Rockdale’s Holidays at Home: Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, comprise the “High Holy Days” of the Jewish calendar, and are the festivals that begin the new Jewish year.

Yom Kippur, which translates to “day of atonement”, is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. It has undergone significant change due to the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. A festival once marked by sacrificial practice has been modernized into a day of reflection and repentance, fasting and forgiveness, and ushering in a clean slate for the New Year ahead. Yom Kippur begins with the Kol Nidre service (in Hebrew, “all vows”) and continues on to a 25-hour period of fasting and worship, during which many wear white to symbolize purity and the spiritual cleansing of the holy day. Yom Kippur concludes with a final blowing of the shofar and breaking the fast with family and friends!

Yom Kippur begins Tuesday evening, October 11th (services at 8pm) and continues Wednesday, October 12th (youth and main services at 10am, tots at 9:30am). We invite the community to observe Yom Kippur at Rockdale Temple. Services are available for children, families, and adults. Click here to access our High Holy Day Schedule and Childcare Forms!

If you are unable to attend High Holy Day services at Rockdale, you now have the option to tune in at home on your computer! Click here for access to live-streaming services!

Click one of the topics below or scroll down for great information, how-to’s, activities, mitzvah opportunities, music, recipes, and more!


Blessings | About Yom Kippur | Adult Learning | Kids’ Activities | Mitzvot | Music | Recipes


Blessings for Home and Synagogue

Yom Kippur Blessings for Starting ObservanceSounds of Kol Nidre

Perspectives on Avinu Malkeinu

U’netaneh Tokef

Meditation for One who Cannot Fast


More about Yom Kippur

What is the Meaning of the High Holy Days?Explore Yom Kippur at

Yom Kippur History

What to Expect When you are Repenting

Why do We Fast on Yom Kippur?

Yom Kippur Vocabulary


Learning for Adults

Yom Kippur Services ExplainedRepair and Apology: What Does Judaism Teach Us?

Yom Kippur Customs and Rituals

Chocolate Outs Jews on Yom Kippur

A Collective Confession for Parents on Yom Kippur

Torah and Haftarah Readings for the High Holy Days

D’var Torah: Sometimes we are Jonah

eScapegoat: the Game!


Activities and Videos for Children & Families

Rockdale’s Gabe and Gesher the Goat Learn about Yom KippurHow to Ready your Young Child for Yom Kippur

Tips to Engage Your Family in the New Jewish Year 

Shalom Sesame: Saying Sorry

Break-the-Fast Placemats

SORRY: The Hardest, And Perhaps Most Powerful, Word


Yom Kippur Mitzvah Opportunities

Participate in Rockdale’s High Holy Day Food DriveMonetary donations and non-perishable food items will be accepted at Rockdale Temple for the Freestore Food Bank and the Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry. Checks should be made payable to the Freestore Food Bank and sent to the Temple. The Freestore Food Bank truck will be located in the JCC parking lot during Yom Kippur morning services. Donations for the Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry will be picked up after Simchat Torah. The drive begins on Selichot: Saturday, September 24, 2016 and continues through Simchat Torah: Monday, October 24, 2016.

Social Justice and the High Holy Days

A High Holy Days Social Justice Guide

Give to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger


Observe Yom Kippur with Music

Why is the Music Different during the High Holidays?Kol Nidre

U’netaneh Tokef

Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire”

May you be Sealed by Ellen Allard (kids)



How to Make Round ChallahYom Kippur Break Fast Recipes

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Whipped Honey

Smoked Salmon Baked Omelette