More than 1,500 people showed up Saturday at Temple Judea in Coral Gables to observe Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
The 10 a.m. service, led by Rabbi Judith Lazarus Siegal, kicked off with a video of clergy members singing to congregants “We begin again, Amen.”
“Welcome, ‘Shanah tovah’ to each one of you. We are so grateful to have you here,” Siegal said.“There’s truly nothing like coming together for the holidays, for these Holy Days, to remind us what community is all about.”
As they entered the synagogue, members were greeted with a name tag and a prayer book, or “Machzor,” with Torah readings and prayers in both Hebrew and English to follow along.
The music, led by Cantor Lisa Segal, was a mix of traditional hymns and modern songs, with one of the songs being a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” sung first in Hebrew, than English.
“I’m more of a contemporary cantor. I play the guitar, I have this rock band background. I definitely, in my musical choices and programming, am always thinking about the young worshipers,” she said. “We weave in these ancient melodies that date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, that when you walk into any synagogue, you know the time of year.”
Cantor Segal’s favorite part of Rosh Hashana service is acting as a connector between her community and God. “I want them to feel elevated, moved, humbled and spiritually renewed with a sense of awe and grandeur that I feel when I stand before the open ark on these High Holy Days.”
Here’s a closer look at the services:
Sounds of the service
Prayers of the service
Honoring the Torah
Teaching the children
“One of the goals of these days is to turn inward and recommit to our new goals ahead and the new ahead,” Rabbi Siegal said. “When we hear that sound of the shofar, that’s a big part of it, to call us back to community to ourselves and to God. To go forward into the year in a new and better way.”
This report was created with philanthropic support from Christian, Muslim and Jewish funders in partnership with Journalism Funding Partners. The Miami Herald retains editorial control of all work.