High Holy Days
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High Holy Days Service Schedule at a Glance | Preparing for the High Holy Days | High Holy Day Services - Explained | Ticket Information | Book of Remembrance | Greeters | High Holy Day Food Drive | For Families | Begin the New Year Celebrating Together | Women's Leadership Council | NYConnect | Membership | FAQ | Buy Tickets - Non-members | Sign up for Child Care or H2D Project | Donate | Contact Us
A Guide to the 2013 High Holy Days
High Holy Days 5774
A Message from Rabbi David Gelfand
In his great legal code, the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides teaches that the sound of the shofar serves as an alarm clock, announcing, "Sleepers, arouse yourselves from your slumber!" Why do we blow the ram's horn? What does this strange, primal, yet mystical and foundational, ritual have to do with any one of us. For whom does the shofar blow...?
Stop right here, even if just for a moment, and think: "Would it be Rosh Hashanah if I didn't hear the shofar?" "Would I feel fulfilled if the synagogue I joined told me 'We just don't do that archaic ram's horn thing anymore'? " "Would it make any difference if we never showed, or blew or taught our young children about the shofar?"
The shofar is one of the world's oldest wind instruments. Not be be confused with the negative role that the golden calf played in undermining the Jewish people's faith at Sinai, never have we used horns from a cow or an ox. And a shofar was never to be straight; customarily curved it symbolizes the human heart bent in humility and in the act of teshuvah, repentance. Shofar literally means "horn" or "trumpet" and one of the names of Rosh Hashanah is "Yom Teruah," the Day of Blowing the Shofar.
The shofar's origin and import are shrouded in history and legend, all leading to create a sense of kedushah, of profound holiness, for the purpose of reinforcing primary Jewish values and affirming the covenant between God and every Jew from Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah to all of us in the 21st Century. The call of the shofar touches the innermost corners of our hearts, our minds and our souls - whether we see ourselves as seriously engaged in Judaism or whether we stand on the periphery of Jewish life; it is a primary Jewish symbol.
"And God said, 'Take your son, your favored one, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains...'" As we recount each Rosh Hashanah, God spared Isaac and in his stead, a ram was caught in the nearby thicket by his horn, our ram's horn. So it all began and the ram's horn would then speak of Abraham's deep love of God and his willingness to share that which he loved so dearly. The call of the shofar was then to be an abiding bond to the covenant with God and as a sign of humility by each human being.
The shofar was blown across the centuries as if a prayer without words to help each generation unto today recall Abraham's abiding fidelity to his belief in a God who demanded nothing less than a total commitment to ethical monotheism. So it was that when Moses went to Mount Sinai the second time to receive the Ten Commandments, there was sounded the awesome blast of the ram's horn to remind the children of Israel that they were not to fall victim to any form of idolatry. And when Joshua stood before the ancient walled city of Jericho some 3,000 years ago it was the sound of the ram's horn that spoke to God and caused the walls to crumble and allow Israel to triumph.
During times of greats processions when the young King David marched with the ark of the covenant and the Ten Commandments through the streets of a new born city, the ram's horn was heard so that God would be with the children of Israel in this nascent city of peace which they called Yerushalayim, Jerusalem. And when David called upon his son Solomon to become King of Israel, the ram's horn was blown and only then was he anointed.
In ancient Israel, across the centuries of the great Temple standing in Jerusalem for nearly a thousand years, Shabbat was welcomed as dusk descended by the ram's horn, from the corners of the Temple Mount, so that all Israel would be mindful of the Sabbath and the day of rest and celebration of creation, thereby affirming family, community and faith, was at hand. And when it was time for the Jubilee Year, every 50th year, on the 10th day of the 7th month, on Yom HaKippur, the Day of Atonement, there was to be a blowing of the ram's horn to proclaim liberty throughout the land, as inscribed on one of our most precious American symbols, the Liberty Bell. In more modern times, as the Six Day War was concluding and Jerusalem was unified once again, Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the ram's horn at the Wailing Wall, thus reclaiming it as the Western Wall of The Temple, proclaiming victory for Israel against those who sought her destruction.
