With years of experience organizing outdoor Shofar services, Chabad of Venice has adapted its model for the Jewish New Year of 5781 with COVID-19.
Venice — With the High Holidays approaching and COVID-19 creating difficulties for many in joining a traditional synagogue service, Chabad of Venice & North Port will hold an outdoor Rosh Hashanah [Shofar] service on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 12:00 pm & 6:00 pm at the Parking Lot of the Chabad Education Center in Venice, open free to all, 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. It will be one of thousands listed on Chabad.org/HighHolidayServices, the world’s largest directory of outdoor High Holiday services.
“The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, 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,” Rabbi Sholom Schmerling explained. “Chabad of Venice 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.”
“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 Chaya Rivka Schmerling “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 as well as selected prayers from the High Holiday liturgy. The service will enable everyone to hear the shofar, and bring a heightened sense of community during this difficult time.
For those not able to leave their home, , Chabad of Venice is offering Rosh Hashanah-at-Home kits, which will bring many of the resources Venice’s Jews usually enjoy at synagogue into their homes. The kits will include a holiday guide, a machzor prayerbook, candles, and traditional Rosh Hashanah treats.
To ensure the wellbeing of participants, those present at the event will be asked to wear masks, and stay six feet away from people not living in the same household.
For more information about this ceremony contact , Chabad of Venice at 941.493.2770, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chabadofvenice.com
About Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins this year at sundown on September 18 through nightfall on September 20. Literally meaning “head of the year,” the two-day holiday commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday. For more information about Rosh Hashanah, visit www.chabadofvenice.com/HighHolidays.
About the Shofar
The shofar is the central symbol of Rosh Hashanah, which is celebrated near the beginning of each fall. Synagogues blast the shofar every day for a month leading up to the holiday, culminating with a sequence of 100 blasts during the Rosh Hashanah services, which take place this year on September 20. The cry of the shofar is a call to repentance as Jews look back at misdeeds of the past year and resolve to improve during the coming one.