Secular High Holiday Observances

Rooted in a Jewish commitment to social justice, we have created unique programs of readings, reflection, and singing for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Whatever your level of Jewish knowledge - however you might define your own spirituality - we invite you to join us.

  • Rosh Hashanah Service: Monday, Sept. 30th, 2019 10 AM - 12 PM, potluck to follow

  • Rosh Hashanah Children's Program: Monday, Sept. 30th 10 AM - 12 PM (FULL)

  • Yom Kippur Service: Wednesday, Oct. 9th, 2019 10 AM - 12 PM

  • Yom Kippur Children's Program: Wednesday, Oct. 9th, 10 AM - 12 PM 

  • All services are held at 474 Centre St. (Eliot Church), Newton, MA 02458. 

  • **Seating in the main sanctuary is now full to capcity for both Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur.  We have seats available in our small chapel service (same building as the main sanctuary and the same service, video from the main service will be projected, with a community member leading the participants from the front of the room). Nobody will be turned away! **


  • To pay by check, please see the rates below and mail a check to 6 Webster St. Brookline, MA 02446 with a note about how many seats you need for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

  • Each year we invite all interested participants to help lead our High Holiday observances by reading a section of our unique and original program out loud. Please contact Linda Gritz if you are interested in being a reader. Children and adults are encouraged to participate! 


The High Holidays are the most highly attended gatherings of the year at Boston Workmen's Circle. They inspire, uplift, and remind us of the power of community.

Observances take place on the morning of the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on the morning of Yom Kippur. Adults and children of all ages are welcome. 

Look through past years ritual liturgy here.



For both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we will have two seating options: 1) the main sanctuary which seats 600 people; and 2) a smaller chapel room which seats up to 75 people. A livestreamed video from the main sanctuary will be projected on a screen into the chapel, and a community member will lead participants through the service. The chapel room option may be a good fit for people with sensory processing sensitivities, who need more flexibility to move during the service, or want a smaller more intimate experience. The chapel room is in the same building as the main service. 

Once the main sanctuary sells out, we'll be selling tickets only for the smaller service. Nobody will be turned away!

High Holiday Registration Rates (covers Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services):

  • BWC members: $100 per individual / $175 per family*
  • Non-members: $120 per individual / $215 per family*
  • Young adults/Low Income: $25 per member / $35 per non-member
  • Childrens Program Only: $25 for members / $35 for non-members (If you will be attending any of the main services for RH or YK, the Childrens Program is included in your general registration. If you are ONLY attending the Childrens Program, please pay this reduced rate.)

* Family rate is intended to be per household. If you are including more than 2 adults + school-age children, please consider increasing your payment. 

Your High Holiday contribution sustains the community that makes these observances possible. Boston Workmen’s Circle depends on the support we receive at the holidays each year. At the same time, we are committed to making sure that all feel welcome at our observances. You are always welcome whatever you are able to pay.

Still need to join/renew your BWC membership for 2019-2020? Click here. Not sure if your membership is current? Email



Our Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur children's programs will be at the same time as the regular community-wide services from 10 AM - 12 PM in the Eliot Church Parlor. Parents can drop off their children ages 4-7 for a fun, meaningful High Holidays program with stories, songs, and hands-on activities. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Click here for more information.