Home for the Holy Days: Twin Cities Communities Welcome You

Elul is in full swing and we’re getting ready for the High Holy Days – Rosh HaShanah starts at sundown on Wednesday, September 28th this year. Last year, we mentioned an article by The Forward that observed the nationwide trend of synagogues across the country opening their doors to the unaffiliated as a way to draw in new members but also as a reflection of the struggling economy. As we enter another Jewish year, the message from Twin Cities shuls and minyanim remains the same: there may be other reasons that you choose not to observe and celebrate the high holy days in a synagogue, but fear that you can’t afford to “pay to pray” should never be one of them.
Below is our third annual list of local synagogues and independent minyanim that invite you to join them for the holidays.
And, don’t worry if a community 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 anybody being turned away if arrangements have been made in advance. 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. Or, visit the Jewish Singles Collaborative’s holiday page – they’ve been gathering holiday hospitality info and updating their list as new options are added.
(Do you work for/with a synagogue that didn’t make the deadline but still want to extend an invite to TC Jewfolk readers? Add your information in the comments below!)

  • Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka Ever since Abraham and Sarah opened the flaps of their tent to welcome the strangers on the road, Judaism has benefitted from the practice of hachnasat orchim, embracing others, and at Bet Shalom it remains a paramount Jewish value. You are invited to join us for High Holy Day services at no charge. However, since an admission card helps us plan properly, please contact Andrea Blumberg and she will help welcome you and provide what you need to join us for services and other programs at [email protected] or 952-426-6644.
  • 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. Click here for the High Holy Days schedule and more info. 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. Please join us to celebrate your new year.
  • Temple Israel  in Minneapolis welcomes all who want to celebrate and observe the High Holy Days with us. Donations accepted, but not required. 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.


  • Beth El Synagogue  in St. Louis Park [updated 9/9]: We would LOVE for you to joing us for the High Holy Days – and the rest of the year, too! Beth El Synagogue is a warm and welcoming egalitarian and spiritual community, where Judaism is relevant and meaningful for all ages. You are invited to come to our services for the High Holy Days at no charge. View our schedule. Please contact our executive director Linda Goldberg and she can help welcome you to our synagogue for services, programs or even a holiday meal. Email Linda at [email protected] or call 952-873-7300.
  • Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights welcomes everyone to attend High Holy Days services, and does not use tickets. We look forward to having you join us! Please call our office in advance with your name so we can let our greeters know who to look for during services here at Beth Jacob. To arrange hospitality for a meal during the High Holy Days, please contact our office, and we will put you in touch with our hospitality coordinator.
  • Temple of Aaron in St. Paul. We issue tickets to all people who attend ( 21st century security ). We issue free tickets to all college students who call in advance. We issue free tickets to all newcomers between ages 22 and 30. Those who have reached the age of wisdom ( 30) need to contact our Executive Director Ken Agranoff ( [email protected] or 651-698-8874,ext 106) to explore free tickets, service options, or purchasing tickets. Shanah tovah! You are always welcome at Temple of Aaron!
  • Sharei Chesed  in Minnetonka. All are welcome to our house of worship. Because of security, admission tickets are required to enter our building during the High Holy Days. If you are planning to attend our services, please call our office at (763) 545-8800 and request tickets and we will mail them to you. We conduct Conservative-style services, with readings in Hebrew and English. Russian siddurim are also available.
  • Adath Jeshurun in Minnetonka. Tickets are $25 for college students. A Single Adult Membership option ($36) is available to recent grads or other young adults just starting off on their own (contact the office at 952-545-2424 for more information). Non-member tickets $250 but contact the office if there are special circumstances. High Holiday Schedule and more information. 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).


  • 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! For more information, use the contact form located here.
  • Merkos Chabad Lubavitch House in West St. Paul. All are welcome, call 651-698-0556 for more information.
  • Minneapolis Chabad 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. For more information, call 952-929-9922.
  • Congregation Darchei Noam is a Modern Orthodox congregation in St. Louis Park. They welcome students and others. For more information and a full schedule of services and baalei tefillah, contact the shul directly.


  • Hillel at the University of Minnesota will continue its rich tradition of spirited High Holiday services, as well as an Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner, Erev Yom Kippur dinner and a post Yom Kippur break-fast.  We are happy to welcome Cantorial Soloist, Ariella Forstein, who returns to the Twin Cities from California, to lead the High Holiday services and enrich our holiday experiences. As always, Hillel’s services are offered free of charge to students. The public is welcome and no tickets are required. In order to maintain our level of service to the students, we would greatly appreciate a voluntary donation from non-students of $125 for individuals or $200 for a family. (We recognize that everyone’s situation is different, and we do not want finances to stand in the way of a meaningful holiday celebration, so please do not let this be an issue – it will not be one for us!) RSVP required for Rosh Hashana and erev Yom Kippur dinner  –  FREE for students, $20 each for non-students. [email protected] or call 612-379-4026 to rsvp. Hag Sameach. Shana Tova!
  • Uptown Havurah invites you to its annual Rosh HaShanah potluck dinner at Joyce United Methodist Church, 1219 W. 31st Street, Minneapolis at 6:30pm on Thurs, 9/29. Everyone is welcome, but RSVP! (we’ll soon have a page up on FB).  Potluck is vegetarian, the love is kosher. For info, email Raysh Weiss. You’re also invited to join earlier for Tashlich by Lake of the Isles (right near the intersection of W 27th St. and Lake of the Isles Pkwy E, towards the lake) at 4:30pm. Don’t know what tashlich is? Come and find out! This is a very short ritual/prayer, so people should arrive punctually. The Uptown Havurah is a welcoming, participatory, social and spiritual community guided by Jewish traditions and values. Our current membership consists primarily of young professionals and graduate students in their 20s and 30s. People of all backgrounds are welcome to join us.
  • Or Emet The Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, will observe RoshHashanah, the Jewish New Year, at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 28, 2011,and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Kol Nidre Service at 7:00 pm on Friday,October 7, 2011, and Yom Kippur Service at 4:00 pm on Saturday, October8, 2011 at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, 4330 South Cedar Lake Road, St.Louis Park. Everyone is welcome. No tickets are required. Childcare will be provided (RSVP requested). Or Emet celebrates Humanistic Judaism’s proud tradition of leadership in socialmovements for peace and justice. Our programs emphasize Jewish history, culture,arts and the traditions that shape our identity and values. Newcomer Contact: Margo Fox at 651-699-6392.

(Image: RonAlmog)