We are excited to celebrate the Yamim Nora’im with you and look forward to welcoming you to our congregation. We hope this guide will help answer your questions and make your journey through this spiritual time with us more meaningful. 

Schedule of Services

See times and information about how to attend services

View Schedule

Online services

Attend our services via livestream on emanuelplus

Join the services

Tickets & Attendance

Information about ticketing and attending services

Find out more

Kol Nidrei Appeal

This is the season of tzedakah, righteous giving

Find out more

Youth Programs

Find about more about Family services and Youth Services

View Schedule

Remembering loved ones

Click below for more information

Click here


Service Locations

We’re delighted that services and activities this year will all be back in Woollahra. This will be the first High Holydays in our renovated Heritage Sanctuary for our Progressive services. Our Masorti Services will be in the magnificent Millie Phillips Building and Renewal Services in the beautiful Neuweg.

Service times

Service times and details here

Tickets to attend

To attend our services in person you will need a ticket

Tickets are provided to all our members but we do not sell tickets for our services at this time of year.

If you would like to become a member, click on this link for more information.

Member Tickets

Please print your ticket, or have it digitally accessible and remember to bring it with you to all services, along with valid photo identification for security purposes. 

Members will be required to have paid all membership dues, fees, and tuition from the 2023 membership year, or have made payment arrangements with our Accounts Department.  If you would like to contact our accounts department, please email billing@emanuel.org.au.

Please contact us if you’re not sure how many tickets your household receives. Children under the age of 3 will not need tickets and children up to the age of 21 are included in the family ticket.

Online Services

All our Progressive services will be streamed online free through our emanuelplus streaming platform. Click on this link to join us

Creating a safe and secure space

We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation regarding our security measures at High Holy Days services. Security personnel will be checking bags, tickets and identification upon arrival. You might be asked some questions; please answer them calmly and honestly. We take seriously our duty to protect you and we are grateful for your support and understanding.

Finding your seat

Most of the seats in our services are unallocated.  If you have allocated seats in the Heritage Sanctuary or Millie Phillips Sanctuary, your seat details will be indicated on your ticket. A seating plan showing allocated and unallocated rows will be in the foyer of the Heritage Sanctuary and the entrance to the Millie Phillips Sanctuary.

In the Heritage Sanctuary row A in the downstairs pews is reserved for the elderly and those who are less mobile and there will be designated seats in the front row of the Millie Phillips Sanctuary. Throughout the services there will be volunteer ambassadors who will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and to provide assistance.

Purchasing assigned seats

As we approach the High Holy Days, we are pleased to advise that we still have some seats available for assigned use on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, in both the Heritage Sanctuary and the Millie Phillips Sanctuary. Your seat pledge is 50% tax deductible and numbers are strictly limited. If you are interested, please e-mail Rabbi Sam Zwarenstein or contact the office on 9389 6444.

Kol Nidreai Appeal

According to tradition, this is the season of tzedakah, righteous giving.  We are grateful to each of you who supports us through your membership, your presence, your engagement, and if possible this year, by contributing to our Kol Nidrei Appeal with your tax-deductible gift to the Emanuel Synagogue Foundation through this link.   

This year, our Kol Nidrei Appeal funds will be directed towards your choice of three projects: your final opportunity to link your name with the historic restoration of our Heritage Sanctuary, the launch of emanuelplus, our way to connect individuals around Australia with our community or to our benevolent work if you prefer, as together we shape the future of our congregation for the generations to come.

We thank you for your support as we continue to enhance our communal synagogue activities. 

Respecting the sanctity of prayer

In order to create a peaceful and respectful atmosphere during prayer services, we request that you refrain from entering or leaving the sanctuary when the congregation is standing. Please also note that use of mobile phones, cameras and similar electronic devices is not permitted during services.

Remembering our loved ones

An important part of the Yamim Nora’im commemoration is the Yizkor (Memorial) Service, where we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. If you would like to have the name of a relative or friend included in the 5784/2023 Yizkor Memorial Book, please complete this form , or call the office on 9389 6444. 

The form contains information on when copies of the book will be posted. 

A copy of the Yizkor Memorial Book will be placed in each of the arks during the Yizkor service.

Children's Activities & Family Services

We love to see you and your children at the synagogue, and we encourage you to bring them with you to the synagogue. We will be running wonderful youth services tailored for multiple ages, as well as child-minding on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

We are so excited to be running some wonderful youth programs during the High Holy Days! We will be offering youth services as well as child-minding on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and we would love to see you and your family there. 