May we at Temple Israel hear the shofar blow for us and our loved ones welcoming in the New Year of 5773 - to once again affirm our faith in God, in ourselves and in our community. May it help us have courageous faith to right the wrongs about us and to find ways to make the year ahead better than the year which we will be concluding. May the call of the ancient shofar, so much a part of the Jewish mystique, call on the messiah to create a world of peace for us and those who will come after us. And if he/she does not come, may we live as if she/he has, and may those shofar blasts give us an awareness of the preciousness of life and the sweetness of God's love that can be found in the dawn of each new day and as the dusk serenely fades to night , in the beauty of each frail flower and every baby's smile, in the love we receive and share with those closest to us, and in every astonishing beat of our heart .
For whom does the shofar blow?
God willing - for each of us who is privileged to hear its call in another new year!
"L'shana tova tikateivu...
May you & your loved ones be inscribed for a good year!"
Rabbi David J. Gelfand
Preparing for the High Holy Days
MONTH OF ELUL
Join us as we prepare for the High Holy Days through study, music, and worship to reawaken your spirit. The journey begins during the Hebrew month of Elul, this year beginning in mid-august. Traditionally, Elul is a month of preparation where we, as Jews, make teshuvah (repentance or turning), turning inward for self-evaluation, turning and reflecting upon our deeds of the previous year, and returning to God.
Reawaken your spirit for the High Holy Days with a program and service that will elevate your soul, bring you closer to God, and set the tone for renewal for the coming year. This year, we will hold a sweets & treats event in the Hamptons and a special program at Temple Israel. This evening is open to the entire community. Join us for a Selichot program and Service of Reflection & Forgiveness.
Selichot is the name of the prayers of forgiveness we say during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Selichot is also the name of the service recited on the Saturday night before the start of Rosh Hashanah. In both the prayers and the service, we ask God’s forgiveness, much as the overture to an opera which introduces the themes that will be developed in greater depth throughout the Holy Days. All are welcome.
High Holy Day Services - Explained
Each Service is meaningful and spiritually moving. Tickets are required for members and guests for all Services, except for afternoon Kidz Services, Tashlich, Rosh HashanahLIVE (2nd Day) and Yom Kippur Afternoon/Yizkor Memorial/Neilah Service.
Worship in the Sanctuary and the Ballroom
Our Rabbis’ and Cantors’ inspirational and eloquent presence is infused with the warmth and drama of the beautiful music of the Holy Days. We invite all of our families to join us for worship in either the Sanctuary or the Ballroom. Sanctuary worship includes the majestic sounds of our professional choir and musicians while Ballroom worship incorporates contemporary, participatory music with professional musicians.
Worship in the Ballroom is held on Rosh Hashanah Morning, Kol Nidre (Yom Kippur Eve) and Yom Kippur Morning. On Erev Rosh Hashanah we invite the entire congregation to welcome the New Year together in our Sanctuary, at 6pm or families with children Grades 2-6 in the Ballroom for a more informal service. On Kol Nidre, the family service will be held at 6:00 pm and the congregational services will be held in either the Sanctuary or Ballroom at 8:00pm. For Yom Kippur Afternoon/Yizkor/Neilah, we again worship all together in the Sanctuary 3:00-6:15 pm.
Rosh HashanahLIVE (Second Day Service)
Join us for a lively, contemporary, dynamic and fresh take on the experience of prayer at Temple Israel. Using the High Holy Day liturgy, Rosh HashanahLIVE brings the second day of Rosh Hashanah to another level with spiritually uplifting music and inspiring remarks by several congregants. The totally musical service is an inspirational combination of new and much loved sounds of the season. A full band helps bring it all to life as we pray in the spirit of our beloved ShabbatLIVE services here at Temple Israel. It is like no other High Holy Day service you have been to and a very unique way to pray and sing in the New Year.
For our younger ones (PreK-Grade 1), we simultaneously offer in the Ballroom an interactive program and exciting Rosh Hashanah Concert for Kidz performed by “Shira & Friends”!
An informal New Year's Lunch for all (including kid friendly food) follows at 11:30AM. RSVP requested. To RSVP click here, call us 212-249-500, or email us email@example.com
H2D Project: Interactive • Dynamic • Inspiring
Grades K-8. Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Mornings.
