Every fall, Jews around the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, followed ten days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Here in the Midlands, we have a vibrant Jewish community that includes worship services for Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews as well as Hillel and Chabad and the Columbia Jewish Community Center.
Right now, Jews at home and abroad are facing unprecedented anti-Semitism, and many Jews, myself included, are fearful of what comes next. But as we prepare for our holiest of days, we find joy in the details and comfort in the ritual.
So what does that ritual entail and where can you join or support your Jewish community? Here is a quick rundown of community events in the Midlands.
Rosh Hashanah begins September 20th at sunset and is observed through September 22nd depending on the branch of Judaism.
- Beth Shalom Synagogue (Conservative): Evening services will be held at 7:30 pm on September 20th and will be followed by morning services at 9 a.m. on the 21st and the 22nd. Additional services will take place on both days.
- Tree of Life Congregation (Reform): Evening services will be held at 8 p.m. on September 20th with an oneg (celebration) afterwards. Morning services will begin at 10 a.m. on the 21st and conclude with Tashlich services at 4 p.m. Normal worship services will take place on the 22nd.
- Chabad of South Carolina (Orthodox): Evening services will be held at 6:45 p.m. and will include a dinner at 7:15. Registration is required. Morning services will begin on the 21st and 22nd at 9 a.m.
Once Rosh Hashanah has concluded, the ten days between holidays are marked by reflection as we look back on the past year and honestly assess what we could have done better, who we may have harmed and to whom we need to offer an apology. This is a deeply spiritual task and can be both emotionally taxing and cleansing.
On the tenth day, we gather as a community once again on September 29th for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, during which we pray about our failings and set our intentions for the new year. For those who are medically able, this is a fasting holiday ended with a large community meal.
- Beth Shalom Synagogue: Yom Kippur services begin at 6:45 p.m. with the Kol Nidre service and continue September 30th at 9 a.m.
- Tree of Life Congregation: Yom Kippur services begin at 8 p.m. with the Kol Nidre service and continue September 30th at 10 a.m. Break the Fast will take place at 6 p.m. and registration is required.
- Chabad of South Carolina: Yom Kippur services begin at 6:52 p.m. with the Kol Nidre service and continue September 30th at 9 a.m. Break the Fast will take place at 7:57 p.m.
No matter how or if you celebrate, please take a moment out of your day during our most holy of days to wish your Jewish friends and family “chag sameach!” Happy holidays!