Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are peak experiences of the Jewish year. We are empowered then to return to our family and friends, to our own highest potential, and to G-d with renewed self-knowledge and optimism. These sacred days are spiritual “highs,” unique opportunities to clarify our personal goals and re-gain our sense of purpose and meaning in life. As with all significant Jewish experiences, however, they cannot be enjoyed in isolation. We need the embrace and encouragement of a community. So we invite you, your family and friends to celebrate and observe this special time at Beth Judah Wildwood.
SERVICES DO NOT REQUIRE FEES OR AFFILIATION however donations are appreciated as we rely on High Holiday contributions to support year-round programs. We require all guests, including relatives of members to register in advance. You may download and complete the Reservation form below, and return by mail or pdf, or call the office at
609-522-7541 to have the form mailed to you. Leave your name, address, phone, and email address so that we can send you the Reservation Form.
As we walk through the doors of the sanctuary during the High Holy Days, we open ourselves to possibilities—for our lives, for our community, and for our world. In this spirit, we offer some words of Torah and information as a way to begin preparing for the promise that the New Year holds.
“Hayom Harat Olam – today is the birth of the world.” These three words, which follow the shofer blowings embedded in the Rosh Hashanah service, imagine the Jewish New Year as the birthday of the world. A beautiful interpretation of this phrase observes that the word “harat” is related to the Hebrew word for pregnancy—herayon—and that the word “olam” can mean both world and eternity. In this reading, the phrase proclaims: “today is pregnant with eternal possibility and new life.”
As inspiring as this image may be, the process of giving birth—whether to a human life, a professional project, or a relationship—is rarely easy. Thus our Rosh Hashanah liturgy charges us with finding the clarity to see new possibilities for our lives, and the strength to walk the crooked and sometimes fraught path towards that vision.
This message has particular resonance for Beth Judah this year, because what is true on the individual level is true on the communal level as well. As we embark on a new year, we open to the endless potential for what our community can be, embracing with hope and with courage the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead.
[Jewish High Holidays Round Up]
ALIYAH, the honor of reciting the blessings over the Torah, means “going up” and refers both to the physical ascent of the person to the bimah where the Torah is read and to the spiritual uplifting associated with participation in this hallowed ritual. As always, we are most anxious to involve as many individuals as possible. You might like to have an Aliyah to say the Torah Blessings. However, you need not read Hebrew to participate. You might wish to have an English reading such as a psalm or a reflective reading. In fact, you need not read at all. You might wish to have an ark opening or the honor of lifting or wrapping the Torah. Whatever your choice is, open your heart and come and participate. The ALIYAH FORM lists the honors with a suggested minimum donation for each. Please use these as a guide (not a limit) and feel free to decide for yourself what is appropriate for you. Please complete the form below by the due date indicated on the form.
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE: Beth Judah will once again be publishing a Book of Remembrance for use during each Yiskor Memorial Service. This book includes, at no additional cost, all names that appear on our memorial plaques. For a donation of $18 a name, many of our congregants add special memorial messages to the beginning of the Book, a beautiful expression of tribute and remembrance. If you would like to participate, please fill out the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE form and send it with your check made out to Beth Judah Temple. Please complete the form below by the due date indicated on the form.
CEMETERY: Jews traditionally visit the graves of their loved ones over the High Holidays to remind themselves of the love and the legacy they left. This ritual is meant to bring kavod, honor to the one who has died and comfort to the living. This visit is also a way to set priorities straight, to remind ourselves about what truly matters, what remains long after we have left this earth: the good we did, the words we shared, the comfort we offered, the relationships we nurtured, the acts of kindness we performed, the times we asked forgiveness, the times we forgave, the love we freely gave and received.
BETH JUDAH FOOD DRIVE: On Yom Kippur we read these words from the Book of Isaiah: “Is not this the fast I look for? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?” We seek to fulfill these words through our High Holy Days Food Drive. Please bring a grocery bag or bags filled with non-perishable food items. Check our website for designated recipient of this years drive.
TZEDAKAH: Our tradition highly regards the concept of nediv lev which is best translated as “voluntary, heartfelt giving,” and giving from the heart is a significant part of the High Holiday season with its themes of transformation, reflection, and tzedakah. The High Holiday Appeal is an opportunity to make a meaningful gift that will sustain and grow Beth Judah in the coming year.
What we do this year, as with every New Year in the journey of the Jewish people, will determine our future and each step we take does make a difference. L’shana tovah u’metukah. May the new year bring sweetness and goodness to you and your family. We look forward to greeting you, your family and friends during our High Holiday services.
Mailing address: PO Box 1183, Wildwood, NJ 08260 | 609-522-7541| firstname.lastname@example.org