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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 students 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 UNF. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate.
Rosh Hashana this year is September 29-Oct 1 and Yom Kippur is October 8-9, 2019.
Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and it doesn’t look like UNF is any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the 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 since it falls right in the middle of a busy week this year. 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 Chabad Southside offers services for the high holidays. All services are being held at the brand new Finker-Frenkel Chabad Center on the Tabacinic Campus (at UNF) – 11271 Alumni Way, Jacksonville, FL 32246. Rosh Hashana services will be Sunday the 29th. Services start at 7:00 pm. Monday the 30th , morning services begin at 10:00 am with evening services at 7:00 pm. Tuesday, October 1st , morning services begin at 10:00 am. The Chabad is offering dinner Sunday and Monday night. For more information about reservations click here. Yom Kippur services will be Tuesday, October 8th. Kol Nidre will begin at 6:50 pm. Morning services on Wednesday the 9th will begin at 10:00 am, with Yizkor at noon. Evening services will begin at 6:00 pm. All services at The Chabad Southside are free.
Here is a link for a UNF Jewish Osprey facebook page.
Send a Care Package
The synagogue I belong to sends out care packages to their congregant’s college students if you have provided their name and address. You can send challah, honey, and a few other goodies through UPS in Florida; typically from one city to another is merely overnight. 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, 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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