Festivals & High Holy Days at Beth Tzedec

Welcome to a year of festival celebrations at Beth Tzedec. To everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and for every person at Beth Tzedec there is a service or program suitable to enhance his or her davening and learning experience. For a schedule of festival services and events, see the list on the right or check the calendar.

Yom HaShoah

An important initiative begun by one of our past presidents, Jules Surdin z'l, the Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle Program has become a signature project of the Beth Tzedec Men’s Club. We light the candle in our homes and place it in our window in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. By remembering those precious lives lost and supporting ongoing education programs, we remind ourselves and the community of the enduring strength of the Jewish people.

Yom Hazikaron / Yom Ha'atzmaut

Between Minḥah and Ma’ariv, we recite the memorial prayer El Malei Raḥamim, as well as a selection of poems and songs honouring the fallen soldiers. We listen to excerpts from the proclamation of Independence, and conclude with the prayer for the State of Israel and the singing of Hatikvah


At Beth Tzedec’s annual Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, Minḥah-Ma’ariv services are followed by a light supper at no charge. The night of learning also features a keynote speaker, a midnight Torah reading outside under the stars, a variety of parallel breakout sessions, and cheesecake.  In the morning, services feature Hallel and the Festival Musaf, including the chanting of Akdamut. In addition to reciting Yizkor on the second day of Shavuot, join us in the chanting of Megillat Ruth and consider learning how to leyn a chapter.

Tishah B'Av

On this solemn and yet ultimately hopeful occasion, we gather under dim lighting and seated low for Ma’ariv and the chanting of Eikhah, the Book of Lamentations. During morning services, we recite the relevant Torah and Haftarah readings as well as certain kinot or dirges bewailing the destruction of the Temple. We do not wear tallit or tefillin at Shaharit as a sign of being in a state of mourning, but we return at Minḥah wearing them expressing the hope of redemption and the re-dedication of the Temple.


In Tractate Baba Ghanoush, it says one has not truly experienced Purim until one has celebrated it at Beth Tzedec. On Purim evening we have a full reading of Megillat Esther. The fun continues on Purim day with morning services and a full Megillah reading. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy the Beth Tzedec Purim carnival featuring booths, prizes, hamantashen, and of course Lorne’s favourite – bouncy castles and much more!

A little Purim fun!

The staff of Beth Tzedec got into the Purim spirit a little early this year, and the shenanigans were captured on video.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Tickets for admission are available for members and pre-arranged guests only. Traditional High Holy Day services officiated by Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl and a Parallel Service with Hazzan Sidney Ezer. Families with children ages 6 to 13 are welcome to join the Family Service. Beth Tzedec also offers educational and fun Youth programming for children in JK to Grade 7 (ages 4 to 12) as well as pre-reserved babysitting for children one month through three years of age. In addition, we offer a variety of Hot Topics breakout sessions reflecting the interests and perspectives of various age groups.


Join our Klei Kodesh and make a lulav shake. Services feature Hallel and Festival Musaf. Following services, congregational Kiddush is provided in the Sukkah as well as in the Michael & Mary Ellen Herman Banquet Hall. On Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot, join us at Minhah as we read Kohelet, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and perhaps learn to chant a chapter. Check the calendar for special events offered to our 20s & 30s group.

Shemini Atzeret and Simẖat Torah

We gather for the final days of the Fall festival and penitential season and recite the Yizkor service. Services feature Hallel and Festival Musaf. 

In the evening we celebrate the Torah with lively singing and Hakafot in the Kimel Family Gym. Families with young children are welcome in the Mezzanine Hall to participate in a myriad of activities led by our Director of Education Daniel Silverman and our Youth Director. The next morning, we end the annual cycle of Torah reading and begin it again, honouring our Hattan/Kallat Torah and Hattan/Kallat B’reisheet respectively. Following services make sure to join us at Beth Tzedec’s annual Simhat Torah Luncheon.


Following Minḥah / Ma’ariv services on each night of Hanukkah, outside the Hendeles Chapel we light our Hanukkiah dedicated by the Troster family. Morning services include the addition of Hallel and Torah reading. 

Tu B'Shevat

Tu B'Shevat encourages us to eat and learn about the produce of the Land of Israel, and to focus on sustainability and responsibility to the environment. Fill up your JNF boxes, help plant a tree in Israel, and participate in our Tu B'Shevat Seder. The Shabbat closest to Tu B'Shevat is always Shabbat Shirah, “the Sabbath of Song.” 


One of the Klei Kodesh will be available to assist you in the selling of ẖametz, and join us in the parking lot where we burn our remaining ẖametz. During Pesah, services feature Hallel and Festival Musaf, including the chanting of Tal, the prayer for Dew. On Shabbat Hol Hamoed Pesah, join us at Minhah as we read Shir Hashirim, Song of Songs, and perhaps you can learn to chant a chapter.