Parkland Temples Get Creative for Jewish New Year

Parkland Synagogues
Cantor Andy and Rabbi Kaplan wear masks during parts of the high holiday services at Beth Chai Temple. {Courtesy of Rabbi Kaplan}

By Jill Fox

Apples and honey are the same, but the congregation will be a little different during the Jewish New Year, as the temples of Parkland again prepare for the summer holidays during a time of uncertainty.

The two busiest religious days of the year, local temples determine the best ways to celebrate with or without anyone The Shanah Tovah (Hebrew for the Happy New Year) greeting.

At Congregation Kol Tikvah, services will take place both in person and live. The temple even went high-tech with electronic tickets for in-person experiences.

Their website reads: “We look forward to welcoming our congregational family again and starting a joyous year together. “

Seats will be limited to 50% of their capacity to allow adequate physical distance, masks are mandatory and anyone attending vacation services indoors must show proof of vaccination.

Family services will take place outdoors on Rosh Hashanah morning, and access is free and open to the public regardless of immunization status.

At Beth Chai Temple, virtual plans aren’t that simple.

The congregation typically numbers 600 to 700 people who attend Rosh Hashanah services at the auditorium of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“We don’t have our own building,” said Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan, who will pre-record the services at a Boca Raton shrine for posting on Facebook and YouTube.

The clergy promise to take viewers “on a journey through the days of awe with their most inspiring, spiritual and uplifting services.”

They will also be running a free Live Zoom service for kids on Monday September 6 at 5:00 p.m.

Chabad of Parkland has a reservation system for seating during live services in the socially distanced Main Synagogue with optional face covers. Participants can call the office to reserve a ticket, or free seats are available at no cost.

Other opportunities open to everyone include the sound of the shofar outside on September 6 and 7 at noon and a unique interactive indoor service for families of anyone with special needs on September 6 at 2 p.m.

Chabad has created a “Shofar Chauffeur” service for Parkland residents for those who choose to stay at home. To request it, contact Rabbi Shuy Biston.

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Author profile

Jill fox

Jill fox

Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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