Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Yom Kippur Services In New York City: The Forward’s Picks

All year long, we wait for the Day of Atonement to seek forgiveness for acting on our sinful inclinations. This year, we will be better. This year, we will shed our skin of all the times we laughed too hard at Sacha Baron Cohen’s jokes. We will finally vote in midterm elections. We might even try grandma’s gefilte fish for the first time.

But where to go on the most important day of the year to wipe your slate clean? If you’re choosing one service to refuel the Jew in you, it should be the one you resonate with most. Whether you’re looking for a social gathering with your peers to talk politics, or an atmosphere focused on prayer and song, we’ll have you seated in no time.

Upper East Side

Image by Temple Emanu-El website

Welcome to Temple Emanu-el, the Upper East Side’s ritzy Reform synagogue known for its stunning sanctuary. Seats in the main sanctuary are for members only, but guests can purchase a seat for $150, per holiday, if they tag along with a friend that has a membership. Also, college students who are members or guests are encouraged to join High Holy Day services in the Lowenstein Sanctuary (10 East 66th Street) by presenting a student ID. After prayers, at 12:30pm on Wednesday, take part in the temple’s Yom Kippur Study Sessions with both congregants and guests. At these sessions, participants will learn about Jewish philosophy with Rabbi Richard Davis, the women who shaped Jewish history with Rabbi Phil Hiat, and other insightful teachings. Community worship services, featuring live audio and video from the main sanctuary, are open to the public in the I.M. Wise Hall. For more information on Temple Emanu-el’s services, visit their site here.

East Village

The Bronfman Center for Jewish Life in New York Image by Bronfman Center / Facebook

At the Jewish Learning Center of New York, there are no tickets or membership fees. Yes, that’s right — it’s free. Join their minyan at The Bronfman Center for Jewish Life on the Downtown Campus of NYU located at 7 E 10th St. Rabbi David Kalb will be officiating along with their baalei tefilah (prayer leaders), Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein and Yitzchak Schwartz. For more information on this meaningful experience, fill out a High Holiday form on their their website.

Upper West Side

Image by Facebook

Get your groove on with uplifting music and dancing at Kol Haneshamah. Daven Carbelach-style at these free High Holiday services. This energetic center for spiritual life welcomes Jews of all backgrounds. You can request child care and admission to a break-fast. Peruse their full schedule and fill out the days you plan on attending here.


Image by JCC Manhattan

On Kol Nidrei night, the JCC of Harlem invites congregants to participate in a free gender-egalitarian service with English and Hebrew readings led by Rabbi David Gedzelman. Email [email protected] to register for Tuesday night services. For $18, hear Hebrew prayers, storytelling, and reflect on how to forgive yourself on Wednesday morning. Free day time learning will be led by JCC Harlem and Beineinu, Rabbi Laurie Phillips and Daphna Mor, “to explore texts of the soul, deepening the connection and meaning through chanting melodies from the Jewish communities of Iraq, India, Israel, the United States, and more.” Break the fast with a dairy buffet, at $25 per adult, $12 per child, and $100 per family or group up to six people.

Crown Heights

Basya Schechter in 2013 Image by Getty Images

This year, Romemu is ‘awakening the truth’ on Yom Kippur with Rabbi David Ingber. Because their Manhattan services are completely sold out, they’ve opened an alternate way to daven with Hazzan Basya Schechter and Rabbi Abby Sosland in Brooklyn. The cost of a single adult ticket is $72, $36 for college students, and $18 for guests under 18-years-old.

Just remember, purchasing high holiday tickets last minute is like purchasing tickets to a Beyoncé concert the day before her performance…Move quickly, before they’re sold out!

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.