Dear Friends,

I've started inviting a few (more) minutes of controlled chaos into our home each day by organizing a daily shofar jam session.

There's a custom of blasting the shofar each day of the month leading up to Rosh HaShanah.  Last year I embraced it as a personal practice.  This year, like many parts of our lives, it's become a family affair. 

At our house, the sound of the shofar includes some musical tones and also some yelling for a turn.  My son likes to play the horn like a kazoo, and my daughter giggles with joy throughout.  We're learning the different blasts, and some tricks for playing this ancient instrument.

What I love about this ritual is that the mitzvah is to hear the call of the shofar.  Some horns can make beautiful sounds, but that alone is not quite enough.

Jewish wisdom instructs us to slow down, pay attention, and really listen to the call.  The vibrations can stir our souls, if we let them.

The call of the shofar not only announces the new year but ideally wakes us up to life - to what's most precious in our lives.  That takes time and repetition.  That's why we need to practice during the days and weeks leading up to Rosh HaShanah.  

As we enter the month of September and all the unknowns it holds, our spiritual work can also provide much-needed stress relief.  Each day is an invitation to wake up.  Each moment is an opportunity to slow down, pay attention, and hear what's calling out to us. 

The rituals of the High Holy Days are truly gifts of wisdom, beauty and joy, especially this year when we need them the most.  All of Sanctuary's High Holy Day offerings are listed in the boxes below, including an invitation to borrow a shofar and start your own jam sessions. 

Looking forward to exploring together in the weeks ahead!  

Sending love and strength,
Rabbi Bethie Miller

Preparing Together

Meditating Our Way through the High Holy Days: 
A 28-Day Journey of Renewal & Reflection

Because new beginnings take time and practice.
4 Tuesdays (starts TOMORROW Sept 1)
7:30-8:00p on Zoom
Plus daily meditations in your inbox

Led by Co-Founder of Pause to be Present and Meditation Teacher Cheryl Brause,  Clinical Psychologist and Meditation Teacher Amy L. Gross, Ph.D., and Rabbi Bethie Miller.

"This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared" Circle

Because this year needs to be different.
6 Thursdays (starts this Thursday Sept 3)
7:00-8:30p on Zoom

Guided by Rabbi Alan Lew's book, we'll explore the rituals of the Jewish new year, and prepare together for this season of contemplation and inner change. 


Family Nature Circle
Because there are so many connections to find in nature.
Rosh HaShanah (9/19), Yom Kippur (9/28) & Sukkot (10/10)
A small cohort of families (kids ages 5-9) will join for 3 outdoor holiday celebrations at different nature centers in Westchester (within 30 mins of Larchmont).

Rosh HaShanah Round Challah Bake
Because the seasons they go round and round.
Friday, September 18 on Zoom
11a for dough making; 3p for braiding.

Backyard Shofar Gatherings
Because the sound of the shofar wakes us up to life.
Sanctuary has shofars from Jerusalem ready to share with families who want to learn a new instrument and hold their own shofar services on Rosh HaShanah.

B Mitzvah Family Circle Launch
Because we’re ready for a new way to experience this ritual.
A small cohort of families will begin their 2-year journey of learning and exploration with an outdoor Rosh HaShanah celebration.  We have room for 1-2 more families.  Email for more information.

Tashlich Gathering
Because rivers teach us about change.
Families with young children (babies to age 5) will gather to hear the sound of the shofar, listen to a story, and throw pebbles into the water on the 2nd Day of Rosh HaShanah.

Yom Kippur Outdoor Gathering
Because we stand as one on this holiest of days.
We’ll meet in nature for an afternoon of meditation, prayer and reflection.


Support for Sanctuary

We are grateful for the continued support we receive from UJA-Federation of New York, PJ Library, and personal donations.

Sanctuary is a project of Beloved Builders Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization.


We all need Sanctuary, because we are only human.
We are wholly human, and we need each other to survive.