At Judaism Your Way’s free High Holy Day services, we welcome nearly 6,000 Jews and loved ones to the Denver Botanic Gardens for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
At each High Holy Days service, we begin with an unambiguous welcome that articulates our vision for Judaism to include all those who seek Jewish connection. We use an original machzor (High Holy Day prayer book) that includes Hebrew, spiritually accessible English translations, and transliteration, so that Jews and loved ones from different spiritual traditions can fully participate with joy and meaning. We model how an empowered 21st century Judaism can offer warm inclusion, rich meaning, and sacred purpose in life to Jews and loved ones, to interfaith families, to LGBTQ individuals, and to anyone who seeks it.
“By far the most in tune and spiritually fulfilling Jewish experience I have, truly meaningful and relevant. My kids actually participate and enjoy their time there. Engaging, accessible, lovely.”
We have offered High Holy Days services since 2004, when 14 people attended in a University of Denver common room. As our participant base grew, we changed venues multiple times before finally using the big tent at the Denver Botanic Gardens to hold our services. In 2015, we started holding services in both the big tent outdoors and Mitchell Hall indoors at the Botanic Gardens in order to welcome the thousands of people who attended our 14 different services over four days.
“Most welcoming Jewish community I’ve ever encountered. My non-Jewish wife isn’t made to feel as if she must convert to share in this with me. We’re accepted for who we are and not told we need to be something different.”
Our services are free and no tickets are issued in advance so people of all economic means and spontaneity can join in. We do not rent the entire Botanic Gardens to hold our services, and often passersby will stop by the tent and ask about our event. Some of these people join the service on the spot; others return for a later service. The simple act of connecting spiritually outside, in nature, enables many people to intuitively expand their hearts in a profound way. Especially on Yom Kippur, many participants linger in the gardens between afternoon services, and we are honored to help facilitate this connection with the divine, whatever that means to you.
“The natural aspect of being in a tent, with sun and flowers was very powerful to me. Look at this wonderful natural setting that has been given to us!”
We recognize that people seek authentic Jewish experiences without judgment. Our clergy offer a teaching that explores the heart of JYW, what we call the “Torah of Inclusion.” Using Jewish and contemporary sources of inspiration, we practice a maximally inclusive, robust, and vital Judaism that welcomes Jews, loved ones, and friends. Our services at the Denver Botanic Gardens offer an accessible and inclusive approach. Judaism Your Way models what a maximally inclusive Judaism looks and feels like.
We look forward to seeing you to celebrate the Jewish year 5778 on September 20, 21, 29, & 30 2017.