Early last week, I called my congregation in New York City to request a reciprocal ticket for my father. He, likewise, called his temple in New Jersey to request one for me. By the end of the week, we had them in hand—our own High Holy Day tickets along with the extra we’d each requested for the other. These tickets are courtesy of a Reform Movement policy in which URJ congregations typically welcome individuals who will be traveling during the High Holy Days – and who are members in good standing of other URJ congregations – to worship with them, when space allows.
My dad, a member of good standing in his own congregation, is coming to New York for Rosh HaShanah. Like last year, we’ll have dinner with my sister and my nephew before we head uptown to services. The next day—in what I suspect will become our new Rosh HaShanah minhag—we’ll have a leisurely diner breakfast in my Kips Bay neighborhood and then return to the Upper East Side for services.
The following week also will look much like last year: I’ll take the train out to New Jersey, where we’ll have dinner with friends and then all head to the temple where we’ve been hearing Kol Nidre for four decades. We’ll return the next morning for services and then, as we’ve been doing for a few years (but certainly not 40!), we’ll continue our Barnes and Noble minhag before heading back to temple for the rest of the afternoon.
This is the third year that we’ll be celebrating the High Holy Days without my mom. Although it’s been beyond difficult to establish new traditions, the Reform Movement’s reciprocal ticket policy has helped, and my dad and I are grateful that it has enabled us to be together in the two congregations that mean the most to us.
Stay tuned to see what he and I will be reading in 5773 – and in the meantime, l’shana tova u’metukah.
For more information on reciprocal tickets for the High Holy Days, visit our website or contact your own congregation.