High Holiday FAQ's

Where are High Holiday services held?

Most High Holiday services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are held at Park Synagogue Main, 3300 Mayfield Road, in Cleveland Heights. Two identical, simultaneous services are held on the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur day. The services are located in the Main Sanctuary/Rosenthal Ballroom (on the upper level) and in Stein Auditorium/Kangesser Hall (on the lower level).

  • Main Sanctuary/Rosenthal Ballroom: The walls between the Main Sanctuary/Rosenthal Ballroom are opened for the High Holidays, making one large area. The seats in the Main Sanctuary (under the dome) are reserved by members who pay additional fees. The chairs in Rosenthal Ballroom (the social hall behind the Main Sanctuary) are unreserved.
  • Stein Auditorium/Kangesser Hall: The area is made up of Stein Auditorium, with theater-style seats, and Goldberg Assembly Hall, with chair seating. The seats are entirely unreserved and are available on a first-come basis. Kangesser Hall is best accessed by its separate entrance on the lower level of the building. You can also enter by using the upper floor doors, walking down the stairs and through the Bridge.
Rosh Hashanah evening services are held at 6:00 pm at Park Synagogue East, 27500 Shaker Boulevard, in Pepper Pike. Everyone is also welcome to attend the Family Tashlikh Service at 5:35 pm on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, right before the evening service. PLEASE NOTE: Only one service is held for Erev Rosh Hashanah as well as for the Neilah service at the close of Yom Kippur. These services are held in the Main Sanctuary/Rosenthal Ballroom at Park Main, and there is open seating (reserved seating is not in effect).

How will I know which service to attend?

Park issues two types of tickets—unreserved and reserved. The unreserved tickets are used for open seating in either Rosenthal Ballroom or Stein Auditorium/Kangesser Hall; unreserved ticket holders can choose where to sit. Reserved ticket holders have specific seats in the Main Sanctuary and pay an additional fee per ticket. To inquire about purchasing reserved seats, please call Judy Kaufman at (216) 371-2244, ext. 133.

Is there any difference between the two seating locations?

While there are minor differences, the two locations offer similar services. Both services offer inspirational messages, prayers and beautiful music led by the Rabbi, Cantor and Choir.

Which Rabbi will be leading services in a particular location?

It is not announced in advance which Rabbis will be leading services in the two different locations. The Rabbis switch locations from service to service so that everyone attending services will have the opportunity to hear both of the Park Rabbis. We have a guest Cantor in addition to our regular Cantor, Misha Pisman. Rabbi Joshua Skoff and one of the Cantors will be leading one service, and Rabbi Sharon Marcus and the other Cantor will lead the other service. They will then switch services on the following day.

Can I buy tickets for family members who are not Park members?

Park members may purchase additional tickets for family members depending on availability. Please contact Mary Lauriel at (216) 371-2244, ext. 135.

Who needs to have a ticket for High Holiday services?

Everyone 18 years of age and older needs to have a ticket to enter the building to attend High Holiday services at Park Synagogue. Members are mailed tickets several weeks before the holidays — one ticket for each adult member and for each young adult in the family ages 18-25 who has been enrolled as a Park Young Adult Member. Children under the age of 18 do not need tickets. Tickets are non-transferable. Tickets will be checked at all entrances. In the event that your ticket is lost or misplaced and it is impossible to have it re-issued in time, please use the office/east entrance (by the white tent) where staff will be available to check your membership status and give you a special pass to attend services.

Can we bring our children with us to High Holiday services?

Yes! Children are always welcome to join their parents in High Holiday services (and in Shabbat services all year round). For the High Holidays, we also offer childcare, special family services, and children’s activities designed to give you and your children a positive holiday experience.

  • Childcare is offered for children ages two through kindergarten on both mornings of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the former school classrooms at Park Main (beginning at 9:30 am on Rosh Hashanah and 10:00 am on Yom Kippur). Children will enjoy holiday-appropriate activities and have a snack. Childcare cannot accommodate children who require special care or who cannot be managed in a group setting. Since there are no provisions for changing diapers, parents must be “on call” for any diaper changing. Please check the letter and childcare registration form accompanying your tickets for more information. Contact Natalie Maggelet at (216) 371-2244, ext. 155 with any questions about childcare.

What time should I arrive at services?

Please check the website, Bulletin, or the back of your tickets for the beginning times of the services. When you choose to arrive is according to your personal preference. If you want to sit in the front of Stein/Kangesser or Rosenthal Ballroom, it is best to arrive early. Unreserved seats are available on a first-come basis, and we ask that you not save seats for others. Please be aware that there are certain times when our ushers will ask you to wait in the lobby before entering the service (during the Torah procession, the sermon, etc.). We ask that you wait quietly, as to not disturb the services inside.

What is the Tashlikh service and when is it?

Tashlikh is an outdoor service with a symbolic casting of sins (bread) into a body of water. It is a Jewish custom reflecting one’s ability to learn from and move beyond one’s sins. Our Family Tashlikh Service will be held on Monday, September 30 at 5:30 pm at the creek behind Park East, just before the Rosh Hashanah evening service at 6:00 pm. Please join us—everyone is welcome, no tickets are required, and we provide the bread!

