The Prospect Heights Shul is a Modern Orthodox Shul in Brownstone Brooklyn


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The Prospect Heights Shul
A Modern Orthodox Shul in Brownstone Brooklyn


I hope this note finds you well.

Hard as it may be to fathom, we are now in the month of Elul, and less than 1 month away from Rosh Hashanah.

The High Holidays team (myself, Yono Reich, Michael Chasan, and Rabbi Leener, in consultation with many others) has been hard at work readying this year’s services at PHS, and I’d like to share an update on how things are proceeding. Please take a moment to read this entire email (I know it’s long!) because there’s a lot of critical information in here.

As some of you may know, we’ve been fortunate to have access to a sizable outdoor space near our regular space at the corner of Grand Avenue & Pacific Street. We’re excited to share that we will be hosting in-person high holiday services at this outdoor lot.

For the high holidays, we’ll be setting up a tented area in the lot (open on all sides) that we’ll host davening in. On both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we’ll be offering two services: First, at 9am, partially-abbreviated Shacharit/Musaf that should last approximately 2.5 hours, followed by a shorter, 1-hour, highly-abbreviated service at approximately 12pm. We will offer Kol Nidre and Neilah services on Yom Kippur as well; we will have more to come on that front. All attendees for all services will be required to comply with our Covid policies. 

PHS will regrettably not be able to offer childcare this year, as we have been unable to identify a workable childcare strategy compatible with medical and local school requirements. We understand this may serve as a challenge for many community members and ask you to reach out to me with any specific questions or concerns.

Importantly, capacity will be substantially limited in order to ensure adequate distancing among attendees — we are still finalizing exact numbers but we do not expect to be able to offer space to everyone. We will initially be offering tickets to PHS members for one week before offering tickets to the general public, and strongly recommend that members request tickets early. 

We do ask that you think considerately about how many tickets you request, given our space constraints. Our aim is to ensure as many people who want to daven in person are able to do so.

Likewise, it’s important to us that we provide a meaningful experience to as much of our community as we can, even for those who are not available or comfortable attending services. Other virtual and in-person events in the works include:
  • Shofar-blowing opportunities in a number of different locations across Brooklyn

  • Communal tashlich on Sunday at the Prospect Park Dog Beach

  • Rosh Hashanah kids programming in Prospect Park

  • Virtual yizkor programming Erev Yom Kippur

  • Virtual musical selichot

Furthermore, if you don’t anticipate being able to leave your home on Rosh Hashanah and want a community member to come blow shofar for you, please be in touch and we will make arrangements.

If you have other ideas as to how we can make this year’s high holidays more meaningful, we welcome any thoughts and feedback.

When you click on the form to register, you’ll notice the option to “cover operational costs.” Putting on our high holidays programming this year is more complex and expensive than previous years, and we welcome your help in defraying those costs if you feel comfortable.

This year more than ever we are all navigating uncertain waters. We know that for many the yamim nora’im is the acme of their personal religious experience and a source of stability in turbulent times. We recognize that responsibility and ask for your patience and forbearance as we attempt to facilitate a meaningful experience for our entire community.  

Please click here to register for High Holidays services in 2020. As a reminder, registration is restricted to members until Tuesday, September 1.

May we all merit a k’tiva v’chatimah tovah.

David Hammer

President, Prospect Heights Shul