High Holy Days 2022/5783

In person. Online. Together.

We’re calling YOU!

Join us for the High Holy Days. No experience required.

Unlike most synagogues, you don’t have to be a member or pay for tickets.
However, financial support and volunteers are welcome!

You do need to SAVE YOUR PLACE – be it online or in person.

And this is the place to start the journey….

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? 


Identification and Vaccination

We require personal identification and evidence of vaccination for all in-person events. For members with key cards, this will serve as your proof of ID and vaccination.  For all others, we will check photo ID’s against registration lists and will accept digital or hard copy vaccination records.  Vaccination requirements are as follows:  

  • Adults, and children 12 and up:  Proof of full vaccination and first booster.  
  • Children 5 to 11:  Proof of full vaccination required; booster encouraged but not required.
  • Children 6 months to 4 years:  Vaccination encouraged but not required.


Masks are required throughout the building. We highly recommend N95 or KN95 masks. Well-fitted masks covering both nose and mouth will be required at all times for adults and children 5 and up, while inside the venue.  Service leaders who have tested negative for Covid the day of the service may be unmasked while leading services. Those who wish to attend the oneg (reception) after Erev Rosh Hashanah services and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur may be unmasked for brief periods while eating or drinking.

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 kids ages 3 to 7 and their families will be held in person at the Herbst Theater on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur morning. 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, let us know at [email protected].

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 hereThe publisher is offering a 15% discount off the $46 print edition price if purchased directly from its website. A Kindle e-book set is also available for $20 (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 17 – Leil Selichot
8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
S’lichot Service – On Zoom Only
Prayers to help us enter into the High Holy Day season.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – Erev Rosh Hashanah
7:30 to 9:00 p.m. 
Evening Service – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – Rosh Hashanah Day 1
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Services – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom

  • Morning Service
  • Torah Service
  • Shofar Service


9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Services for Kids Ages 3 to 7 & their Families – In person only, at the Herbst Theater

2:00 p.m.
Tashlich 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. 

6:00 p.m.
Tashlich On Zoom only
Please have on hand a few ice cubes in a bowl or jar half filled with water, to assist in virtually casting away what you want to release.  


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – Rosh Hashanah Day 2
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Services – On Zoom only

  • Morning Service
  • Torah Service
  • Shofar Service


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – Erev Shabbat Shuvah
7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Kabbalat Shabbat Service – On Zoom Only


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 – 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


10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Kever Avot v’Imahot, Honoring our Ancestors (Cemetery Visit) 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.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 – 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 7:30 p.m
Yom Kippur Services – In person at the Herbst Theater, and on Zoom

  • Morning Service
  • Torah Service
  • Mincha Service
  • Niggun (Singing) Service
  • Breakout sessions (will include both Zoom and in-person options)
  • Yizkor
  • Neilah


9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Services for Kids Ages 3 to 7 & their Families – in person only, at the Herbst Theater 


Please note:

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].



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