Imperial Valley Jews celebrate a new year with events tonight and Thursday for Rosh Hashana.
Rosh Hashana is the first day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar but celebrates the Jewish New Year.
The Congregation of Jacob will gather tonight and Thursday morning to recognize the high holy day and then again eight days later for the other high holy day of Yom Kippur, Cynthia Harvie said.
“It’s the time during which you’re supposed to reflect on the past year, the things you’ve done wrong and the things you’ve done right, the things you want to be inscribed in the book of life,” her husband Wayne Harvie explained. “It’s all one continuous holiday.”
There are about 50 units, which can be a person or family, in the congregation, he said, and it is comprised of people from all over the Imperial Valley as well as from Mexicali.
They meet monthly at their temple on Adams Avenue in El Centro and charge no dues.
The services tonight and Thursday are open to the public and will have prayer books in both English and Hebrew.
“Our slogan is, we have friendly down pat. Everybody is welcome. They don’t have to know anything,” Wayne Harvie said. “We make sure no one feels uncomfortable. That’s what we have. It’s almost like a family. Everybody knows everybody and does everything for them.”
A student rabbi from Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles will preside over the services.
Following the roughly hour-long services, there will be refreshments, called Kiddush, and possibly a blowing of a shofar.
The blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, symbolizes bringing in the New Year.
The Jewish calendar began before Christ was born, meaning this is the year 5772.
Apples with honey are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana “for a sweet year,” Cynthia Harvie said. Wine and challah, a type of bread, is consumed to say prayer.
A special service called Tashlich will occur directly following the morning service Thursday, during which congregation members will throw breadcrumbs into water to symbolize throwing away their sins.
“You’re all happy and joyous,” Cynthia Harvie said. “The book is opened on Rosh Hashana and on Yom Kippur it’s closed. Whatever happens in your life is closed.”
Yom Kippur is a day of atonement when forgiveness is sought and restitution must be made.
There will be an evening service at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, and then services at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8, which is a day of fasting.
Call 760-344-3436 or 760-356-5649 for information.
<b>If you go</b
What — Erev Rosh Hashana
Where — Congregation of Jacob, 530 Adams Ave. in El Centro
When — 7:30 p.m. tonight and 10 a.m. Thursday
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com
Jews invite Valley to share in celebration of Rosh Hashana
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