Celebrating Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year – Sept. 16-18

Students, faculty, staff, their families, and community members are invited to join Elon Hillel to celebrate and observe the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins on Sunday evening, September 16, and is observed for one or two days, depending on family tradition.

Services will be led by Cantor Katy Claussen, who was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

It is traditional on Rosh HaShanah to blow the shofar (ram’s horn) to welcome in the New Year. The shofar will be blown by Spencer Frankston ’16, Spencer Kaplan ’15, AJ Kessler ’14, and Diana Abrahams ’13. 

As part of the Rosh HaShanah service, Cantor Claussen and students will read from a Sefer Torah, a handwritten copy of the Torah, the holiest book within Judaism, containing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.  Thank you to Judea Reform Congregation (Durham) and North Carolina Hillel for loaning Torahs to Elon University.

All services are free and do not require reservations or tickets.

Erev Rosh HaShanah dinner will be served at 6:00 pm in Oaks 212, on Sunday, September 16,  from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. The dinner is for students, staff, faculty, and their families.  The dinner is free, thanks to the generosity of the family of Eva Yaffe ’13, but tickets are required.  Contact Ginny Vellani, Hillel Jewish Life Associate to obtain free tickets.

Erev (Evening) Rosh HaShanah services will be held on Sunday, September 16, at 7:30 pm in Whitley Auditorium.  Following the service, enjoy traditional apples and honey.

Rosh HaShanah morning services will be held on Monday, September 17, at 10:00 am in Whitley Auditorium.  Following the service, enjoy traditional apples and honey and round sweet challah.

Also, on Monday, September 16, at 4:00 pm, join Hillel for the traditional Tashlich Ritual on the shores of Lake Mary Nell.  Tashlich (?????) is a ritual that many Jews observe during Rosh HaShanah. “Tashlich” means “casting off” in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water. Just as the water carries away the bits of bread, so too are sins symbolically carried away. In this way the participant hopes to start the New Year with a clean slate.

For the first time this year, Elon Hillel is offering second-day Rosh HaShanah services on campus. Second Day Rosh HaShanah services will be held on Tuesday, September 18, at 10:00 am in Whitley Auditorium

High Holiday Food Drive: Beginning Erev Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, Elon Hillel will offer the opportunity to do good works (gemilut hasadim) and create justice (tzedek) in our community by collecting food for the hungry in our community.

Yom Kippur begins on Tuesday evening, September 25.

For more information, contact Nancy Luberoff, Elon University Hillel Director.