Chabad of Shelton and Monroe to offer outdoor Rosh Hashanah service
SHELTON — With the high holidays approaching and COVID-19 creating difficulties for many to join a traditional synagogue service, Chabad of Shelton and Monroe will hold an outdoor Rosh Hashanah service at 4 p.m. Sept. 20 on the Huntington Green.
The service will be open to all Jewish locals, no membership required.
The service, which will include prayers for the well being 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.
“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 Shneur Brook said.
“Chabad of Shelton has always prioritized making Judaism available to all,” Brook added. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has taken on a whole new meaning, but our mission to serve everyone remains the same.”
Chabad of Shelton also creates accessibility by creating a welcoming and non-judgmental atmosphere and affordability, with no expectation of membership or affiliation, Brook said. This year, Brook said they have gone a step further to ensure that the very real health concerns Shelton and Monroe faces are not an impediment to holiday observance.
“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 Leah Brook, Chabad co-director. “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 20-minute service will include the sounding of the shofar as well as a short insight into the holiday and its meaning. While not a substitute for the complete Rosh Hashanah prayer service (which can and should be done at home if one is not able to join a congregation), the service will enable everyone to hear the shofar, and bring a heightened sense of community during this difficult time.
To ensure the wellbeing of participants, Brook said attendees will be asked to wear masks, and stay 6 feet away from people not living in the same household. Additionally, individually-packed Rosh Hashanah packages will be available with some holiday treats.
For those not able to leave their home, Chabad is offering Rosh Hashanah-at-Home kits, which will bring many of the resources that are usually enjoyed at synagogue into their homes. The kits will include a holiday guide, a Yizkor candle, and traditional Rosh Hashanah treats including honey cake and honey sticks.
Chabad of Shelton will also host its regular traditional high holiday service, albeit with a more limited crowd and distanced, on Sept. 19 and 20 at 10 a.m. at Chabad’s backyard in a large outdoor tent. The shofar is only sounded on Sept. 20. While Rosh Hashanah services will also be held on Sept. 19, and the evening of Sept. 18 — the shofar is not sounded then, as its use is prohibited on Shabbat.
For more information about this ceremony, contact Chabad of Shelton and Monroe at 203-364-4149, at Office@JewishShelton.com or visit www.JewishShelton.com/highholidays.