West Side Temple Hosts Rosh Hashanah Celebration In Central Park
By Carly Sitzer
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – They’re not ones to toot their own horn, but Chabad of the West Side and the Chabad Centers of Manhattan know they are onto to something big this Rosh Hashanah.
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Rosh Hashanah, which is the Hebrew New Year, will be celebrated on Sept. 28 – 29 this year. Traditional celebrations for Rosh Hashanah involve eating apples and honey, preparing round challah and blowing the shofar, which is a hollowed ram’s horn. And this year, Chahad of the West Side is inviting all of New York City to join them to celebrate with the shofar.
Shofar in the Park is an hour-long event taking place at the Central Park Bandshell on Sept. 29 at 5 PM. Yisrael Kugel, director at the Chabad of the West Side, explained that everyone is encouraged to come and experience the shofar in a unique and communal way.
“People should experience whatever they will experience on their own terms,” he said. “Many different people hear [different things] when they hear the shofar, and we’re inviting people to hear whatever they hear and go home with whatever they took from it.”
In addition to Shofar in the Park, the “BlastMasters” will be making house calls. Kugel explained that if you have someone that won’t be able to make it to hear the shofar this Rosh Hashana, they’ll bring the shofar to you.
“If you can’t make it to synagogue or you can’t make it to shofar in the park, we will send over a shofar blower to your house,” he said, “That way more people can experience the shofar.”
Although this is the first year of Shofar in the Park, the plan is to make it an annual event so people can continue to celebrate the holiday in a personal way. For this year, however, Kugel said the hope is that people can learn from the service.
“There’s a lot going on these days, and if people can gain strength in their personal lives and take a message that’s applicable to them, that would make me proud,” he said.