If your child will be attending any of our youth programs, please register here 

Youth Services

We are offering two youth services each day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, tailored for different age groups. The services will include songs, stories, Torah, community and lots of fun. Please see below for the times and locations for our youth services, and click the link above to register. 

Tots (ages 0-5)  – Emanuel Woollahra Preschool 

  • Rosh Hashanah first day: 10am – 10.30am 
  • Rosh Hashanah second day: 10am – 10.30am
  • Yom Kippur: 11am – 11.30am

Kids (ages 6-12)  – Education Centre, Emanuel Synagogue

  • Rosh Hashanah first day: 10.30am – 11.30 am
  • Rosh Hashanah second day: 10.30am – 11.30am
  • Yom Kippur: 11.30am -12.30pm


Child-minding will be offered both before and after the youth services. Children will be provided with toys and snacks, and a chance to build community with other children. 

Registration is essential, so if your child will be joining us for any of the times below, please click the link above to register. 

Tots (ages 0-5) – Emanuel Woollahra Preschool

  • Rosh Hashanah first day: 9am – 1pm
  • Rosh Hashanah second day: 9am – 1pm
  • Yom Kippur: 10am – 2pm

Kids (ages 6-12)  – Education Centre, Emanuel Synagogue

  • Rosh Hashanah first day: 9am – 1pm
  • Rosh Hashanah second day: 9am – 1pm
  • Yom Kippur: 10am – 2pm


In order to make our child-minding service happen, we need your help! We will need parents to volunteer to help ensure adequate supervision of the children forr short shifts throughout the day. If you are able to help us with this community initiative, please indicate your availability on the registration form. 


We will be providing snacks, however we will not be serving lunch. You are welcome to bring a packed lunch, and you will be responsible for storing the food and serving it to your child. Any food brought onto campus must be meat-free and nut-free.

For the youngest ones

If your child is not toilet-trained, please remain with them at all times. While young children are more than welcome to attend, our supervisors will not be assisting with providing or changing nappies.  

To make sure that all children have a safe and fun time, we are committed to upholding the NSW Child Safety Standards.


We encourage our members to connect with each other, especially at this time of reflection and renewal. There are people within our community who do not have their family or friends close by, as well as visitors looking to share a meal at Rosh Hashanah and breaking fast after Yom Kippur. If you are able to open your home for a guest this season please contact the synagogue office on hhd@emanuel.org.au so we can arrange a place for our visitors to go for a festive meal.

Helping those in need

As part of our commitment to Mazon and collecting food for those in need, we will be facilitating the collection of non-perishable food items during the High Holy Days. There will be clearly marked bins for you to place these items in, and we encourage you to donate to assist those in need. The food will be donated to two local food banks who will ensure they reach people most in need. 

Ongoing collection of non-perishable food items will continue throughout the year.


We know that parking near the synagogue is often a challenge and this is especially true during High Holy Days. There is no on-site parking and only limited parking is available in the streets near the synagogue. Most of the parking available in the area is 2P. For vehicles displaying a valid disability permit, parking in a 2P zone is permitted for the whole day. We recommend you consider using a ride-share service or taxi. There is a small area in front of the synagogue for drop off and pick up of disabled or elderly congregants. From the street, there is disabled access including wheelchair access to all sanctuaries.

There is some parking available to the public in Centennial Park, though please note any time limit restrictions and be aware that the gates close at sunset.

We are always happy to hear from you

If you have any questions that we have not addressed, please email us at hhd@emanuel.org.au or call 9389 6444.

Looking forward with gratitude

We look forward to welcoming you during the High Holy Days, celebrating the entire community being able to gather and engage in meaningful prayer and connection on the same campus.

May these Yamim Nora’im be filled with health, happiness and blessings.

We wish you and your family Shana Tovah and ketivah v’chatimah tovah, may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish year; it is the time we celebrate the creation of the world and think about our place in it.  It begins the “Aseret Yamei Teshuvah”, the ten days of repentance, that culminate with Yom Kippur. 

Rosh Hashanah has two other names which reflect the nature of the holiday: Yom Ha Din, the day of judgement and Yom Hazikaron, the Day of Remembrance. It is a day of judgement because legend tells us that on this day God begins to write in the Book of Life, inscribing us for the year ahead. God weighs our deeds and considers our actions in the year that has passed. It is called the Day of Remembrance for on that day we remember our actions of the previous year as well as those who have entered and those who have gone from our lives.

