Ahavat Olam

A progressive synagogue in Vancouver, BC, Canada

High Holidays in a time of COVID

Ahavat Olam will hold High Holiday services for 2021 / 5782 as we have since 2004 / 5765. All are welcome to attend. There are no tickets. We are planning in person, outdoor, physically distanced High Holidays Services, weather permitting. We’re working together with our Hamakom BC friends to prepare sweet, invigorating, fulfilling services that will gather us as a community again in as safe and satisfying a way as possible. We hope you will be able to join us. If you have any questions about any of the information that follows, please let us know at info@ahavat-olam.ca.


  • So that we can get a sense of how many people to expect, we ask that you please register for services using this form: https://forms.gle/vtZynZQzKzqH9sVCA. This will also help us should we need to do any contact tracing after any of these events.


  • Most events will be at Memorial South Park, toward the east side of the park near the parking lot at 43rd & Ross Street. That’s  a few blocks east and a couple south from 41st & Fraser, or west and south from 41st & Knight: https://goo.gl/maps/ieBTgH9sNeNYG2PSA
  • Several events on Rosh Hashanah afternoon will be at Locarno Beach, west of the concession near North West Marine Drive and Sasamat Street: https://goo.gl/maps/nP6wZzSQnPYxeHRs5
  • On Rosh Hashanah Day 2, we’ll pick apples and share a Limmud (teaching / learning session) at Copley Community Orchard (copleycommunityorchard.com), near Copley Street and Vanness Avenue, south of Trout Lake, a little north and west from the Nanaimo Skytrain Station: https://goo.gl/maps/ZupxXKWtofzpX22V6
  • Should it not be possible for us to meet outdoors due to weather, changes in public health guidelines, or other issues, we’ll move our services online via Zoom.

Please bring a portable chair or blanket to all events so you’ll have something comfortable to sit on. If you’re able and willing, please bring an extra or two to share with others who may not have one.

Dates and times —

Monday, September 6: Erev Rosh Hashanah

  • Evening service: gather at 6:00pm, service at 6:30pm @ Memorial Park

Tuesday, September 7: Rosh Hashanah

  • 10:00am: Morning service @ Memorial Park
  • 1:00pm: Picnic (please bring your own food) @ Memorial Park
  • 2:00pm: Limmud — Shmita & The Land @ Memorial Park
  • 4:00pm: Tashlich @ Locarno Beach
  • 5:00pm: Mikveh @ Locarno Beach
  • 6:00pm: Chanting & Meditation @ Locarno Beach

Wednesday, September 8: Rosh Hashanah day 2

  • 3:00pm: Apple Picking & Limmud @ Copley Community Orchard

Wednesday, September 15: Erev Yom Kippur

  • Kol Nidre: gather at 6:00pm, service at 6:30pm @ Memorial Park

Thursday, September 16: Yom Kippur

  • All Yom Kippur events will be at Memorial South Park
  • 10:00am: Morning service
  • 2:00pm: Queer Torah Study
  • 4:00pm: Limmud – Jonah & Teshuvah
  • 6:00pm Neilah Service
  • 8:30pm: Picnic Break Fast (please bring your own food)

COVID protection

We will be taking various COVID protection precautions, including:

  • We ask that all attendees over age 12 be fully vaccinated.
  • Please do not attend if you have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been diagnosed or in contact with someone with COVID-19, during the past 14 days. Please see the BC Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 Self-isolation guidelines for more details: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/self-isolation.
  • Please maintain physical isolation, staying 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.
  • Please bring a mask to wear while using the washrooms or in other restricted public spaces.
  • Please bring and use hand sanitizer to reduce your own and others’ risk.
  • Please bring your own food, and do not share food or beverages with others except those from your own household or bubble.
  • We will minimize sharing of space and physical objects. For example, aliyot will be taken by people standing up in their places but not gathering around close to the sefer Torah; people will sanitize their hands before and after touching shared objects (yad, sefer Torah, etc.).

We are a member-led congregation (chavurah) and depend on the participation of our members and others who wish to be part of the services or help in some way. A number of us are organizing this, and we welcome your ideas and involvement.

Here are some possible ways to get involved: leading in prayers, reading a short story or poem, singing a song…. During the High Holiday season, please remember to contribute food and money to Project Isaiah, the Kosher Food Bank. If you would like to participate, but are not sure how, all you have to do is send us an email and one of us will get back to you: info@ahavat-olam.ca.

Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash