Celebrations of the approaching Jewish New Year are ongoing and Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch are offering services and celebration for free.
Rabbi Mendy Bukiet said it’s more important to get the Jewish community involved in an important time in Judaism than it is to worry about costs.
“Our goal is to lower the barriers of entry and encourage each and every Jew to actively participate in these most holy and introspective days,” Bukiet said.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sept. 20 and extends until nightfall on Sept. 22. Bukiet said the High Holidays are an important time where each Jew has an opportunity to determine how the coming year will impact their lives.
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“It’s like a stepping stone for the way we enter the year,” Bukiet said. “In Judaism, it’s a way to set up the year properly. For example, when we send off a child to school, we want them to have everything they need to have a successful year. So this is a time to recalibrate what type of year we have, and what we need to do set ourselves up for it.”
This year takes on a whole new perspective for Bukiet because of the emotional turmoil caused by Hurricane Irma and the stresses leading up to, and after the storm.
It gives us an opportunity to celebrate a good year and how to put it into action.
Rabbi Mendy Bukiet, spiritual advisor Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch
“It causes us to rethink what is important in our lives,” he said. “For many Synagogues to say, ‘Thank you,’ to God for sparing them and helping them and to feel thankful for the community spirit we have and having God in our lives.”
Bukiet is creative in his teachings and ties the lessons of the High Holidays into having a lot of fun along the way. Women kicked off the celebrations earlier this week by learning the different recipes of Rosh Hashanah, children learned how to combine various tastes with honey and apples as a way to have a “sweet New Year and for the teenagers, we are taking them to Jump & Fun as kind of a jumping into the New Year.”
There will be several services leading up the finale of the celebrations, “with a lot of meaningful points,” Bukiet said. “It’s a very uplifting and exciting time, and yet an important time. There is a serious aspect to how you approach the New Year, but there is a fun celebration aspect. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate a good year and how to put it into action. I encourage everybody to come out for the important services, but also for the second half where we are dancing, eating and having a great time.”
Chabad stands firmly in their belief in Jewish traditions and the customs are a birthright of every Jew. That is why Bukiet invites the Jewish community to celebrate at Chabad, located at 5712 Lorraine Road, to participate for free.
“During the High Holidays, accessibility can translate into different factors for different people, such as a non-judgmental atmosphere, affordability for the services, or the ability for a beginner to follow along,” he said. “According to Jewish tradition, the gates of Heaven are open on the New Year and God accepts prayers from everyone. That serves our inspiration to keep our doors open as well to the entire community.”
For more information, call 941-284-2426 or visit chabadofbradenton.com.
If you go
What: Chabad of Bradenton & Lakewood Ranch is offering their friendly and welcoming services for free for individuals of all ages in the Manatee County Jewish community.
Where: Fete Catering Ballroom at the Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch.
▪ Rosh Hashanah services: 7 p.m. Sept. 20, 9:30 a.m., 6:45 p.m., 8 p.m. Sept. 21. 9:30 a.m. Sept. 22.
▪ Yom Kippur: Kol Nidrei Service, 7 p.m. Sept. 29. On Sept. 30, Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. Yizkor Memorial Service, 11 a.m. Mincha Service, 6 p.m. Neila Closing Service, 7 p.m., Final Shofar Blowing, 7:51 p.m., Fast Ends, 7:51 p.m., Break the Fast Buffet following Final Shofar Blowing.
Cost: Free. Donations appreciated.
Information: To reserve a space, visit www.chabadofbradenton.com or call 941-752-3030.