Age-appropriate and celebratory programming for children while parents attend adult Services. In separate groups, children and teens in Grades K-8 join in discussions, create artwork, games and programs that help them delve into the themes of the season. In addition, they participate in a half-hour children’s age-appropriate service within their individual grades led by Rabbis Melissa Buyer and Sara Sapadin. We involve Religious School teachers for this program to ensure both quality and a feeling of comfort for all.
Tashlich means to cast or throw metaphorically discarding sins by tossing crumbs of food into a moving body of water. We have prepared a brief, 15 minute, beautiful service for this moving ritual. Attendees often say that this is the most moving ritual of the Holy Days! We meet at Carl Schurz Park @ 86th Street on Rosh Hashanah Day afternoon.
For all seeking comfort of body, mind and spirit for themselves and/or loved ones. If you are ill or a caretaker of a loved one, if you are yet pained over the loss of a loved one or trauma, if you live with a broken heart or shattered soul, our special Healing Service is for you.
Tickets will mailed to members in good standing beginning August 5 until August 26. All tickets requested after this date will be available by pick-up only from the Temple Office or on the day of Services at Will-Call.
Guest & Non-Member Seats
We have a limited number of guest & non-member seats available.
Guest Seats (available for purchase by Temple Israel Members for family & friends)
∙Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur - $425
∙Rosh Hashanah only - $275
∙Yom Kippur only - $275
Non-Member Seats (available for purchase by Non Temple Israel Members)
∙Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur - $599
∙Rosh Hashanah only - $349
∙Yom Kippur only - $349
∙Rockin' Family Service (Both Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur) - $180*
*$180 includes up to two tickets for adults and two tickets for childen
Location of Guest & Non-Member seats cannot be guaranteed. Non-members may apply their ticket purchase amount towards their membership dues for the 2013-2014 year if they join immediately after the High Holy Days. Tickets are non-refundable nor transferrable.
Temple Israel invites all those unaffiliated to become part of our community through membership. Please contact Lior Yancovitz, Membership Director at 646-292-9490 for further information. Our Rabbis are also available to meet with you (members and prospective members).
Buy non-member tickets.
The Will-Call table, located in our courtyard, will open 45 minutes prior to the start of Services.
Not Using Your Tickets?
Please let us know as soon as possible if you will not be using some or all of your seats for the High Holy Day Services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Will you be traveling during the High Holy Days? If so, please contact the Temple Office and let us know. Through the URJ (Union of Reform Judaism) & WUPJ (World Union for Progressive Judaism), individuals who belong to a Reform Congregation can attend High Holy Day Services at other Reform/Progressive congregations throughout the world. We can help you with reciprocal tickets at a Reform synagogue in your destination city. As a leader of the WUPJ, Rabbi Gelfand also has contacts with Jewish communities in many corners of the world. Contact Doug Messer for reciprocity: email@example.com or 212-249-5000.
Book of Remembrance 5774
We invite you to honor the memory of your loved ones by listing their names in our annual Book of Remembrance.
The Temple has installed a new database system this year, so we request that you provide us with the names that you wish to be included – even if they have been listed in the past – as we will print only names that are resubmitted.
The Book of Remembrance also includes The Perpetual Yahrzeit List, which memorializes those whose names are consecrated on Memorial Plaques, Seats, Windows, and our congregation's ritual items. Additionally, there are readings for comfort throughout the year and Yizkor prayers.
We will distribute The Book of Remembrance at our Yizkor Memorial Service on Yom Kippur afternoon.
We encourage all to engage in this act of thoughtful, generous tzedakah as a sacred way to honor loved ones, so their goodness will bless the lives of others.
Please contact: Valerie Trawinski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-292-9465 by Friday, August 12 to insure that your listing is included.
If you wish to be a greeter at High Holy Days, please contact Bob Waldman at Waldmanbob@yahoo.com
It’s always the right time to help others but with the High Holy Days we think more conscientiously about extending ourselves to those in need.
Bring non-perishable foods to Temple (including household, paper goods, soup & toothpaste etc.) Other items needed are: peanut butter, canned fish, pasta/rice, canned fruit, canned vegetables, baby food, powdered milk & canned soups.
