My synagogue has gone through some changes in the last couple years, on top of the changes forced on all of us by the pandemic. Last year we hired a new rabbi and this year we hired a new cantor, and in-person services are more of a thing than they were, so lots of stuff is new together.
The rabbi and the cantor work well together. I already knew this from the morning minyan, but it also carried over to the formal high-holy-day services with all their extra stuff. Later, when all the holidays are over (they aren't yet), I want to ask the rabbi about some of the choices he made, but it was generally fine. It was nice to be together again.
I was asked to read torah, even though I said I'd pretty much have to memorize it because of the vision issues that are why I stopped reading torah on Shabbat. The readings for Rosh Hashana aren't that long, so I could memorize it, and anyway I don't know the special trope for the day so I was going to have to learn the music by rote anyway. That all went fine. I had the last aliyah and I noticed that other people were translating after their readings, so I followed suit on the spur of the moment. Later I realized that most of the others were reading translations, not doing it on the fly. (I'm not fluent in Hebrew, but I knew this part.) Ironically, I did need to look at the scroll for that part and there were some stumbles as a result, but on Yom Kippur several people stopped me to tell me how much they liked my RH reading, with specific compliments. Wow.
We have programming all day on Yom Kippur so you don't have to leave if you don't want to. The "learning" slot had two class options, fewer than in the past but I think this worked together. I went to a very good class on the Vidui (confessional) prayer, taught by someone who used to be our associate rabbi 15-20 years ago. (He moved away for another pulpit and returned to Pittsburgh a couple years ago, taking an educational position rather than a pulpit.) We did a close reading of the text compared to the translation in our prayerbook and talked a lot about the word aval.
In some years I've gotten to the end of Yom Kippur on a high, feeling scrubbed clean and energized and stuff. That didn't happen this year. I think some of that is due to some liturgical choices they made. I wonder how much of it is due to having finally been to a traditional Yom Kippur service (last two years) and now I'm more keenly aware of the differences.
For festivals we combine with another congregation and Sukkot was there not here. "There" is a two-mile walk each way for me, so I went to Beth Shalom, a Conservative congregation that also has an occasional musical Shabbat evening service that I've gone to. The people there were very welcoming, the service was complete and yet efficient, and the leaders and speakers were good. I was surprised to be offered an honor (carrying the first torah scroll). I had pleasant conversations with several people I didn't know at the kiddush after. I wonder if I should try to go there next Yom Kippur.
We've been able to have most of our meals in the sukkah this week, though a couple got rained out. This late in the year I didn't have expectations.