Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike a regular day, which has three prayer services Yom Kippur has five prayer services. As one of the most culturally significant Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur is observed by many secular Jews who may not observe other holidays.
This series explores three different congregations in New York observing Yom Kippur – (i) LGBT Congregation Beit Simchat Torah at Javits Center (ii) Alternative Judaism Lab Shul (managed by Amichai Lau) at the Borough of Manhattan College (iii) Congregation Rodeph Shalom in the Upper West Side.