Our High Holy Day Food Drive begins on Rosh Hashanah and continues through Thanksgiving. Bring your food & other non-perishable items with you to every service. Our Social Action Committee will provide sturdy bags. Collection bins are in the lobby. Our drive helps meet real needs including the need for each of us to perform again and again the mitzvah of tzedakah.
Please bring your Tzedakah Box from Mitzvah Day or any Tzedakah Box and empty it in the TI Lobby from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. (Box collections will also occur at Chanukah and Purim, as well as TI Mitzvah Day.)
The monies go to the TI Tzedakah Fund to help the hungry and the needy in our community, administered by our Social Action Committee and our Clergy.
High Holy Day Rockin' Family Service (Families with children Grades 2-6)
This intergenerational & interactive service, lead by Rabbi Melissa Buyer and our Musical Artist in Residence, Sheldon Low, is geared towards families with children in Grades 2–6. These special services are designed to engage the whole family with music that introduces your children to the High Holy Days, using a child-friendly Mahzor (Prayerbook), as well as stories with themes and messages that will engage your family in meaningful discussion. We hope you will join us this year for our service which promises to offer your family meaningful opportunities to pray together, but also find time to connect individually to the themes, values, and traditions of our Holy Days.
Pre-enrollment is required using your High Holy Day update form or online by clicking here. Tickets are included with membership but must be requested for these new High Holy Day Family Services.
Join our Rabbis, Cantors & song leader, along with some surprise guests, for our exciting, interactive Kidz Service with our very special colorful, story-filled A Child’s Holiday Prayer Book. We invite all our families with young children (PreK - Grade 3) to join in these joyful and creative age-appropriate experiences. A special holiday gift will be given to each child.
Yom Tov Tots
For children ages 2– 5 years old, professional babysitting will be provided. Check your child(ren) in fifteen minutes prior to Rosh Hashanah services and Yom Kippur services.
Our goal is to make the children feel welcome and safe in our synagogue and to enable our parents to worship with the knowledge that their children) are enjoying their own High Holy Day experience.
There is no fee for this program but advanced registration is required.
Please indicate whether your child(ren) will join us on your High Holy Day form or online by clicking here. You must pre-register your child(ren) for H2D Project as well as Yom Tov Tots. Please be aware that we reserve the right—for safety reasons—to deny non-registered children entry into the program if we feel insufficient Yom Tov Tots workers or teachers are present. The security, happiness and safety of our children are our primary concern.
Light snacks will be served. No food may be brought into the program because of our concern for food allergies.
Begin the New Year Celebrating Together
The Board of Trustees invites you to join us...
- With a special Rosh Hashanah Kiddush/Reception immediately following services at 7:30pm on Rosh Hashanah Eve.
- In celebration of Rosh Hashanah Second Day/ Rosh HashanahLIVE with an informal New Year's Lunch.
- After the blowing of the final shofar, attend a Congregational Break Fast Reception at 6:15pm
The Women’s Leadership Council’s mission is to bring the women of Temple Israel of the City of New York together in friendship for personal growth through social activities, study, prayer and worship and acts of loving kindness. The Women’s Leadership Council supports Temple Israel, its community and promotes the ideals of Reform Judaism.
We are a diverse group of accomplished, talented women who each find a place in the Women’s Leadership Council, because sisterhood is for everyone. Through our programs and activities, we fulfill our mission and have fun at the same time.
- Girls' Night Out Dinners at local restaurants
- Paid-Up Members' Cocktail Party
- Monthly Mah Jongg
- Annual "Chai" Tea
Learning & Prayer
- Women's Seder
- Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center
- Visit museums and tour local places of interest
- WLC Book Club and author readings
- Dinner & Discussion with speical guest speakers
Service to the Community
- Mitzvah Day
- SBuild the Temple's exquiste Sanctuary Sukkah
- Support the ECLC and Religious School
- American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
- Welcome gifts to new members ar the High Holy Days
- Membership in Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) joining 70,000 women globally
Join a vibrant and warm group of women who look forward to welcoming you. Whether you have plenty of time or just a little, your dues donation is vital to the WLC’s efforts and contributions to Temple Israel.
