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Rosh Hashanah 2010 or 5771

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Rosh HashanahRosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, starts at sunset on September 8, 2010 and ends on nightfall September 10, 2010. The Jewish new year starts year 5711. The High Holy Days consist of Rosh Hashanah and the ten days to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, this year on starting at sunset September 17, 2010 through nightfall September 18, 2010.

If you're Jewish, you know there is one holiday out of the year that you're not supposed to miss. Rosh Hashanah is to the Jews what Easter is to followers of Christianity. Not Chanukah, not Passover, not any other holiday that your average American might be able to name or associate with Judaism. It's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. 

The Jewish New Year is an important religious holiday because it is seen as the day of judgement. Literally translated as "head of the year," Rosh Hashanah is observed through religious services that involve reflection and repentance. Rosh Hashanah starts the "High Holy Days," lasting the ten days til Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement. Between these two high holy days, people repent so that they are written in the book of life. Services involve the sounding of the shofar, a ram's horn that was traditionally used to sound the beginning of holy days. 

Traditional meals for Rosh Hashanah include a round challah (braided bread), roast chicken or brisket, and apples with honey. Eating naturally sweet foods such as apples, honey, dates and so forth ensure you a "sweet new year." Some excellent Rosh Hashanah recipes can be found at BonAppetit.com.

If you're looking for a place to go for Rosh Hashanah services in Philadelphia, the best place to look for a service that fits you is with the Kehillah of Center City Philadelphia.

On Rosh Hashanah, you want to greet friends and family by saying "L'shana tova," wishing them a good year. שנה טובה

And now a Call to Action from the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia: