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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

FAQ: Honors during the High Holidays

Q: What honors are available?

A: There are many honors during High Holiday services, all of which involve coming up to the Bimah. Some honors don’t require preparation, like opening and closing the ark; some require experience, such as lifting and wrapping the Torah; some require the reading of English passages and some require knowledge of Hebrew. Honors such as reading from the Torah and chanting the Haftarah will be distributed to people who have previously performed these honors during the year.

Q: How will the seating arrangement at the Kane Street services affect honors?

A: Those receiving honors will be asked to check in with a “Seating Usher” who will put a pre-printed label on a seating plan, indicating where the honoree will be sitting. A sanctuary usher will refer to the chart and will notify you a few minutes before your honor is to take place.

Q: What if I’m late or unavailable for my honor?

A: If you are not in the sanctuary or if an usher is not able to find you, your honor will be performed by the Bimah Gabbai. Please understand that for continuity and flow of the service, we will not be able to wait.

Q: How will I be notified if I’ve been given an honor?

A: All honorees will be notified by e-mail. We will tell you which honor you will receive and at approximately what time you will be expected to be present. It is very important that you let us know of any changes.

Q: Do I need to wear special clothing?

A: All those receiving honors are asked to dress in appropriate holiday attire. All honorees are required to wear a head covering. Men are required to wear a tallit, women are encouraged to wear a tallit.

Q: Do I need to let you know if I am a Kohen or a Levi?

A: Yes, but only if you’d like to be considered for an aliyah.

Q: Can you describe the aliyah procedure for High Holiday services?

A: The aliyot for the High Holidays use the very same brachot (blessings) as always—the text is the same for any Sabbath, weekday, or Festival. You can read them/chant them in Hebrew, or in English transliteration.

Q: Will there be honors distributed at both the Kane Street and Bergen Street services?

A: Yes, there will be honors available at both services, but only those attending the Kane Street services will have pre-assigned honors.

Q: How should I contact the synagogue for changes, special requests, etc.?

A: Whenever possible, please use the following email address: [email protected], or call the synagogue office: (718) 875-1550.

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