Membership Fees: $54 Core Level/ $108 Sponsor Level / $180 Chai Sponsor Level
To join, select the WLC membership level on your membership renewal form or call the Temple office at 212-249-5000.
Thank you for your support.For information, please contact Carole Ross WLC Vice President, Membership at Ross.Carole@gmail.com
NYConnect is Temple Israel’s group for young professionals in their 20s and 30s living and working in NYC. Join us for Shabbat dinners, holiday celebrations, and social gatherings around the city. Meet and network with other young professionals and make great connections.
Start the New Year off with Appletinis & Appetizers on the 2nd night of Rosh Hashanah. Come for food, drinks, and stay for the company!
For more information or to inquire on High Holy Day tickets please email email@example.com or call 212-249-5000.
Membership at Temple Israel enhances the lives of each and every member. We are blessed with a warm, intimate and inviting community that is filled with programs and events, worship opportunities and unparalleled educational offerings for adults and children alike.
If you are not currently a member of Temple Israel, why not join us today?
If you are a current member, why not consider “upgrading” your membership? Your commitment enables us to continue to reach out and touch the lives of so many and also ensures that the doors of Temple Israel remain open for all, including those with special circumstances.
Family & Junior Couple: Entitles you to two seats for the High Holy Day Services in the Sanctuary or seats for you and your children (Grade 3 to age 24) in the Ballroom Service. Seats for younger children are issued without charge upon request for the Ballroom Service.
Single, Youth & Junior Single: are entitled to one seat for High Holy Day Services.
Junior Couple: are for those up to age 32. Families with children 2 years and older are ineligible for this category.
Associates: are for those who live over 150 miles from Temple Israel. Single Associate memberships are also available. Couple and single rates available.
Benefactors: entitles you to up to 2 reserved seats of your choice.
Builders: entitles you to up to 2 reserved seats.
Pillars: entitles you to up to 4 reserved seats of your choice.
Leaders: entitles you to up to 4 reserved seats of your choice.
Please consider upgrading your Temple membership. Indicate your preference on your membership renewal form or contact Lior Yancovitz .
To join Temple Israel please contact Lior Yancovitz, Membership Director, at 646-292-9490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Maintenance Fund - New members only
Membership dues cover only a fraction of our annual operating costs. Therefore, to help support Temple Israel’s ongoing operating costs and to recognize those who built up our community in years past, all new members except Junior, Youth or Associate Memberships are asked to contribute a one-time fee of $2,000 to the Temple Israel Building Maintenance Fund. While we prefer that this fee be paid upon submission of your application, we ask that you complete this obligation within two years of joining Temple Israel.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have tickets to the Ballroom Service on Erev Rosh Hashanah. I see a worship service in the Ballroom scheduled. Can I use that ticket for the Sanctuary?
Yes. On Erev Rosh Hashanah at 6:00pm, you can choose to either attend the service in the Sanctuary or the Rockin’ Family Service in the Ballroom. Your ticket will permit you to sit in the open seating in the balcony or in the Ballroom.
Do I need a ticket for my child?
Everyone attending High Holy Day Services, other than the Kidz Services, H2D Project, Tashlich, & Rosh Hashanah Second Day/Rosh HashanahLIVE will need a High Holy Day ticket.
Who can attend the Rockin’ Family Services and H2D Project? Isn’t there a morning Family Service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that I can attend instead of or in addition to the evening Family Service?
The interactive & intergenerational Rockin’ Family Service is geared towards families with children in Grades 2–6 but all children are welcome to attend with their families. There is no longer a youth/Family Service being offered on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We encourage you to take advantage of both Rockin’ Family Services and our H2D Project (Grades K-8).
Which grade age children are eligible for the H2D Project and can parents attend, too?
This program will engage students Grades K-8 in age-appropriate and celebratory programming. Students will join in discussions, create artwork, and join in games that will help them delve into the themes of the season. In addition, they will participate in a half-hour service geared towards their specific age group. Students will be involved in the H2D programming for the length of the Adult Regular Service, giving you (the parent) an opportunity to pray, connect and seek inspiration this High Holy Day season.
