Lubavitch-Chabad safely holding services for Rosh Hashana

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, begins Friday evening and members of the Jewish community in Gainesville are finding ways to celebrate the holiday despite COVID-19.

The Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student and Community Center has put a number of safety precautions in place to observe the holiday both with the community and at home.

The organization has set up an outdoor seating area capable of holding 150 people while maintaining social distancing and has expanded to three services to accommodate more people. They’ve also delivered more than four hundred meal kits containing food and other essential supplies needed to properly celebrate the holiday to people who are unable to attend any of the services.

“We have to do it safely, properly, to be able to serve on any level we can to provide the spiritual, the physical nourishment that Jewish people and people in general need,” said Rabbi Berl Goldman, the Director of the Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student and Community Center.

“On one hand, it’s difficult, or challenging. On the other hand, it’s an honor and humbling to be able to accommodate the needs of our students and our community at large and people are very appreciative. People want to connect during this time of the new year.”

The services Friday evening are at 6, 7:30, and 9 o’clock and require face coverings and an online reservation to attend. The organization will not be allowing any walk-ins this year for health and safety reasons.

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