Thousand in Valley's Jewish community celebrating Rosh Hashanah

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Rosh Hashanah kicks off the start of the Jewish New Year and the beginning of a 10-day period leading into Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rosh Hashanah kicks off the start of the Jewish New Year and the beginning of a 10 day period leading into Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The holiday is considered holy and serves as a time of reflection for participating Jewish people.

Rabbi Rick Winer has been working behind the scenes at the Temple Beth Israel Reform Synagogue in Fresno to prepare for this time of the year.

Rabbi Rick says, "From a community perspective, this is the biggie. This is the most important time on the Jewish calendar and this is when the community comes out and gathers."

Over 250 families attend the local synagogue. It is one of the largest in the Central Valley.

Sharon Smith has been a staff member for the last five years.

This year is the first year services are mostly back to normal since the pandemic.

Sharon describes, "When you first walk in, you see people and you haven't seen them in quite a while, they're like, 'Oh, it's so nice to see you.' It's just heartwarming. And I think everybody felt that you could see it."

The holiday period consists of gatherings, feasts and fasting.

Rabbi Rick describes the experience as realizing what truly matters in life.

"Used for heightening one's spiritual sense and also reminding us that what's really important in life is not that which is material, but the things that are spiritual," he said.

Services will also be offered on zoom and Facebook live.

The festivities will continue through the Rosh Hashanah holiday. For local events and details, click here.