By Sharon Aron Baron
With the High Holidays approaching and COVID-19 creating difficulties for many in joining a traditional synagogue service, Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac will hold an outdoor Rosh Hashanah [Shofar] service, free to all Jewish residents, and no membership required.
The service, which will include prayers for the wellbeing of all humanity—a key theme of Rosh Hashanah—will also be centered around hearing the sound of the Shofar, the central observance of the holiday.
Rabbi Kopel Silberberg explained the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, who is considered the most influential rabbi in modern history, insisted that the observance of hearing the Shofar— the key observance of Rosh Hashanah—be made accessible to all Jews, even those not attending synagogue.
“Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac has always prioritized making Judaism available to all. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has taken on a whole new meaning, but our mission to serve everyone remains the same,” Rabbi Silberberg said.
Chabad Jewish Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac also creates accessibility by creating a welcoming and non-judgmental atmosphere and affordability, with no expectation of membership or affiliation.
This year, they’ve gone a step further to ensure that the very real health concerns Tamarac faces are not an impediment to holiday observance.
“Our goal is to lower the barriers of entry, and to encourage each and every Jewish person to actively participate in the observances of Rosh Hashanah,” said Goldy Silberberg, co-director of Chabad. “This year, that means bringing a Rosh Hashanah service to a location where people can safely participate and making it free of charge as many in our community are hurting financially now.”
The 30-minute service will include the sounding of the shofar, the Tashlich prayer said by a body of water and selected prayers from the High Holiday liturgy. While not a substitute for the complete Rosh Hashanah prayer service (which can and should be done at home if one cannot join a congregation), the service will enable everyone to hear the shofar and bring a heightened sense of community during this difficult time.
To ensure participants’ wellbeing, those present at the event will be asked to wear masks and stay six feet away from people not living in the same household.
Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac is offering Rosh Hashanah-at-Home kits for those not able to leave their home, which will bring many of the resources Tamarac’s Jews usually enjoy at synagogue into their homes. The kits will include a holiday guide, Jewish Calendar, Holiday Candle Kit, Challah, and traditional Rosh Hashanah treats, including honey cake and Honey Sticks.
Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac will also be hosting their regular traditional High Holiday service, albeit with a more limited crowd and distanced; RSVP is necessary in advance.
The free service will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, at 6:00 pm at the Tamarac’s Veteran Park 7825 Southgate Blvd. For more information about the High Holidays, contact Chabad Jewish Center of Tamarac at 954-882-7434, send an email to Rabbi@jewishtamarac.com or visit jewishtamarac.com/highholidays.
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Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk and Parkland Talk.
Tamarac Talk was created in 2010 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Tamarac.