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Rosh Hashanah

2020 Rosh Hashanah Programming  |  Online Rosh Hashanah Resources  |  2020 High Holiday Programming


What is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, taking place at the beginning of the month of Tishrei - the beginning of the Jewish civil calendar year. It is a two-day celebration of the new year, which follows a month of spiritual and emotional preparation during the month of Elul. This celebration is meant to both rejoice in the completion of another year and to look inward and take stock of that year that has passed. Rosh Hashanah also precedes the Ten Days of Repentance, also known as the Days of Awe, which concludes in the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. A major part of the Jewish High Holy Day traditions, Rosh Hashanah has its own customs we practice.

What are these customs?

Challah: Jewish traditional bread, Challah, is baked in a round shape during Rosh Hashanah to represent the eternal cycle of life. 

Apples & Honey: It is tradition to dip Apples (or your round Challah) in honey during the Rosh Hashanah celebration. The sweetness of honey symbolizes the hope for a sweet new year...made even sweeter with a juicy apple slice!

Mahzor: The prayer book used during Rosh Hashanah is called a Mahzor. It is a High Holy Day prayer book that covers Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur - while each holiday has its own distinct observance and function, their themes are intertwined and the holidays are recognized together under one High Holy Days umbrella. The morning of Rosh Hashanah includes three prayers unique to the holiday: the Malkhuyot (addressing the sovereignty of God), the Zikhronot (presenting God as the one who remembers past deeds), and the Shofarot (expressing our anxious anticipation of the future).

Shofar: The Shofar is blown at the culmination of each of the above three special prayers. It acts as a reminder of the covenant between God and his people.

Tashlich: This custom is a symbolic casting away of our sins and is a spiritual journey suitable for all ages, which is done in concert with Teshuvah (repentance) during the High Holy Days. Tashlich is performed by traveling to a running body of water, preferably one that contains fish, reading a prayer passage for the occasion, and tossing bread crumbs representing your sins into the water. For a guide to creating your own personal Tashlich experience, click here


The Significance of Rosh Hashanah

After devoting an entire month to take dedicated steps of introspection, assessment, goal setting and forgiveness during Elul, the holy days of Rosh Hashanah are meant as an opportunity to celebrate the joys of the past year, the lessons learned, and the goals met. Additionally, they are meant as a time to begin asking forgiveness for the transgressions we have enacted and setting goals for a better new year. It is our time to atone for our sins, both individual and communal, before God closes the books and inscribes our fates for the year to come (to be sealed on Yom Kippur).


2020 Programming


To ensure the safety of our community, our services this year will be virtual. While going virtual means things will be different this year, our clergy, staff and lay leadership are working diligently to bring our community an engaging program that is built around the traditions we love and also embraces the need for change in an effort to make our services even more enriching. 

In light of the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon many of us, all High Holy Days services will be free and open to the public online. We do ask that you register for our High Holy Day services to help us best prepare for the occasion. Anyone who is inclined and able to make a donation, is welcome to do so during the registration process.

Below is our Rosh Hashanah schedule. Stay tuned for details on what to expect from our exciting new programming, including information for live streaming services.

Sept. 18  | 7:30pm   Erev Rosh Hashanah

Sept. 19  | 9:00am   Rosh Hashanah Day 1

Sept. 19  | 10:30am   Torah Service & Breakout Sessions

Sept. 20  | 9:00am   Rosh Hashanah Day 2

Sept. 20  | 11:00am   Torah Service

Sept. 20  | n/a         Tashlich (On Your Own)

*Youth services are pre-recorded and available online for those who register for the High Holy Days to view at their convenience.


Online Resources

Prayer & Observance:


Getting Ready for Rosh Hashanah:

Kids Corner

Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781