Hillel kicks off Jewish holy days with Rosh Hashana celebration

Audrianna Modon

Jewish students celebrated Rosh Hashanah at Hillel Wednesday with song, prayer, food and a sense of community.

Abigail Bucy, a sophomore communications studies major and attendee of the event, said Rosh Hashana is a day of momentous happiness.

Rosh Hashana symbolizes the start of the Jewish New Year, and is the first of the Jewish high holy days. It is followed by ten days of repentance, which is signified during the event when the shofar, a hollowed out ram’s horn, is blown as a call for repentance. 

“The whole holiday is about reflecting on your past year,” said Rachel Marchese, the president of Hillel’s student board.

Lauren Novick, the marketing and communications coordinator of Hillel’s student board, said the high holy days are “kind of a time to be able to start fresh,” and “let all the things go that have been holding you back.”

“I like to spend it with my friends and family,” said Novick, a sophomore pre-fashion merchandising major. “So it’s just a comforting time. I’ll definitely be reflecting.”

The holiday also emphasizes forgiveness and moving on from past grudges.

“I’ll definitely be reflecting,” Novick said. “I know this time (of year) a lot of people don’t hold grudges against you. If you ever had grudges they’ll make sure it’s all just in the past and to move on from everything. So I know I’ll be doing that and reaching out to some people to start fresh.”

Hillel is also hosting their own dinner and service Sept. 29 for Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown and lasts through Sept. 30. You may register for the activity online here.

Those who observe this holiday commonly fast all day Saturday and attend services Sunday morning, breaking the fast with dinner that night.

Marchese said Hillel has provided her and others with an avenue to continue celebrating their heritage away from home.

“It’s also really nice because now Hillel’s here and I do get to have that service and I do get to have that lunch or dinner with those 30 other people. Our motto is: your home away from home. It’s cheesy, but it’s true.”

Audrianna Modon is the coalition of education and health and human services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].