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New Rochelle Gears Up For Rosh Hashanah

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Kasama Star took a minute to discuss her thoughts about the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, Tuesday afternoon at Beth El Synagogue. Star will attend services at the synagogue with her children, including Saydee, 6, Daisy, 4, and Dylan, 20-months-old.

“I’m just very excited because it’s the beginning of the Jewish new year,” said Star, whose family has been a part of the Beth El community for just over a year. “There’s a whole series of celebrations. There’s going to be a lot of kids and people from the community, so it’s going to be great for everyone.”

Rosh Hashanah marks not just the start of the Jewish new year, but also the beginning of the world, according to the Jewish faith. People attend services over the course of two days full of song and prayer. The blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn, is special to these services and signifies the calling of people together to confess sins, and the binding of Isaac -- Abraham's son -- where Abraham sacrificed a ram in place of his son.

Jeremy Fine, rabbinic assistant at Beth El Synagogue, will be one of the synagogue’s speakers. The synagogue anticipates a crowd of more than 1,500 people during services throughout the two-day holiday.

“We have two cantors and two rabbis who work together to make synagogue spiritual and meaningful,” said Fine. “Services are long, but it’s the beginning of the year.”

Services to mark the start of the holiday at sundown Wednesday begin at 6:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary. On Thursday and Friday services will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“This is a great celebration for the New Year,” Fine said. “It begins a renewal process.”

Cantor Jamie Gloth will lead the congregation in song during the time of reflection.

“It’s a time of introspection,” said Gloth. “It’s a self-evaluation and a time to try to improve ourselves for the upcoming year." Rabbi Melvin N. Sirner and Cantor Uri Aqua will also participate in the services.

Jewish High Holy Day celebrations conclude on Oct. 8 with the observance of Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish faith, when members do not work, but rather fast and attend religious services.

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