A variety of organizations will stream services Thursday marking Yom Kippur, the holiest and most somber day on the Jewish calendar, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and The Laugh Factory.
Cedars-Sinai will stream a service for 24 hours beginning at 7 a.m. at www.cedars-sinai.org/patients-visitors/spiritual-care/judaism/services.html. Participants can follow along with the service via a downloadable PDF High Holy Days prayer book available at www.cedars-sinai.org/content/dam/cedars-sinai/patients/spiritual-care/documents/high-holidays-prayer-book.pdf.
The Laugh Factory will conduct a Yom Kippur morning service at 11 a.m. and a concluding service at 6 p.m.
In-person attendance at the Hollywood comedy club is limited to 100 people because of social distancing protocols. Attendees must present a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination card prior to entering the Laugh Factory. Masks are mandatory for all attendees.
Reservations are required and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The services will be streamed on The Laugh Factory’s YouTube channel, on Instagram at laughfactoryhw and Facebook at @LaughFactoryHW.
This is the 38th consecutive year The Laugh Factory has provided free High Holy Days services.
IKAR, which bills itself as a spiritual community and holds services at Shalhevet High School on Fairfax Avenue, just north of Olympic Boulevard, will stream services at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. at ikar.org/live/
“Last year during the High Holidays, when indoor services in Los Angeles were prohibited under public health orders, the Jewish community found ways to be together spiritually even while apart physically,” said Rabbi Ilana Grinblat, vice president of community engagement for the Board of Rabbis of Southern California at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
“Virtual services gave us the ability to transcend geography and join with people throughout the country and the world in prayer, song and learning. As the pandemic continues, this medium remains a powerful way of connection for many synagogues.”
While most congregations require membership and tickets for High Holy Days services, the JEM Community Center will conduct free services at 10 a.m. 12:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. billed as “The High Holidays Under The Skies” in a tent in Beverly Hills.
There is space for 1,000 people. Social distancing will be observed and masks are required. An online RSVP is required at www.jemcommunitycenter.com/events/high-holiday-services-2021.
Yom Kippur concludes at sundown Thursday, ending the 10-day period on the Jewish calendar known as Days of Teshuvah, which is variously translated as repentance, return and change. Many Jews fast on Yom Kippur and customarily spend much of the time in synagogues.
According to Jewish tradition, Yom Kippur is the day on which Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the second set of commandment tablets — he had smashed the first — and announced God’s pardon to the people for worshipping a golden calf.
Observant Jews believe that God inscribes the names of the righteous in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashana and seals the book on Yom Kippur, 10 days later.
For that reason, the traditional greeting among Jews on Yom Kippur is Gemar Chatima Tova, which means “good final sealing” and conveys the wish: “May your name be sealed in the book of life.”
Yom Kippur services begin with the Kol Nidre, an ancient prayer that literally means “all vows” or “all promises.” The last service of the day ends with the sounding of a shofar.
“Yom Kippur offers a final chance at repentance, an opportunity to right our wrongs, restore our souls, and renew our sacred commitments to God and each other,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’ first elected Jewish mayor.
“As we enter this day of reflection, may each of us be sealed in the Book of Life.”
Bernard Cohn was appointed acting mayor in 1878 by his fellow members of what was then known as the Common Council following the death of Frederick A. MacDougal. Cohn was defeated by J.R. Toberman and was mayor for 15 days.
In his Yom Kippur message, President Joe Biden said, “For millennia, Jewish communities have marked Yom Kippur as an occasion to reflect and pray; fast and seek forgiveness; account for past transgressions, and commit to future change.
“At its core, this sacred and solemn day reaffirms a universal principle at the essence of our humanity: that, through word and deed, we each have the ability to right wrongs, mend rifts, and heal wounds. That every place where we have fallen short provides an opportunity for growth, and that by acknowledging shortcomings with honesty and humility, before our Creator and to one another, we can forge a more promising future for ourselves, for our communities and for our country.”