PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Rabbi Mark Sameth of Pleasantville Community Synagogue said he is looking forward to ringing in the year 5755.
The synagogue has a full slate of services planned to celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. Rosh Hashana is followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and Sukkot, the celebration of the fall harvest. Rosh Hashana begins at sundown Wednesday, Sept. 24.
"It's a joyous time for us," Sameth said.
Traditions include eating apples with honey and wishing people a l'shanah tovah.
"Families gather for dinner together, and synagogues around the world have services," Sameth said. "We read from the Torah, and rabbis typically give a sermon. We've been busy, but it's been good."
Due to a large crowd, the synagogue hosts its services at the Rosenthal Jewish Community Center at 600 Bear Ridge Road.
The synagogue has its own traditions, including 30 minutes of Jewish meditation and practicing Tashlich, the throwing away of sins, by throwing bread into the water of Nannahagen Pond. Sameth said the holiday is all about community.
"This is the time of the year where everyone comes together, often with extended family," Sameth said. "It's really a beautiful thing. Jews are celebrating all over the world.
Sameth said it's important for people to reboot and think about their priorities.
"I remember the holiday when I was a little kid," Sameth said. "It was always the time of year when the family would come together. It has a lot of personal and communal meeting for me."
Sameth said his sermon will be about intermarriage and how the synagogue welcomes everyone.
"I want to make it clear that we are radically inclusive," Sameth said. "We welcome Jews, non-Jews, GLBTQ, multiracial, neurotypical and neuroatypical. Everyone is welcome."
The synagogue recently hosted a Friday night service for special needs children.
"The place was packed," Sameth said. "Everyone has a place in our community. We really want to communicate that."
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