By Ali G.
This week marked the celebration of the two of the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Years’ celebration, a new beginning. Jewish student Alex K. explained to me that for him, at home, Rosh Hashanah was time of gathering with his family, and being together to ring in the New Year. However, students at the Family Foundation School were able to spend another important time with their surrogate families, their brothers and sisters at the school, and attended a special dinner with Rabbi Michelle Medwin to celebrate the ritual of Tashlich.
In observation of Tashlich, Jewish students were able to symbolically throw pieces of bread into our nearest body of water, the lake, which represented casting out their sins. It was a freeing and peaceful occasion. Yom Kippur is a more somber occasion, and signifies atonement for one’s sins. Observation of Yom Kippur allows one to be purified and clean up his or her shortcomings and failings, much like we in the program do in the 9th Step.
Those particularly dedicated in their faith, like student Adam P., fasted until sundown on Yom Kippur in order to observe the solemn occasion. The Jewish students also had the opportunity to go off-campus to Temple Shalom in Monticello, and Agudas Achem in Livingston Manor, with staff member Glenn Singer. “I was very grateful for the opportunity to go off-campus to celebrate the High Holidays,” said student Alex K., “It was nice to feel connected to the Jewish community.”