To hear the shofar (a ram’s horn) during Rosh Hashana and at the end of Yom Kippur services is one of the most important High Holidays traditions.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of Jewish life, including how Jews will hear the shofar during this High Holidays season. Most people will not be able to hear the shofar being blown in person at synagogue, so many organizations in the New York area are offering outdoor shofar experiences for the community.
Here are a few live shofar blowings you might enjoy during the holiday:
Shofar in the Park, Manhattan
Sponsored by the Chabad of the West Side, the 9th annual event takes place in the picturesque Central Park on the second day of Rosh Hashana, which is September 20 this year. The shofar will be blown at Norman Landscape at 86th Street and Central Park West (the NE corner entrance) between 3 and 6 p.m. It is an in-person event only and the shofar will be blown by musician Haim Avitsur. Find more details on their website here.
Shofar in the Streets
At this event, the shofar is taken outside the temple and into the streets. This event created by Temple Shaaray Tefila is a parade throughout the east side of Manhattan from East 96th Street uptown all the way to Seaward Park downtown on September 20 beginning at 4 p.m. Rabbi Mosbacher of Temple Shaaray Tefila will sound the main shofar blowing at East 79th Street and 2nd Avenue. From this parade, you can watch it from your window or see it while socially distanced and wearing masks.
Other congregations and institutions participating in the event include Congregation Emanu-El, East End Temple, Central Synagogue, Kehilath Jeshurun, Or Olam, the New York Board of Rabbis, and Park Avenue Synagogue. The full list of locations where the shofar will be blown is available on Temple Shaaray Tefila’s website here.
Shofar Across Brooklyn
UJA Federation of New York is making it easy to find a shofar to hear in neighborhoods across the borough of Brooklyn. Check the Shofar Across Brooklyn website here to find a local community that has committed to having a shofar blown on Sunday September 20, at 4 pm ET.
Shofar in the Park, Long Island
For residents of Long Island, Chabad of Manhasset is offering a shofar blowing program on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, at 4 pm in Manhasset Valle Park. Find more details on their website here.
Drive-By Shofar Blowing
If you’re located in Northern Westchester, try this drive-by shofar blowing before Rosh Hashanah begins, organized by Temple Beth El in Chappaqua. Stop by the synagogue September 18 at 3 pm for the live shofar blowing. More detail on the website here.
If you miss these events, be sure to check out the streaming shofar services from My Jewish Learning. We’ll broadcast these at 11 am ET and 2 pm ET on Sunday, September 20, 2020, from the My Jewish Learning Facebook page.