Home for the Holy Days: Area Synagogues Open Up Doors

Just about this time last year, a freshly-launched TC Jewfolk posted a story about local synagogues that were offering free or reduced tickets to students and young professionals. It seems we were ahead of the curve. A recent article from The Forward notes that some synagogues across the country are beginning to make services free on the high holidays, as a means to draw in new members and in some cases, as a reflection of the tightening economy. And while there may be other reasons that you choose not to observe and celebrate the high holy days in a synagogue, fear that you can’t afford to “pay to pray” shouldn’t be one of them.
Below is a list of local synagogues and independent minyans that invite you to join them for the holidays – regardless of how low the balance in your savings account may be.
And, don’t worry if a shul you were interested in checking out doesn’t appear below. Some weren’t able to get back to us by the time we ‘went to press’ but we’ve never heard of a community that would turn somebody away for financial reasons. You can always check out our list of Twin Cities Synagogues if you don’t see the one you were searching for and contact the office to inquire on your own. (Work for/with a synagogue that didn’t make the list and want to extend an invite? Let readers know in the comments below!)

  • Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka. Please contact Andrea Blumberg and she can help welcome you for services and programs. We hope to hear from you! [email protected] or 952-426-6644. High Holy Day tickets are $150 and complimentary for college students.
  • Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis. Free admission; no tickets necessary. Services will be ASL interpreted. Services held at the First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Avenue South. High Holy Days schedule. Call 612-822-1440 to receive a packet of information.  Shir Tikvah is a progressive reform congregation who would like to welcome you to our High Holy Day services.
  • Temple Israel in Minneapolis welcomes all who want to celebrate and observe the High Holy Days with us. Free admission, but admission card required. Contact Michael Satterberg at (612) 374-0324 or [email protected] for an admission card. Temple Israel is an urban congregation, dedicated to serving a diverse community.


  • Adath Jeshurun in Minnetonka. Tickets are $25 for college students, free for those under the age of 30 who are living in their parents’ home. Otherwise $250 or what you can afford. High Holiday Schedule. You are always welcome at Adath. We are a progressive, egalitarian and sacred community dedicated to Torah (Jewish learning and tradition), Avodah (prayer and spirituality) and Gemilut Hasadmim (acts of loving kindness).
  • Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park offers free memberships to those under 24 (or 30 if a student). You are invited to join us for High Holy Days services (schedule) at no charge (donations appreciated but not required, no one will be turned away for financial reasons). Please contact Linda Goldberg at Beth El and she can help welcome you for services, programs, or even a holiday meal! We hope to hear from you! [email protected] 952-920-3512. Beth El is a warm, welcoming, and caring community where Judaism is relevant and meaningful.
  • Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights welcomes all to daven with us on Yamim Noraim. We do not require tickets. If you have any questions regarding Yamim Noraim, please contact: Eric Pasternack, (651) 994-9793, [email protected].
  • Temple of Aaron in St. Paul offers free high holidays tickets to those under 30. Arrangements can be made for those over 30 if finances are a concern. Contact Executive Director Ken Agranoff at (651) 698-8874 x106 to reserve your tickets. We believe that a synagogue is a place where all Jews should feel welcome. “You are always welcome at the Temple of Aaron.


  • AISH Minnesota in St. Louis Park offers free services (donations are welcome). Traditional prayers and tunes, mixed with meaningful discussion and thoughtful dialogue. Most readings in English – no Hebrew required! Children’s programming for kids 2-6 and 6+; lunches and break fast are $25/family or $10/individual (Pre-register for kids’ programs and meals)
  • Merkos Chabad Lubavitch House in West St. Paul. All are welcome, call 651-698-0556 for more information.
  • Minneapolis Chabad Lubavitch in Minnetonka. All are welcome at Chabad of Minneapolis’ services. Join us for traditional services blended with contemporary messages in a warm and welcoming environment with user-friendly prayer books. Services are free, no membership or affiliation necessary, advance RSVP requested.


  • Uptown Havurah Join us for Rosh HaShanah dinner, on the second night, Thursday, September 9th, at Laura’s house in Uptown. Email [email protected] for more information. The Uptown Havurah is a welcoming, participatory, social and spiritual community guided by Jewish traditions and values.
  • Or Emet (Humanistic) Services held at Sabes JCC in St. Louis Park. Child care will be provided. No tickets are required. Everyone is welcome. For more information call Sara Langer at 612- 377-6203

(Photo: RonAlmog)