NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jewish High Holidays begin Friday with Rosh Hashanah at sundown

The Jewish New Year is a joyous time, and while COVID-19 has changed how many will observe, it hasn’t dampened the traditions.

“It’s our limited edition of rugelach for Rosh Hashanah. It’s chocolate with honey,” said Shay Golan of

Originally from Tel Aviv, Shay Golan and Uriel Benzrihen spent Friday making traditional Rosh Hashanah treats. With no family here in New York, the baking helps them feel at home.

“We’re trying to, through the food we make, have the memories we had with our families and it’s comfort,” said Benzrihen.

The two wish they could visit a synagogue to mark the new year, but many have limited space or are closed. Many other observances across the Tri-State Area have also been modified.

‪Friday afternoon, Masbia Soup Kitchen in Brooklyn prepared to serve special socially distanced holiday meals for those in need.‬

“All the symbolic foods. And what we’re trying to do is make sure that no one is left behind,” Alexander Rapoport Masbia.

Meanwhile, many services and prayers will be virtual.

Rabbi Joshua Davidson of Temple Emanu-El says the 10 days following Rosh Hashanah are a time of reflection and repentance.

“They think back to consider how they have treated those closest to them,” he said. “They think back and consider how they’ve treated themselves.”

Rabbi Davidson says because of the coronavirus, now more than ever it’s important to reflect on the past year.

“The High Holidays remind us of the strength that we have within us to persevere through hardship,” he said.

The Hartman family from the Upper East Side agrees.

“I feel extra grateful this year as the holidays come up that even though we’re all apart that we’re all still healthy and able to celebrate virtually,” said Max Hartman.

The 10 days of repentance conclude with the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, ‪on Sept 28.‬

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