{Updated} Synagogues Reconsider High Price of Holiday Tickets

So, um, yeah. Guess what?

I was quoted today in an article in the Huffington Post (High Holidays: Synagogues Reconsider High Price). Me! Quoted in the Internets! How crazy is that?

The journalist found me (I presume) from my It’s Not Just the Kosher Food post. She said she wanted to write a follow-up story to that Lisa Miller article in Newsweek, which I had referenced in my post. It turns out the HufPost reporter’s real focus was on the high cost of High Holiday tickets, but even still, pretty cool to be quoted in something like that!

In light of the economic downturn, dozens of Midwestern congregations, including her own Orthodox shul near Kansas City, have made a point of offering free Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services this month, said Mara Strom Sachs, author of the Kosher On A Budget blog.

“I would hate to think that tickets caused anyone who wanted to be part of a community on the High Holidays to feel alienated,” she said. “No one should ever feel financially excluded from participating actively in Jewish life.”

I am a little bummed that my plug for the KC Jewish community didn’t make it in. I told the reporter all about this young adult event my husband and I went to on Sunday, where every synagogue in the area had a sign-up sheet for free tickets for the chagim. Of course, you don’t need tickets to come to my awesome shul because we don’t use them at all. Without judging any other community, I gotta say that I love how welcoming that feels!

But enough about me. I want to hear what you think about tickets on the chagim. Do you agree with the reporter’s thesis that there is a “high” price for the High Holidays? Discuss!

Updated 9/4/10: How fun. I just saw that my local paper, the KC Star, picked up the story and added in a few more quotes (not from me, but from others in the Kansas City area).


  1. There is no one answer to your question. There are shuls that seem not to have a heart but there are more shuls that open the door to anyone who needs or anyone who asks or anyone who does not ask but shows up.

    It is expensive to be kosher and observant. Yeshiva tuition adds up but I know when my husband lost a job, the Rosh Ha Yeshiva came to us to offer back some of our payment, if we needed it. So did the orthodontist. People are good.

    I have always belonged to shuls that had big hearts. Fortunately, we could afford to pay membership dues but then our dues are not high, at all. From what I hear, from others, they pay a lot more.

  2. Our dues are a lot. Our tickets are a lot. But our shul is open to the idea that not all can pay these prices and they don’t want anyone feeling like they have to pay to pray. So they work with you. You hold up your end, they hold up theirs. We are in a conservative shul.

    • Amanda, one of the things I spoke to the journalist about was whether people will actually go and ask for help. Some may, but I wonder if others will figure it’s easier/less uncomfortable to just not go. I’m not sure how a shul can catch those people, though.

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