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! andrea.blumberg@betshalom.org 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 msatterberg@templeisrael.com 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! lgoldberg@bethelsynagogue.org 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, outpetrol@aol.com.
  • 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 Raysh.Weiss@gmail.com 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)


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Comments. Add Yours!


  1. I believe the U of M Hillel also holds free egalitarian High Holy Day services that are open to community members (donations to support the Hillel are welcome).
    There is usually a large community presence, especially among young professionals, so it isn’t a student-only environment.


  2. Such good information to share! I hope to be joining services for the very first time this year with my on-the-way-to-converting family.

    I want to point out that the link to the Shir Tikvah schedule is from last year, and the link isn’t working for Beth El – that should be http://www.bethelsynagogue.org/high-holy-days-5771/

  3. Fixed! Thanks Tiffany! And we’re thrilled that you’ll be attending for the first time! Chag Sameach! (Happy Holidays!)

  4. Please do not forget Sharei Chesed.

    We are in our new home in Minnetonka, on the corner of 394 and Hopkins Crossroad.

    All are welcome to our house of worship. There are no tickets, and no one is ever turned away. Please come and share the Holy Days with us.

    We conduct Conservative-style services, with readings in Hebrew and English. Russian siddurim are also available.

    Please call us at 763-545-8800, or visit our web site, http://www.shareichesed.org for the schedule and information.

  5. MOUNT ZION Temple * Reform * St. Paul

    Mount Zion would love to welcome you (by yourself or with friends, partners, children, or spouses) for the High Holidays! We are holding services for Selichot, Erev Rosh Hashana, Rosh Hashana, a special Tashlich – BBQ – Potluck – Shabbat under the Stars out at a local park, Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) and Yom Kippur.

    Please go to http://www.mzion.org for more information.

    For Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services we ask a suggested donation of $54. Want free tickets? Sign up for our Open House on September 12th by calling 651-698-3881. (Yes, that’s after Rosh HaShanah, but if you call to sign up we’ll mail you tickets.) Students are invited to call our office with your name and the name of your college or university and we will be glad mail you tickets free of charge as well. *Our youth groups collect food for the Neighborhood House food shelf on Yom Kippur. We appreciate your helping support our neighbors!

    Looking for a friendly place for dinner or lunch during the holidays? Please contact Amy(Gavel)Ariel at aariel@mzion.org. For Break Fast, please join NOAZIM at 7pm by sending your RSVP including any food needs to Sara Rice at noazim.mz@gmail.com ($5 per person).

  6. Indeed, Hillel at the University of Minnesota is happy to welcome interested people to our High Holiday services. This is an excerpt from our website:

    Hillel will continue its rich tradition of spirited High Holiday services, as well as an Erev Rosh Hashanah
    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 nonstudents 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 meaningful holiday celebration, so please do not let this be an issue – it will not be one for us!)
    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan to join us for services on the morning of Yom Kippur, and need parking, it is a football game day and the only way you will be able to park is by special arrangements with us. Please email Sarah at sroutman@umn.edu for details.

    RSVP required for Rosh Hashana dinner – FREE for students, $20 each for non-students. email sroutman@umn.edu or call 612-379-4026 to rsvp. Hag Sameach. Shana Tova!

  7. Hi All –
    Bet Shalom’s info was inadvertently left out when this post was published yesterday. They’re included now under the Reform synagogues.

  8. And, just heard from the folks at the Sephardi Minyan who wanted me to pass along this note:

    We at the Sephardi Minyan welcome everyone to attend services. The services would be in the orthodox tradition; that is Sephardi orthodox.

    Services are held in the lower sanctuary of Kenesseth Israel on 28th street in St Louis Park. No admission fees.
    Email sephardiminyan.mn@gmail.com for more info.

    The Sephardi Minyan has been in existence for over 25 years, and its members are representatives of many North African counties, including Israel, Iran and South Africa.
    The common link is the special melodies in our davening, as well as some of the customs and eastern culture combination. The best way to know about Sephardi culture is to experience it.

    And, if you’re a student who is away from home for the holidays, don’t be afraid to reach out!

  9. Great list!

    Also, everyone is welcome at Cong. B’nai Emet (conservative synagogue over at 3115 Ottawa in SLP), especially the second day of RH.

    The Uptown Havurah will be having a brief Tashlikh service over by Lake of the Isles, near the intersection of W 27th St & Lake of the Isles Pkwy E promptly at 5:20pm on Thursday, September 9. (Look for the cool Jews throwing things) All are most welcome to participate.

  10. Another independent and free rosh hashana option is via Shaharit Women. Friday Sept 10 at 10 am….at 5000 Girard Ave S, which is Shir Tikvah.
    The service will be earth-based feminist style, ASL interpreted, and for info please contact 612 860 6500

  11. Beth Jacob Congregation has “Opened up its Doors” for free High Holidays services for 25 years! No tickets have EVER been required, so feel free to join us.

    This year, we are davening with the brand NEW Conservative Machzor, Machzor Lev Shalom, which is just breathtaking!

    Services start this Saturday night with Selichot at 10pm.
    Erev Rosh Hashanah at 6:00pm.
    Rosh Hashanah Day 1 & 2 begins at 8:30am.
    Kol Nidre at 6:00pm.
    Yom Kippur begins at 8:45am.
    Besides all the regular services, we also have a Family Service, specifically for families with kids age 2-7 at 10:30 on both Thursday & Friday of Rosh Hashanah, and at 11am on Yom Kippur.

  12. The Russian Shul (CORE Center/Bais Menachem)

    12688 Bass Lake Road
    Maple Grove, MN

  13. Darchei Noam, a modern Orthodox congregation in St. Louis Park, welcomes students and other young adults and does not require tickets. We meet at 5224 Minnetonka Blvd. (enter from Salem). A full schedule of services and baalei tefillah is at our website, http://darcheinoammn.org/calendar/calendar.htm

  14. Shaare Shalom Congregation [Conservative] holds High Holyday services at the Jewish Community Center of St. Paul.

    Rosh Hashanah
    Wednesday, September 8 Erev Rosh Hashanah 8:00 P.M.
    Thursday, September 9 First Day 9:00 A.M.
    Friday, September 10 Second Day 9:00 A.M.

    Yom Kippur
    Friday, September 17 Kol Nidre 7:30 P.M.
    Saturday, September 18 Morning Service 9:00 A.M.
    Afternoon Service 5:30 P.M.
    Break Fast at conclusion of service

    The Community is welcome to attend.