Away for the High Holidays UMD

haveuheard away high holidays holiday

Celebrate High Holidays with a New Community

Generally, our kids get to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for those who celebrate the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, it may be your first one without your student at your holiday table. While it may feel strange having that empty seat, it can feel better to know that they are celebrating the high holidays with a new community of their peers. There are options for Jewish students at UMD. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate.

Time Off

Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and it doesn’t look like UMD is any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the high holiday, but chances are class will go on and they will be responsible for any work. Even if they do get a day or two off, it is not always enough time to travel back home. This is another reason it is nice to know that there is a place for students to go even if just for a festive meal. There are services too; there are even sukkahs on Sukkot.

Yom Kippur, the holiday when people can repent for their sins and fast can be difficult at school, particularly when it falls in the middle of a busy week. However, depending on your family beliefs, sticking to family tradition is possible.

The Jewish Community

Students can enjoy and celebrate the holidays with their on-campus community. The UMD Hillel usually holds Rosh Hashanah services in the Student Services Building on the first day of Rosh Hashanah only this year everything is different, including how students can observe the holidays. The Hillel is working hard to plan a safe way to enjoy the holidays. As of late August, Hillel announced that they will be hosting both online and in-person options. They are going to be partnering with Hillel International and Reboot to celebrate the high holidays. They will have a number of options for services available for students to sign up when they are available. In addition to these online options, UMD Hillel will hold Conservative and Orthodox Services in-person. They will post dates and information for registration, so make sure you keep an eye out on their website for updates.

The UMD Chabad offers much of the same options as UMD Hillel. As of right now, they have not decided what they are planning on doing for the upcoming high holidays. Stay tuned as each holiday comes closer as they will update their page and calendar of events.

  • The dates for this year’s holidays:
  • Rosh Hashanah-  9/18-9/20
  • Yom Kippur- 9/27-9/28
  • Sukkot- 10/2-10/9
  • Simchat Torah- 10/10-10/11

Send a Care Package

I tried to send challah, honey, and a few other goodies one year and although UPS in Florida from one city to another is merely overnight, it cost much more to ship than to purchase. There are delivery services that can bring your student a treat of your choice though. Check out our blog on delivery services here. Or consider ordering a prepared care package. Somehow sending a care package as a gentle reminder of the holiday may push them towards the Hillel or Chabad a bit faster. We like Challah Connection.

While in college away from familial control, it’ll be extremely difficult to follow the fasting rule or go to synagogue at all. However, as they begin their new and independent lives, this too is part of the learning process. Just remember, even if they choose to skip what is the norm for your family while away at school, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are abandoning all that you taught them throughout their childhood.

Happy New Year!

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2020-09-01T12:46:38-04:000 Comments

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