Celebrating the Jewish New Year in a new synagogue — with new COVID-19 protocol

Local News

Turning off the computer and putting on a mask for Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year — 5782.

The Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, Allan Ross, explained how excited the Jewish community is to be back together for the important service, “being together is so emotionally satisfying,” Ross said. “It’s one of the most important holidays in the Jewish community around the world.”

The local congregations had to alter tradition last year by hosting online service. The President of the Congregation Beth Israel, Lee Blumberg described, “It was fun but it was rather difficult having about 90 to 100 people on a zoom call.” Blumberg said, “I’m just excited to be back in the sanctuary with family and friends.”

This time everything feels new — it’s a new year with new rules, and a new sanctuary

“Everyone coming is supposed to be vaccinated and we’re wearing masks inside, we’re doing the best we can do doing some social distancing as well as best we can,” Ross said. Regarding the new synagogue hosting the community, he added, “this is really our first service here.”

This holiday may mark the beginning of the year, but it also represents the continuation of a tight knit community.”

Ross explained how the Jewish community in the Quad Cities cares for one another, “we can depend on each other ultimately if anything goes wrong if we need help we can call on each other and we’ll be there to help each other.”

The pandemic brought about challenge for those across the world. While the Quad Cities endured many struggles, local Jewish congregations worked together to help out.

“We made sure all our people were vaccinated if they wanted to be vaccinated.” Ross said.

The Jewish community in the Quad Cities extended this value of compassion outside of their own circle.

Ross elaborated on the community’s endeavors, “it wasn’t just Jewish individuals, others outside the community heard what we were doing, heard we can get them vaccinated and can get appointments and we did that not just for the Jewish community, but for the general community as well.”

The new year 5782 brings about a fresh new start — surrounded by old friends.

Blumberg shares why this year feels so special, “It just has a bit more meaning to be in sanctuary with friends and family in front of the Torah.”

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