What time is the Yom Kippusr Yizkor Memorial Service?
The Yizkor Memorial Service is part of the Afternoon Service which begins at 3:00pm.
Is there a charge for the Yom Tov Tots or H2D?
No, Temple Israel is happy to provide free, quality babysitting to our members. Reservations are required. Should you need to cancel please do so at least 48 hours in advance of the holiday.
What is the difference between Services in the Sanctuary & Ballroom?
Sanctuary worship includes the majestic sounds of our professional choir while Ballroom worship incorporates contemporary, participatory music with professional musicians. Both Services use the same prayerbook and are appropriate for adults and children in Grades 3 and up.
Can you change the temperature in the Sanctuary or Ballroom during services?
We do our utmost to ensure a comfortable temperature during our services. However, you may wish to bring a shawl, wrap or sweater with you so we can cool large rooms appropriately.
Note: Hearing Devices and Large Print Prayerbooks are available at the check-in table.
High Holy Days at a Glance
Selichot - Saturday, Agust 31
Program & Reception | Temple Israel | 8:00pm
Sweets & Treats | Hamptons| 9:30pm
Service of Reflection & Forgiveness | Temple Israel & Hamptons| 10:00-11:00pm
Erev Rosh Hashanah - Wednesday, September 4
Worship in the Sanctuary | 6:00-7:30pm
Yom Tov Tots (suggested ages 2-5) | 4th Floor | 5:45-7:30pm
Rockin' Family Service (Grades 2- 6)| Ballroom | 6:00-7:30pm
Rosh Hashanah Eve Reception | Courtyard | 7:30pm
Rosh Hashanah First Day - Thursday, September 5
Worship in the Sanctuary & Ballroom | 10:00am
Child Care (suggested ages 2-5) | 4th Floor | 9:45am-12:30pm
H2D Project (Grades K- 8) | 5th & 6th Floors | 9:45am-12:30pm
Teen Social (Grades 9- 12) | Chapel | 12:30-12:45pm
Kidz Service (Grades Pre-K to 1) Sanctuary | 2:45-3:45pm
Tashlich at Carl Schurz Park (rain or shine) | 86th Street | 4:30-5:00pm
NYConnect Appletinis & Appetizers (20’s & 30’s)| Off-site | 8:30pm
Rosh HashanahLIVE/Rosh Hashanah 2nd Day - Friday, September 6 (No tickets required)
RoshHashanahLIVE Service| Sanctuary | 10:00-11:30am
Kidz Concert with “Shira & Friends” ( Pre-K-Grade 1 )| Ballroom | 10:00-11:30am
Informal New Year's Lunch| 11:30am | RSVP requested
Kol Nidre –Friday, September 13
Rockin' Family Service (Grades 2 - 6) | Sanctuary | 6:00-7:00pm
Worship in the Sanctuary & Ballroom | 8:00pm
Yom Tov Tots (Suggested ages 2-5) | 4th Floor | 7:45-10:00pm
Yom Kippur Day – Saturday, September 14
Worship in the Sanctuary & Ballroom | 10:00am
Yom Tov Tots (Suggested ages 2-5) | 4th Floor | 9:45am –12:45pm
H2D Project (Grades K- 8) | 5th & 6th Floors | 9:45am-12:30pm
Social Action Lecture | Ballroom | 1:00pm
Kidz Service (Pre-K-Grade 1) | Sanctuary | 1:45-2:45pm
Healing Service | Chapel | 2:15-2:45pm
Afternoon, Yizkor Memorial & Neilah Service | Sanctuary | 3:00pm
Break Fast Reception | Ballroom | 6:15pm
Thursday, September 19
Sukkot Service & Breakfast| Courtyard | 8:30-9:30am
Tot Sukkot & Breakfast | Courtyard | 9:30am-11:00am
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, September 23-25
Religious School Special Sukkot Program (Grades K-6) | 4:15-5:45pm
Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah
Wednesday, September 25
Rockin Simchat Torah Celebration | 5:00pm
Thursday, September 26
Simchat Torah & Yizkor Service followed by breakfast | 8:30am