Chabad of Grass Valley offers services for the Jewish High Holidays

 

With just a few days before the onset of the Jewish New Year, the question of where to attend services is high on the list for many Jewish families and singles. Recognizing the often high price tag attached to the experience, Chabad of Grass Valley is offering their friendly and welcoming services free of charges for individuals of all ages in the Grass Valley Jewish community.

Chabad of Grass Valley is dedicated to removing entry barriers and ensuring that all who wish to participate in a meaningful celebration of the Jewish New Year may do so.

By providing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in a warm and inclusive setting, Chabad of Grass Valley hopes to accommodate those who may otherwise not be celebrating the holiday. Chabad’s “user-friendly” services make for an enjoyable and meaningful experience for both the beginner and the advanced. Song, commentary, humor and the use of English-Hebrew prayer-books invite individuals of all levels to become active participants in the service.

Back by demand, “Prayer Highlights,” a 60-minute Rosh Hashana service including key Rosh Hashana prayers will be offered on the first day of Rosh Hashana, Tuesday, Sept. 7. Following the prayers and the hearing of the Shofar, a delicious Israeli brunch featuring shakshuka and falafels will be served.

Some people struggle to make prayers meaningful when they aren’t familiar with the liturgy. That is why Chabad of Grass Valley will provide “Reflections,” a collection of prayer meditations at each seat, to illuminate your prayers by sharing spiritual meditations on the main Holiday Prayers.

“According to Jewish tradition, the gates of Heaven are open on the New Year, and G-d accepts prayers from everyone,” said Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz of Chabad of Grass Valley. “That serves as our inspiration to keep our doors open as well to the entire community.”

Nochum Yusewitz continued, “The Lubavitcher Rebbe — Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory — insisted that Judaism be made accessible to all Jews. During the High Holidays, accessibility can translate into different factors for different people, such as a nonjudgmental atmosphere, affordability of the services or the ability for a beginner to follow along. 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.”

Chabad of Grass Valley is also hosting their annual Rosh Hashana Community Dinner on Monday, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. at the Gold Miners Inn.

With COVID-19 creating difficulties for many in joining traditional synagogue services, Chabad of Grass Valley will hold an outdoor Rosh Hashanah Shofar and Tashlich service on Wednesday, Sept. 8 in downtown Nevada City. This ceremony is open to the entire community, no membership required.

Tashlich is a practice rich in symbolic and mystical meaning, which is customarily performed on Rosh Hashanah. A brief prayer is recited near a body of water, preferably containing live fish; in which we express our prayerful hope that G‑d cast our indiscretions into the depths of the sea, and that we be granted a good and sweet new year filled with G‑d’s abundant and manifest blessings.

To accommodate a crowd that can safely participate with physical distance, the meeting point for this year is the corner of Broad Street and Street, overlooking the creek (across the Street from the Stonehouse in Downtown Nevada City).

The service, which will include prayers for the wellbeing 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.

“Chabad has always prioritized making the observance of hearing the Shofar — the key observance of Rosh Hashanah —accessible to all Jews even those not attending synagogue,” Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz explained. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has taken on a whole new meaning, but our mission to serve everyone remains the same.”

Yusewitz firmly believes that Jewish traditions and customs are the birthright of every Jew, and that every Jew should have access to them and encourages the Jewish Community to take part in something meaningful this Rosh Hashana.

Rosh Hashanah begins this year at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 6 and extends until nightfall on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Yom Kippur begins this year at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and extends until nightfall on Thursday, Sept. 18.

For more information about Chabad of Grass Valley’s services, visit www.JewishGV.com/HighHolidays or call Rabbi Nochum 530-404-0020.

For more information about the High Holidays visit www.JewishGV.com/HighHolidays.

Chabad of Grass Valley offers Jewish education, outreach and social-service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations

ROSH HASHANA

Community Dinner: Monday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gold Miners Inn. RSVP required.

Prayer Highlights, 60-minute service & Israeli Brunch: Tuesday Sept. 7, 10 a.m. at Chabad. Kindly RSVP.

Complete Services: Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 7-8 at 10 a.m.

Tashlich & Shofar Outdoor Ceremony: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m. at the corner of Broad and streets.
 

Kindly RSVP. Donations are appreciated. JewishGV.com/HighHolidays

ABOUT THE HIGH HOLIDAYS

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is observed this year on the evening of Sept. 6 through nightfall on Sept. 8. Literally meaning “head of the year,” the two-day holiday commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday.

Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement — is considered the holiest day of on the Jewish calendar. Beginning this year on the evening of Sept. 15 until after nightfall on Sept. 16, it marks the culmination of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. According to tradition, G-d decides each person’s fate on this day, so Jews mark the day by making amends and asking forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed by fasting and prayers.

Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz, director of Chabad of Grass Valley, toots his horn, aka Shofar, in preparation for the Jewish High Holidays.
Provided photo

Women light candles to usher in Rosh Hashanah at the Nevada City Elks Lodge in 2018.
Provided photo

Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz, director of Chabad of Grass Valley.
Provided photo

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