What is the Yizkor service and when is it?

Yizkor, or the memorial service, is held as part of the Yom Kippur morning service. It follows the Torah service and begins at approximately 10:20 am.

What is the Neilah service and when is it?

The Neilah service is a beautiful service at the end of Yom Kippur that is held in the Main Sanctuary/Rosenthal Ballroom (no reserved seating is in effect). All children are invited to participate at the end of the Neilah service by marching into the Sanctuary carrying small light sticks that we provide. It is a moving experience to see all the lights at the end of the holidays, and the service is a wonderful family event. Also, there is challah available to end your fast as you leave the service.

How do I purchase reserved seats in the Sanctuary?

A limited number of reserved seats are available for purchase by members on an annual basis. For more information about reserved seats, please call Judy Kaufman, Park’s Development Director, at (216) 371-2244, ext.133.

How are Holiday honors given to members?

Holiday honors—Torah aliyot and opening/closing the arks—are given very democratically at Park Synagogue. Each year, members whose last names begin with specific letters of the alphabet are asked to have an honor. This way, honors are rotated so that all members will have an opportunity to participate in services over the course of several years. If you are not asked, but would like to participate, please contact Eva Simpson in Rabbi Skoff’s office at (216) 371-2244, ext. 127 to see if there are any honors still available.

Will there be a High Holiday mahzor, tallit, and kippah available for me at services?

While we have plenty of kippot (yamulkas) available, we do not provide High Holiday mahzorim (prayer books) or tallitot (prayer shawls) at the services.

  • Each person attending services should bring their own copy of The New Mahzor. These prayer books are given complimentary to each Park member over the age of 13.
  • If you have your own tallit, please bring it with you. Any Jewish male or female over Bar/Bat Mitzvah age is encouraged to wear a tallit. Please be aware that it is the custom to wear a tallit during the Kol Nidre service. Also, please put your name and phone number in your tallit bag so it can be returned to you if left behind.

How do I know where to park when coming to High Holiday services?

Everyone who receives tickets for the Holidays will also receive a parking pass for a particular parking area. Please display it on your windshield or dashboard. The passes designate where you should park (in one of four places):
(1) Park Main grounds; (2) Severance Town Center’s parking lot; (3) Parking lot next to the Civic (on Mayfield closer to Lee Road); (4) Greek Orthodox Church parking lot (just east of Park).

Free shuttle bus service stops at both the Kangesser doors and the Main Sanctuary doors and is provided for those parking at the Severance Town Center and the Civic. If you are attending the Kangesser Hall service and have a pass to park on the Synagogue grounds, it is best to park in the lower lot by Mayfield Road and walk up the driveway on the east side of the parking lot to the Kangesser Hall doors.
PLEASE NOTE: When attending the Erev Rosh Hashanah service or the Yom Kippur Neilah service, everyone must park on the Synagogue grounds even if your parking pass is for a different area. No shuttle buses will be available for those two services.

I need handicapped parking. Where should I park?

Parking by the office doors on the east side of the building is set aside for handicapped parking. There is also limited handicapped parking on the side of Kangesser Hall. If you need handicapped parking, please call the Synagogue office to request a parking pass for the Synagogue grounds. You must have that pass and your own state-authorized handicapped parking permit to be admitted to our parking areas designated for handicapped parking.

I don’t drive anymore, but I want to come to services. Is there any transportation available?

Park Synagogue provides complimentary van transportation for members to attend High Holiday services. Please call Ellen Petler by Friday, September 16 at (216) 371-2244, ext.122 to request transportation.

How do out-of-town guests get tickets at Park? What if I will be out of town during the Holidays?

If your guest or family member belongs to a synagogue in Cleveland or another town and is in good standing, they can request a complimentary ticket to attend services at Park Synagogue. They must have a letter sent or faxed to our office well in advance of the Holidays from the congregation to which they belong that states: (1) the name(s), address, and phone number of the person(s) requesting the ticket(s); (2) that they are a member in good standing of the congregation; (3) what service(s) they will be attending at Park; and (4) where to send the ticket(s). We can do the same for any member who will be out of town for the Holidays. Please email or fax Mary Lauriel with your information at (216) 321-0639 (fax).

What is Operation Isaiah?

Each High holiday season we help people who are hungry in our community through Park's Operation Isaiah project. While in prior years we asked for food donations, this year, due to security concerns, we are only collecting money that will be used to purchase nutritious food for those in need. Please consider donating any amount to Park’s Hunger/Mitzvah Fund by October 18. You can donate by credit card online at www.parksynagogue.org or by sending a check, payable to Park Synagogue, to Operation Isaiah, Park Synagogue, 27500 Shaker Blvd., Pepper Pike, OH 44124.
We are also looking for volunteers to help pack and deliver the food we purchase to JFSA clients in need and group homes on Sunday morning, October 27 at Park Synagogue Main. To volunteer, please RSVP to Ellen Petler at epetler@parksyn.org or (216) 371-2244 ext. 122.
Operation Isaiah is sponsored by Park’s Social Action Committee.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers to ensure you have a meaningful experience. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Ellen Petler, at (216) 371-2244, ext. 122.