By: Jen Russon
Over 30 volunteers gathered at the Chabad on Atlantic Boulevard on Monday to prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which marks the Jewish New Year’s start in September.
Rabbi Yankie Denburg, heading up the effort to pack 1,000 High Holiday gift packages this week, is calling the massive volunteer event now underway “Project Sweet New Year” and described his Chabad program, even compared to the many others he has done, as unique.
“The packages have apples, honey jars, round Challah, honey cake, grape juice, Shabbat candles, and a beautiful 60 page High Holiday guide,” said Denburg.
He shared that his volunteers and congregants seem to be enjoying this opportunity to better connect with their neighbors during a time in Judaism that celebrates God’s creation of the world.
“The novelty of this project is that we will be giving these volunteers, and others volunteering for deliveries later in the week, the names of their Jewish neighbors whom they may have never known before,” said Denburg.
The rabbi added his belief the packages would be well-received during a time he described as marked by social distancing and tremendous loneliness because of COVID-19.
“Many of us on the outside seem fine but are actually feeling even more lost than ever as the Jewish New Year approaches. Some of these families have no family nearby or cannot attend community dinners with friends,” said Denburg.
Volunteers at Chabad Jewish Center of Coral Springs confirmed their goal in packing so many traditional Rosh Hashana items to provide anyone struggling with a meaningful touchpoint of love.
This year, Rosh Hashana falls on September 18 and is followed by ten days of celebration that come to a joyous end on Yom Kippur, September 27, 2020.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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