Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah (literally, “Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer, self-reflection, and repentance.

What is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh HaShanah (literally, “Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer, self-reflection, and t'shuvahT'shuvahתְּשׁוּבָה"Return;" The concept of repentance and new beginnings, which is a continuous theme throughout the High Holidays. . We review our actions during the past year, and we look for ways to improve ourselves, our communities, and our world in the year to come. The holiday marks the beginning of a 10-day period, known as the Yamim Nora-im (“Days of Awe” or “High Holidays”), ushered in by Rosh HaShanah and culminating with Yom Kippur (the “Day of Atonement”). Rosh HaShanah is widely observed by Jews throughout the world, often with prayer and reflection in a synagogue. There also are several holiday rituals observed at home.

Rosh HaShanah is celebrated on the first day of the Hebrew month of TishreiTishreiתִּשְׁרֵיSeventh month on the Hebrew calendar; Rosh HaShanah falls on the first day of this month. , which – because of differences in the solar and lunar calendar – corresponds to September or October on the Gregorian or secular calendar. Customs associated with the holiday include sounding the shofarshofarשׁוֹפָרRam’s horn most commonly blown throughout the month of Elul and during the High Holiday season. , eating a round challahchallahחַלָּהA braided egg bread eaten on Shabbat and festivals. Today challah comes in many flavors and varieties, including chocolate chip, gluten free, and vegan. Plural: challot. , and tasting apples and honey to represent a sweet New Year.

Find Virtual or In-Person Services

Many congregations offer virtual High Holiday services and programs for non-members. If you are a member of a Union for Reform Judaism congregation and will be away from home, you can request seating at another member congregation.

Congregations Offering Virtual Services

Congregations with Opportunities for Non-Members

High Holiday Reciprocal Seating Request Form

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Congregation Beth Am photo at Pride March

 

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The URJ Reflection Project

Explore this meaningful new way to welcome the High Holidays.

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Apples and Honey, foods that are integral to the customs and rituals of the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah

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What's New

A High Holiday Message from Sara B. Charney

September 23, 2022
In preparation for the High Holy Days, during the month of Elul, we take stock, reflect, and engage in an accounting of the soul, cheshbon hanefesh. Other customs during Elul include the daily recitation of Psalm 27, making amends with others, the sounding of the shofar, and giving tzedakah...Inspired by the clarion call of the shofar, WRJ empowers women around the globe to stand up for justice, take on increased leadership roles, and use their platforms and voices to make a difference. There is so much going on, and you always have a home with your WRJ sisters.

Improving in the New Year

September 2, 2022
Will you do the same things you did last year or will you add something new and different? “Keeping it fresh” leads to vitality, increased membership, a deeper volunteer pool, and well-attended programming. Even when we have a program every year, like a YES Fund event, we should find ways to introduce new dimensions. This could be a different venue, different theme, different program, or a different way to recognize an honoree. Take a road trip. Have a picnic. Host a traditional tea. Go to a football or hockey game. When I was in Girl Scouts, I learned the simple song sung in a round: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver, and the other is gold.” I think the same principle can apply to everything we do: add new and innovative ideas while at the same time keeping the core of what has made us successful so far.

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