Center for Jewish Life

This year, the religious holiday of Rosh Hashana, which marks the Jewish New Year, began Friday, Sept. 15, and ended Sunday, Sept. 17. Arlington’s Center for Jewish Life, 129 Lake St., was the host for public celebrations.

As part of that, on Sunday at noon, the blowing of the shofar, a Jewish ritual musical instrument, is slated. The center also plans to provide interactive services, music and a community luncheon — including Rosh Hashana staples such as apple slices dipped in honey and other sweet foods symbolic of hope for a sweet year ahead.

This weekend, all holiday services at the center are to be free of charge, with no membership or affiliation required. According to a press release from Rabbi Avi Bukiet, this is an effort to welcome Arlington’s entire Jewish community to participate.

Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP for seating purposes; see the schedule and RSVP by scrolling to the bottom of the page. “This year, we’re expecting a larger-than-usual attendance,” Bukiet wrote.

The press release states that Rosh Hashana is a time when those of the Jewish faith pray for a good year ahead for all of humanity.

Having a publicly available celebration aims to instill pride and confidence against fears of rising antisemitism. In Arlington, there have been sporadic incidents throughout the past few years. In 2019, police investigated a fire outside Rabbi Bukiet’s home as a suspected hate crime. Earlier than that, YourArlington reported that seven antisemitic hate crimes were identified by police in 2017, including the use of slurs and acts of vandalism. 

“With all the talk of antisemitism in the press, folks in our community are telling me that they are planning to attend synagogue services to take action and demonstrate that the Jewish people are resolute and strong; and to pray for a good year ahead,” wrote Bukiet. 

The Center for Jewish Life plans to have trained security present, as they do for every weekend Shabbat, or sabbath, service. 

Feb 4, 2021: Petition aims to avoid Rosh Hashana conflict

This news announcement was published Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, based on information from the Center for Jewish Life in Arlington, and updated Sept. 18.