High Holiday Services at Ohr HaTorah/Chabad of Charlotte 

Congregation Ohr HaTorah and Chabad of Charlotte continue to be a source of positive light, hope and optimism in current challenging times, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. With G‑d’s help, we will continue to engage our community and provide uplifting programs, classes, and services, and most of all, we will attempt to guide and educate as many as we can with what is available to us at this time. 

Currently, we are hosting daily services for a limited group and Shabbat services for a more expanded group.  We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of all our participants. The strict guidelines we put in place are based on the guidance we have received from our local and state health officials and which have been approved by the OHT board.  As the situation is fluid, we will continue to adjust our safety rules accordingly.  

When you visit our building to attend services or for any other reason, please follow our rules and guidelines, which include: social distancing of at least 6 feet, sanitizing your hands and always wearing a facial mask.  This is for your safety and the safety of others. 

We will be hosting High Holiday services for OHT members only.  We are limited in space, so we will need definitive commitments if you plan to attend. Our plan will allow for 36 pods at each service. A pod will allow for one or more people to sit together if they live in the same household. 

We also plan to have alternative services on the second day of Rosh Hashanah to allow more people to attend the Shofar blowing service. 

We recognize that most of our community is not yet ready to attend public services, and we fully respect that approach and are not specifically encouraging anyone to attend services during this High Holiday period. The Torah puts the primacy of health as a religious virtue. In addition, any person with underlying issues is strongly discouraged from attending services until the situation changes. 

Chabad of Charlotte will be providing all of our members with High Holiday kits which will include a “Do your Holidays at Home” booklet as well as some holiday essentials.

Those who wish to attend in-person services at Ohr HaTorah will need to send a reservation request (including number and names of attendees and which services you plan to attend) using this link. 

Social Distancing Guidelines and Safety precautions: 

  • Facial masks are required inside our building. 

  • Hand sanitizers will be displayed throughout our facilities. 

  • Disposable gloves will be available at the entrance and in the sanctuary. 

  • Seating will be set up to comply with proper distance and will be designated by pre-registration. 

  • There will not be any congregating in corridors or any indoor spaces. 

  • Those who are not feeling well or have been exposed to people infected with Covid-19 cannot attend services for the safety and well-being of others. 

  • Children under Bar or Bat Mitzvah age can only attend the special family Shofar service on Sunday, the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Children 5 and up who attend the special service on Sunday will be required to wear masks. 

  • We will not be serving food at any of the services. 

High Holiday service schedule: 

Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday evening, September 18, and continues through September 20.  Evening services are at 7:15 p.m. Morning services are at 9:00 a.m. The special Shofar blowing service is on Sunday, September 18, at 5:00 p.m. 

The Yom Kippur Fast begins on Sunday evening, September 27, at 6:54 p.m. and ends on Monday, September 28, at 7:48 p.m.  Kol Nidrei will begin at 6:45 p.m. Yom Kippur morning service begins at 9:00 a.m.  Yizkor is at 11:30 a.m.  Mincha is at 5:30 p.m. 

Additional service times may be added based on the number of requests and reservations we receive for in-person services. 

With best wishes for a meaningful, inspirational and healthy New Year, 

The Rabbis and Board of Congregation Ohr HaTorah