Jewish New Year begins on Sept. 25

WEST BRATTLEBORO — Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 25, ushers in the Jewish New Year 5783, and the sacred 10-day period known as the Days of Awe.

Jewish people in Vermont - and all over the world - engage in a time of introspection. They make amends to those they have wronged, work toward forgiving others and themselves, and seek atonement (aka At-One-ment) for “missing the mark” during the year.

On Rosh Hashanah, the Shofar (a ram's horn) is blown, calling us to “Wake Up!”

“This ancient alarm rouses us from indifference, moves us to action, and renews our conviction to keep going despite seemingly insurmountable challenges…The shofar inspires us to rise above despair and embrace the promise of a better world,” wrote Robert Bank, CEO of American Jewish World Service.

On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, 25 hours are spent in prayer and contemplation with no food or drink, sexual contact, bathing, use of perfumes or cosmetics. Ne'ilah, the closing service of Yom Kippur, begins at sundown, giving the congregation a final chance to ask for forgiveness and to pray for life as the symbolic Gates of Heaven are closing.

Congregation Shir Heharim (the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community) invites Jews, their families and friends to attend Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.

These services will be led by Rabbi Amita Jarmon, assisted by various congregants, at the West Village Meeting House (All Souls Church). Masks are required at all services in accordance with All Souls' COVID policy. Services will also be available by livestream at

Rosh Hashanah services begin at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25. Morning prayers begin on the 26th at 9:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Yom Kippur services begin on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m., with the beautiful and haunting Kol Nidre prayer, and resume at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

A Yizkor service to remember and honor departed loved ones will occur around noon. The late afternoon service begins at 5 p.m., with a reading from the Book of Jonah, followed by Ne'ilah, the closing service, and a communal break-the-fast.

Everyone is welcome at these services. BAJC hopes that guests will help cover the expense of making services available to all during these difficult times. Consider mailing donations to BAJC, P.O. Box 2353, Brattleboro, VT 05303. Donations from guests will be applied toward membership if the donor decides to become a member of the congregation at any time during the year.

For more information contact Rabbi Jarmon at [email protected], Martha at [email protected], or call 802-257-1959.

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