High Holidays

Rosh Hashanah 2020 • 5781

Maryland Hillel wants to provide a meaningful High Holiday experience while keeping the health of our community in mind. Spots are limited for all programs, advanced sign-up is required, and priority will be given to current UMD students. The health and safety guidelines of the University of Maryland and Maryland Hillel must be followed at all events. These include, but are not limited to, mandatory mask-wearing while not eating and social distancing of 6 feet.

Maryland Hillel, in partnership with the University of Maryland, strongly urges students to remain on campus for the duration of the holidays. We know it’s a great deal to ask families to sacrifice their time together, but in the interests of public health, we must dissuade people from unnecessary travel. In the event that students insist on any form of travel over this period, we ask that you then stay home for the duration of the holidays.

Online (Higher Holidays): Join in song, laughter, and prayer at a selection of online services with college students from across the country and Hillel International.

  • In the Book: Spiritually uplifting Reform-style services led by prayer-weaver Rabbi Nikki Deblosi and singer-songwriter Maya Elise, featuring students and special guests from around the world.
  • Beyond the Book: An audacious take on the High Holidays with some of the greatest thinkers, artists, authors, and musicians of today.
  • Reform: A variety of online options for Reform students with Ruach.
  • Conservative: Conservative-style services via a livestream with Princeton Hillel.

In-Person (Services & Activities): Come together for on-campus services. Weather permitting, services and events will take place outside with indoor spaces available as backups. Locations will be shared via email prior to the start of the holiday.

  • Conservative: Egalitarian Conservative services with Ometz. Sign up to attend.
  • Orthodox: Traditional Orthodox services with Kedma. Sign up to attend.
    • Sept. 18 at 7 PM
    • Sept. 19 at 9:30 AM and 6:50 PM
    • Sept. 20 at 9:30 AM and 6:50 PM
  • Additional Activities: Reflect and discuss about Rosh Hashanah at these additional in-person options on September 19. Sign up is required.
    • Rosh Hashanah 45-Minute Highlights Service with Rabbi Ari at 11 AM: Go through the quintessential prayers from the service with Rabbi Ari Israel in 45 minutes.
    • Shofar & Discussion at 12 PM: Hear the shofar blasts and chat about what the new year means for you.
    • Reverse Tashlich at 2 PM: Switch up the process of a traditional tashlich and connect through the holiday with a waterfront clean-up project.
    • Picnic with Ruach at 2 PM: Join with Ruach for a picnic for Reform students.
  • Borrow a Machzor: Rent a machzor for the duration of the holidays as prayer books will not be provided at services. A $50 deposit via Venmo is required and will be refunded once you return the machzor.

Meals: Dine with us during Rosh Hashanah.

  • Friday Night DIY Dinners: To follow along with the university’s extended no in-person dining policy, we will shift these to DIY picnic-style meals. Dinners will be dropped off on September 18 in the middle/late afternoon in multiple locations across campus for easy pick up! We’ll be in touch soon with more details. Thanks to a generous donor, the DIY dinners are free with pre-registration required by September 15 at 5 PM.
  • Reserve Meals: Use this form to request meals if you’re on a Maryland Hillel dining plan.
  • Pay for Meals: Sign up and pay in advance for meals.

If you need a High Holiday exemption letter, submit this form. You should make appropriate arrangements with your professors, prior to missing class. Please allow 3-5 days for requests to be processed and prepared.


Full information about Yom Kippur 2020 will be posted soon.


Alumni and Community Members

In order to better accommodate you, we ask that all community members register in advance for tickets for services and meals. We feel strongly that any Jewish student, alumni, or community member should be able to experience the High Holidays regardless of their ability to pay. At the same time, we receive no funding from the university and count on our community to make it happen. Eighty percent of our funding comes from private individuals like you. We need your help! Please consider making a meaningful, tax-deductible gift that can be processed on the registration page.

Parking Information

Parking is limited at the Rosenbloom Hillel Center and will remain on a first-come, first-served basis. For evening parking (Erev Rosh Hashana and Kol Nidre), free parking is available in Lot 1 which is a 5-minute walk from our building.

Important: The University is open during the holidays and parking restrictions will apply. You are permitted to park in the Mowatt Garage, Stadium Garage or in the metered parking spots on campus. For a list of all parking options, see the University of Maryland Department of Transportation website.