Congregation B’nai Chaim invites all to pray, enjoy, listen and learn for the High Holidays

Rabbi Emily Holtzman is the speaker for High Holidays at Congregation B’nai Chaim in Murrieta. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Congregation B’nai Chaim is inviting all to attend this year’s High Holiday services, featuring Rabbi Emily Holtzman and beginning with Erev Rosh Hashanah Friday, Sept. 18.

Holtzman grew up in Agoura Hills and is entering her final two years at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. As a child, Holtzman enjoyed playing basketball, acting and dancing. Throughout middle and high school, she danced an average of 10 hours per week and was a competition tap and lyrical dancer.

Holtzman also studied photography in high school and entered college as a photography major. She earned degrees in art history and Judaic studies from the University of Oregon. While at Oregon, she was active in student leadership at Hillel as well as in her sorority.

Holtzman also holds master’s degrees in both Jewish studies and Jewish education with an emphasis in experiential education from Hebrew College in Boston.

Throughout the past decade and a half, Holtzman has served as an educational administrator for both Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks as well as IKAR in Los Angeles. She has also been an educator in both the summer camp and religious school settings, working with various camps and synagogues in Los Angeles. She attended summer camp at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in Malibu for 10 years as both a camper and staff member.

Holtzman said she is grateful to have had opportunities to learn with different types of organizations throughout the Jewish world. She is particularly proud of her experiences with The Shalom Hartman Institute, The iCenter and SVARA: a Traditionally Radical Yeshiva and MAZON. As an educator, Holtzman’s goal is to help in the strengthening and development of one’s Jewish identity. With a passion for Jewish texts and a focus on inclusion, she strives to create meaningful and memorable experiences for people in both their Jewish and secular lives.

Holtzman is an avid book collector, an expert binge-watcher and, when times permit, enjoys attending the movies, plays and musicals and visiting art museums. Holtzman is a proud aunt to a niece and three nephews, who she loves reading books with and who add much joy to her life. She enjoys teaching them the fundamentals of how to be both proud Jews and thoughtful human beings.

In a first for the oldest synagogue in southwest Riverside County, this year services for the High Holidays will be held via Zoom, according to Irv Michlin, representative of Congregation B’nai Chaim.

“Services will be offered on Zoom unless we receive Riverside County permission to hold a portion of our services in the sanctuary,” Michlin said. “If so, seating will be restricted due to spacing and distance requirements so if you are interested, we need to hear from you by Aug. 31.”

Tickets for High Holidays services are free for members of Congregation B’nai Chiam and $36 for nonmembers. Children are free, and no one will be turned away due to financial need, Michlin said.

Erev Rosh Hashanah services are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., the first day or Rosh Hashanah, Saturday, Sept. 19, services begin at 10 a.m. Taschlich will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. at the Temecula Duck Pond. Services for the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Sunday, Sept. 20, begin at 10 a.m. and services for Erev Yom Kippur – Kol Nidre, also Sunday, Sept. 27, begin promptly at 7 p.m. Yom Kippur services will be held Monday, Sept. 28, beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed by Yizkor at approximately 12:30 p.m., Mincha Services at 4:45 p.m., N’eilah Services at 6 p.m. and Havdalah and Final Shofar at 7:20 p.m.

For more information on High Holiday services or for a complete list of services, events and classes, call 951-677-7350, send an email to or visit Congregation B’nai Chaim online at

Congregation B’nai Chaim is located at 29500 Via Princesa in Murrieta.

Kim Harris can be reached by email at