At Rosh Hashanah, we eat sweet foods, especially apples dipped in honey, for a sweet year ahead, round challah representing the cycle of the year and life, and we attend services thanking God for the goodness of the year that has passed and asking for a good, sweet year ahead. One of the mitzvot is to hear the sound of the shofar. It is traditional to greet one another on this day with the words: “Shanah Tovah” (a good year), “gut yom tov” (yiddish for a good year), or the more complex “Shanah tovah tikatevu vetichateimu” (May you have a good year and may you be sealed and inscribed (in the book of life).  There is also the beautiful tradition of Mizrachi and other Jews to say, “tizku l’shanim rabbot” – may you merit many years ahead. 

In our continued commitment to multiple services and opportunities for worship we offer two service styles throughout the Yamim Noraim, Progressive and MasortiThe Masorti service is a full  traditional service but totally egalitarian and inclusive. This year, with first day Rosh HaShanah falling on Shabbat, our Masorti service will have the full soundings of the Shofar on the second day.

The Progressive service is more abridged, has many English readings and a variety of musical approaches all led by our fabulous Hazzan. On First Day Rosh HaShanah we featurethe music of our Emanuel Synagogue volunteer choir accompanied by musicians from our community. and the is Second Day Rosh Hashanah a “Live” service, featuring the musicians from our Shabbat Live Band along with special guest storytellers, poets and contributions.  Throughout Yom Kippur we hear our fabulous Emanuel Choir supported by talented musicians from the community. All our services are inclusive and egalitarian.

At Rosh Hashanah Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews have a special seder, with ritual foods and blessings. For more information about the seder and how to add these elements to your Rosh Hashanah, click here.

Tashlich means “you will cast” and is a ceremony which takes place on Rosh Hashanah and the days following.

This ceremony has its origins in a saying by the prophet Micah “You shall cast out your sins into the depths of the sea.” At this time of year when we attempt to wipe the slate clean and remove our sins far away, we symbolically cast our sins into a body of water and watch them disappear. There is a short prayer service conducted beside the water, followed by the symbolic throwing of bread into the depths.  For details of Tashlich ceremonies, which will be Sunday September 17th this year, click here (need hyperlink)

Kol Nidrei means “all the vows” and refers to one of the major prayers of Yom Kippur. .

Kol Nidrei, which initiates the 25 hours of Yom Kippur, is chanted to a hauntingly beautiful melody which brings tears to the eyes of many participants for whom the melody brings back memories of years past and an introduction to the solemnity of the Holy Dayl. This is the only evening service at which participants wear a tallit.

Yom Kippur morning services contain the reading of the Torah and a service filled with contemplation and reflection.

We recite two forms of confession throughout Yom Kippur, the shorter “ashamnu” and  the longer “al chet”, which list a list of  sins we have committed during the previous year, accompanied by pleas for  for forgiveness. The Torah reading of the morning describes the original Yom Kippur rituals and the tradition of fasting we maintain. In the Masorti Service, the Torah service is concluded with  Yizkor.

Yizkor is the service at which we remember our loved ones who have passed away. Yizkor is recited at all the pilgrimage festivals: Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, as well as during Yom Kippur. At the end of the prayers, El Maleh Rachamim, the prayer asking that the souls of our loved ones be at peace and Mourner’s Kaddish, gratitude for their lives, are recited. We read the names of those in our community who have died in the past year.  Yizkor is held later in the afternoon, just before Neilah, in the Progressive Service. 

Musaf is the heart of the Yom Kippur service, containing all of its major prayers and melodies, including the powerful Unataneh Tokef and the dramatic reenactment of the Temple ritual, where the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies. In the Progressive service, most of these prayers are incorporated into the morning service.

Later in the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to engage in conversation with the clergy about topics relevant to the season. They will each share some insights into their thoughts: what is keeping them up at night? What are the most important issues facing us at this time? There will be a chance to ask questions. Come along, challenge and be challenged with ideas, thoughts and discussion.

At Mincha, the afternoon of Yom Kippur, the service moves to a more introspective and reflective mood. We begin the journey by reading the Torah, followed by the story of Jonah, the prophet who sought to flee from God’s presence.

Ne’ilah is the evening service for Yom Kippur and it contains much of the most wonderful poetry and music of the day. This service speaks in imagery of the gates, which have been thrown open to receive our prayers, beginning to slowly close as the day comes to an end. The stars begin to appear in the sky and the mood becomes more festive and joyous. At the conclusion of the service, the shofar is sounded to herald the end of another Yom Kippur. We end with a short havdalah which separates the holy day from the rest of the week

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