Photo: Mukashev
Beyond the Bio

Traditions and Cultures: Jewish Families Gather Together for High Holy Days this September

Traditions and Cultures: Jewish Families Gather Together for High Holy Days this September

Scott Sarason Shares his Families Traditions and Background

This September, Jewish families will be celebrating what is often referred to as the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, known as the Day of Atonement. While the dates for these holidays change on the Gregorian, or secular, calendar each year, they actually remain the same on the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Hashanah begins on the first day of the seventh month, so this year’s celebration begins at sunset on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 and continues through sundown on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and begins a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, which is the holiest day in Judaism.

Scott Sarason, administrative partner in RumbergerKirk’s Miami office, shares how his family celebrates these sacred holy days.

“For Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, our family celebrates by sharing a dinner with the families of our friends. It is a traditional meal and everyone brings a special dish which is shared by all. Many of the dishes were enjoyed by our families when growing up and it reminds us of our families and where we have come from. The traditional foods include apples and honey hoping for a sweet new year,” he explained.

He shared that his family immigrated from Ukraine in the early 1900’s. “Our family recognizes how fortunate and blessed we are to have been able to come to this country and build a good life. We attend services at our Temple which includes the sounding of the shofar (carved out ram’s horn) and reciting prayers.

Yom Kippur begins on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 24 and ends on Monday, Sept. 25. “Yom Kippur is a time of reflection and repentance. We fast for 24 hours with no food or drink. During services at Temple, we ask for forgiveness for our wrongdoings.  At the end of Yom Kippur, we gather at our home with family and friends to break the fast with traditional foods,” he shared.

Shanah Tovah!