This week Alameda’s Jewish community will come together, beginning Wednesday night, to observe the celebration of the Jewish New Year.
Rosh HaShanah, which means “Head of the Year” is observed on the first and second days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei – which this year is Thursday and Friday, Sept. 29 and 30.
In Jewish tradition, the new year is marked by a period of prayer, charity and repentance. It marks the beginning of a ten-day period of self-examination, which culminates on the fast day of Yom Kippur. This period is referred to as the Days of Awe or the High Holy Days.
While there are elements of joy and celebration, Rosh HaShanah is a deeply religious occasion.
Special customs observed include the sounding of a shofar (a horn, traditionally that of a ram), eating apples and honey (and other sweet foods) for a sweet year ahead, and eating round, turban-shaped challah bread.
The Island’s only synagogue, of Alameda, will hold a variety of services for children and adults throughout the High Holy Day period. The first service, on the eve of Rosh HaShanah will be held Wednesday night. A complete list of services and events can be found here. Services will be led by Rabbi Allen Bennett.
As in past years, tickets for High Holy Day services at Temple Israel of Alameda are free of charge, however those attending must reserve tickets in advance by calling the temple office at 510-522-9355. For security reasons, no one will be admitted without a reserved ticket. Ticket reservations are being made on a first come, first serve basis.
Temple Israel of Alameda, was founded in 1920 and is a Reform synagogue, affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. For 91 years, the Temple has provided a Jewish religious cultural, social and educational presence on the island of Alameda.