When people who aren’t Jewish hear that Jewish people buy tickets to attend High Holy Day services, they typically think this is bizarre. I’ve been Jewish my entire life and I still think it’s bizarre… and somewhat unconscionable.
I truly understand the temptation to charge, and charge big, for High Holy Day tickets. Many Jews who go to services at Reform and Conservative synagogues don’t attend much the rest of the year. It’s a captive audience in the fall: “In case we don’t see you again for the next 11 months, could you give us a check now so we can try to run the synagogue while you’re gone?”