Although it’s been more than a month since Rosh Hashanah, great memories linger among the members of Congregation Torah Ohr’s Century Village Connects program. The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County provided funds for them to celebrate the first day of Rosh Hashanah with a unique “Have a Blast on Us” event – a free shofar blowing celebration held in late September.
This Century Village Connects program enables seniors to connect to Jewish experiences and socialize with each other, while connecting to their neighbor — the Torah Ohr synagogue. The program is unique because it allows affiliated and non-affiliated Jewish residents to create strong common bonds.
A grant from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County generously funds the Century Village Connects program. Rabbi Benjamin Yasgur said that Century Village Connects is a way for his congregation to reach out to the community and build bridges.
“There is no membership requirement to enjoy the opportunities we provide to experience Jewish traditions as a community,” said Rabbi Yasgur.
In the Bible, Rosh Hashanah is called Yom Teruah, which means the day of blasting the shofar (ram’s horn). The shofar is sounded 100 times during a traditional Rosh Hashanah service. The shofar blower must first take a big breath to make the sounds when the air blows out, symbolizing that we must all first turn inward to fix ourselves before we can burst out and contribute to the world.
Despite inclement weather on the event’s scheduled day, the annual shofar-blowing provided an exciting way for Century Village Connects to bring in the New Year. An intimate group of seniors gathered to hear Rabbi Yasgur speak about the goals of Rosh Hashana and to blow the shofar to fulfill the mitzvah. Light refreshments and informal conversation followed.