One of the most important times in Jewish ritual life is the High Holy Days, a period that stretches from the two days of the Jewish New Year (this year starting on the evening of Sept. 24), through the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) 10 days later, and concluding with the joyous eight-day holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles).
Many Jews who otherwise never set foot in synagogue will spend the three days of the New Year and Yom Kippur praying and reconnecting with their families, their community and their tradition.
All the major synagogues in the city will have services, and there are several alternative groups as well, which form once-a-year communities, magically reassembling from year to year.
The Rose Family Alternative High Holy Day Services have been a fixture in Winnipeg for over 35 years. My family and I have been honoured to be participants for over a decade. This year, however, is different.
Due to circumstances, Rabbi Neal and Carol Rose cannot be with us this year. An initiative is underway, spearheaded by several long-time participants, to continue with the High Holy Day services, even without the physical presence of the group’s founders and guiding spirits.
We hope volunteers will step up to help with various aspects of the service — leading prayers, reading Torah, blowing the Shofar, singing, organizing readings and spiritual work.
Our host organization, Congregation Etz Chayim, has offered wonderful support — allowing us to use the space, books and Torah, as well as selling tickets on our behalf ($100 for Etz Chayim members/$120 non-members).
Of course, it won’t be the same without the Roses. How could it be?
But we are hopeful that this intimate community will continue to thrive, coming together to celebrate the High Holy Days with meaningful prayer and joy.
If you are interested in joining us, please call Congregation Etz Chayim at 204-589-6305 to reserve your tickets today.
If you would like to offer your skills, whether ritual or organizational, to help make this vision a reality, please contact Terri Cherniack at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hadass Eviatar at (204) 792-3996 or email@example.com.
Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at: http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/