Today marks the holiest day of the Jewish year: Yom Kippur. While you might expect it to be a typical celebration, the day of atonement is a much more solemn affair that’s typically associated with a day of thought, remembrance, fasting for approximately 24 hours, and attending synagogue… if you can get tickets.
Much like Christmas and Easter are the two biggest holidays for practicing Christians, there are three major Jewish holidays: Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (10 days apart from each other; together known as the “High Holidays”) and Passover.
However, even among those less observant, many wish attend services, often causing severe overcrowding beyond typical capacity. As such, it’s quite common for synagogues to charge for High Holiday tickets, with a ticket for a season’s high holiday services often costing upwards of $540 (the high ticket cost incentivizes synagogue membership, which includes high holiday tickets).
While baffling friends of other religious and cultural backgrounds, the ticket concept is not foreign to most people of Jewish origin (and is even satirized in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm). Luckily, synagogues in major metropolitan regions typically offer free and discounted tickets for students and young professionals.
Just make sure you have them ready when entering the synagogue.