many people.

How can children participate?

Services for children ages 5 to 12 and their families will be held in person at the Herbst Theater on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning. Children must be accompanied by an adult during the service. See the schedule below for details.

How are you making services accessible to people with disabilities?

Live transcription (closed captioning) will be provided in English for all hybrid and Zoom-only services. No special equipment is required. Details on how to enable closed captioning and adjust the size of the text can be found here.

Assistive Listening headsets are available for in person services at the Herbst Theater. Please inquire with the ushers at the entrance to the theater. Herbst requires a valid ID or credit card as a deposit, which will be returned upon return of the headset.

The Herbst Theater and Sha’ar Zahav’s sanctuary are wheelchair accessible. Designated seating is available in the theater for persons using wheelchairs, and their companions. Please ask the Herbst ushers or Sha’ar Zahav ushers to be directed to wheelchair accessible seating.

For more information about accessibility in the Herbst Theater, including information about restrooms, parking, accessible entrances and service animals, please click here.  If you have other questions or require any special assistance, please let us know here.

Where can I find a machzor (High Holy Day prayer book)?

For those who join us in person, copies of “Mishkan Hanefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe” will be available for your use.  If you would like a personal copy for in person or online services, you can purchase your own copies here. A Kindle e-book set is also available (no special device needed).

Everyone who registers for High Holy Days will receive supplemental materials from Sha’ar Zahav a few days before each service.

Are other programs offered beyond the High Holy Day services?

Elul is the Hebrew month preceding the High Holy Days. During this time, many take time to prepare themselves spiritually for the days ahead. We have developed High Holy Day Resources to assist you.  We also encourage you to check our events page for updated Elul offerings.

Schedule of Services and Events


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – L’eil S’lichot
8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
S’lichot Service – On Zoom Only
Prayers to help us enter into the High Holy Day season.
If you want to attend, please register here.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 – Kever Avot v’Imahot, Honoring our Ancestors
10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Cemetery Visit/Service – In person only, at Hills of Eternity Cemetery, Colma
Join us as we walk through the grave sites of our beloved community members and recite poems, liturgy and names. Whether or not you have personally had a loss in your life, this contemplative short service is for anyone wishing to contemplate life and death amidst supportive community.  Lunch to follow – bring your own or contribute to a potluck.  Lunch details will be provided in the supplemental information sent to everyone who registers.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – Erev Rosh Hashanah
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. 
Rosh Hashanah Evening Service – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 – Rosh Hashanah Day 1

9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Morning Services – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Rosh Hashanah Service for Children Ages 5 to 12 & their Families – In person only, at the Herbst Theater
Children must be accompanied by an adult during the service.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 – Rosh Hashanah Day 2

9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Morning Services – On Zoom only

2:00 p.m.
Tashlich (San Francisco) – In person only, at Crissy Field, East Beach
Tashlich is our short ritual of figuratively tossing our past wrongdoings into the ocean and singing our way into a new year, free of our burdens. Bring your own lunch and blanket to the beach any time after 1:00 pm to greet new friends and old. Brief service will begin promptly at 2:00 pm.  Click here for information on accessibility at Crissy Field, East Beach.

2:00 p.m.
Tashlich (East Bay) – In person only, at the Lake Merritt Labyrinth
Join us for Tashlich at the Lake Merritt Labyrinth (the grassy area off the Grand Lake side of the lake, near the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Staten Street).  Bring your own lunch and blanket any time after 1:00 pm to greet new friends and old.  Brief service will begin promptly at 2:00 pm.  Click here for information on accessibility at Lake Merritt.

2:00 p.m.
Tashlich (Zoom) – On Zoom only
Join us as we release our burdens in a unique and beautiful Tashlich gathering on Zoom. If you can, bring a bowl, a few ice cubes and/or a little water.
To attend, please register here


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 – Erev Shabbat Shuvah
7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Kabbalat Shabbat Service – In person at Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, and on Zoom


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – Shabbat Shuvah
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Shabbat Morning Service – In person at Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, and on Zoom


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – Erev Yom Kippur
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. 
Kol Nidre Service – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom



9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Yom Kippur Morning and Afternoon Services 
 In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom
Morning Service, Niggun (Singing) Service and Afternoon Service
Afternoon Activities – text study, discussion and reflection, art, yoga

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Yom Kippur Service for Kids Ages 5 to 12 & their Families 
– in person only, at the Herbst Theater
Children must be accompanied by an adult during the service.

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Evening Services  In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom
Yizkor and Neilah


Times above subject to change.  We will post schedule updates here.

Full details for all services and events, including links and instructions, will be sent via email to all registered High Holy Day participants.

Register Here

Please Update Your Zoom Software Before Services

To have the best possible experience for High Holy Day services please update your Zoom software to the latest version today. The new split-screen viewing feature will allow you to enjoy the services the way we designed them.

If you have difficulties registering or finding the Zoom links to access the services, please contact our High Holy Days team of staff and volunteers at [email protected].

Additional questions?

We look forward to answering your questions. Please contact our High Holy Days team of staff and volunteers at [email protected].