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High Holy Days for NYC's LGBT Community

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah Opens Its Doors for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur


Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York's LGBT Synagogue and the largest of its kind in the world, commemorates the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with special services that are open to everyone. Thanks to its Open Door fund that allows free attendance for all, the congregation hosts thousands of people at its High Holy Day services every year, many more than its 850 or so regular members. Non-members are required only to register in advance.

Rosh Hashanah services, which consist of evening and morning services for both days of the Jewish new year celebration, are held at Town Hall in Midtown. Families with children are asked to pre-register so that age-appropriate services can be provided for all.

Yom Kippur services consist of a Kol Nidre ceremony in the evening, a day service in the morning followed by a Yizkor (memorial service), and Minchah and Neilah (afternoon and closing prayers) later in the day. All Yom Kippur services are held at the Jacob K. Javits Center on the far west side of Midtown.

For 2011, Rosh Hashanah services (celebrating the beginning of year 5771 on the Jewish calendar) will take place from September 28 to 30. Yom Kippur services will occur on October 7 and 8.

Rosh Hashanah services

  • Where: Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
  • When: September 28-30, 2011
  • Admission: Free (donations welcome)
  • Directions: 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R and S trains to Times Square-42nd Street; A, C and E trains to 42nd Street-Port Authority; B, D and F trains to 42nd Street-Bryant Park

Yom Kippur services

  • Where: Jacob K. Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, at Eleventh Avenue
  • When: October 7-8, 2011
  • Admission: Free (donations welcome)
  • Directions:1, 2, 3, A, C and E trains to 34th Street-Penn Station

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