With the Jewish High Holidays on the horizon, there comes a feeling of new hope.
I want to believe that coming together to celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days — even if you aren’t Jewish — somehow will make us all reconsider our purpose on this planet Earth.
It would be good for each of us to try to get to know someone who is different from us. Attend a Jewish holiday service to listen to the hauntingly beautiful music and to hear the soul-searching sermons.
By getting to see someone in their religious home, we start to understand each other. From understanding comes respect, and respect grows into love.
I will never forget the first time I entered a synagogue for a High Holy Day service. I was a new reporter at The Herald, who was sometimes assigned to assist our religion reporter at the time, Adon Taft.
During an interview with Rabbi Irving Lehrman, he invited me to the Yom Kippur service at Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach, where he served as the spiritual leader for nearly 50 years before he died in 2005.
I didn’t know a thing about Judaism and I was a bit excited. I took my younger son, Shawn, with me to the service. It was a learning experience for both of us, and the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Rabbi Lehrman.
Rabbi Lehrman gave me a book on Judaism. Not only did it open up my understanding, it also helped whenever I had to write about the Jewish religion. And through that first visit to a synagogue, I learned to love the Jewish faith. Many friendships have grown from that first visit to a Jewish house of worship, friendships that have blessed my life.
With that, I want to wish my Jewish friends a Happy New Year and I pray that the new year will bring us all peace.
High Holy Day Services, Part 1
The Chabad in Coral Gables will have its High Holy Day services at the Hotel Colonnade in Coral Gables.
The Rosh Hashana services are Sept. 29-Oct 1; the Yom Kippur services are Oct. 8-9. Both are free and everyone is welcome. Tickets and memberships are not needed.
“According to tradition, at the New Year, the doors of Heaven are open and God accepts all prayers, from everyone,” said Rabbi Avraham Stolik.
Rosh Hashana services will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 29, followed by a New Year’s Eve dinner that is RSVP only.
Yom Kippur services will begin at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 8. On Oct. 9, there will be a service at 10 a.m., followed by “Yizkor” (reciting a special prayer remembering the departed) at 12:30 p.m. At 6 p.m, there will be a closing service, followed by a “break-fast” buffet.
All services are at the Colonnade Hotel, 180 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Those who want to attend the Sept. 29 dinner need to make reservations by Sept. 24 at www.ChabadGables.com, or by calling 305-490-7572.
High Holy Day Services, Part II
Temple Judea, 5500 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables, is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Its High Holy Day theme will be “Civil Discourse.”
Rosh Hashana services will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 29. On Sept. 30-Oct. 1, services will be held throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m.
Yom Kippur services, also known as Kol Nidre, will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 8. On Oct. 9, the all-day service will start at 10 a.m.
Mt. Zion Baptist turns 123 years old
The Historic Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is celebrating its 123rd anniversary and Friends and Family Day at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.
The guest minister will be the Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the first female and African American to hold the position of U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. She also served as a domestic policy adviser under President Bill Clinton.
Following the service, there will be a book signing at the church, 301 NW Ninth St. in Overtown.
Gospel music celebration
The Miami-Dade Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals will have a musical celebration at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 29 at New Providence Missionary Baptist Church, 760 NW 53rd St. in Liberty City, where the Rev. Steven Caldwell is the pastor.
Special guests will include Earl Bynum, a Stellar Award winner and 2019 Grammy and Dove Award nominee, and Adriann Lewis Freeman, a two-time Stellar Award-winning recording artist.
Radio station WMBM 1490 AM will be honored for its support of the community and local gospel artists.
The event is free and open to the public. However, VIP tickets, which include special seating and an anniversary gift bag, are available online at Eventbrite for $20 each. Call 786-832-2362.
The Ralph Hogges and Benjamin Cowins Writers Group of South Florida will have a retreat from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Arts and Recreation Center (ARC) at 675 Ali Baba Ave. in Opa-locka.
The retreat is open to the community, and those interested in becoming a member of the group are welcome. Contact Dr. Ralph Hogges at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.