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How Seniors Can Celebrate Jewish Holidays Safely in 2020 (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, & More!)

With the upcoming holidays, and stay-at-home orders still in place, many are wondering how they can celebrate the holidays with their beloved families. The truth is seniors and their loved ones should still be able to look forward to celebrating all the upcoming Jewish holidays while keeping everyone safe.

Seniors and their loved ones can celebrate the following holidays by:

  • Social distancing
  • Wearing their masks
  • Communicating via video call 
  • Getting tested before gathering
  • Limiting the gatherings to 10 or less family members and friends 

Let’s explore the upcoming holidays and start planning all the activities which can still be enjoyed at home while social distancing and following state/county orders.

Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish New Year 

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah 2020 - Pandemic South Florida

The dates of Rosh Hashanah this year are September 18-20. The holiday begins on Friday evening and ends Sunday evening. The Jewish New Year celebration traditionally features joyous meals shared together.. On Rosh Hashana, the apples get dipped in the honey to symbolize a sweet new year ahead Other symbolic foods featured at the holiday table include

  • Two challahs
  • Dates
  • Gourd
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Pomegranates
  • A fish head
  • Honey cake
  • New (exotic) fruit

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays known as the Days of Awe, which lasts for 10 days and concludes on Yom Kippur. The days are a time for reflection and repentance, forgiveness, and hope for the new year ahead. 

During these uncertain times, it is important to stay in touch with loved ones and be thankful for your health.

Yom Kippur – The Jewish Day of Atonement 

Yom Kippur 2020 - How Seniors Can Celebrate

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement begins on the evening of Sunday, September 27th and ends the following evening. The highest of the holy days, it is a time for self-reflection spent in prayer and fasting to begin the new year with a clear conscience.

The holiday traditionally features a pre-fasting meal, featuring:

  • Stuffed dumplings
  • Rice
  • Challah with honey
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • And more! 

After fasting, a break-fast meal often includes (but not limited to)

  • Kugel, eggs
  • Cheese
  • Quiches
  • Bagels

Sukkot – The Feast of the Tabernacles 

 

Sukkot 2020 - Celebrate with Seniors

Sukkot or The Feast of the Tabernacles begins Friday evening, October 2nd, and concludes on Friday evening October 9th. It is traditionally followed by Shemini Atzeret (October 10th) and Simchas Torah (October 11th).

The holiday commemorates the Hebrews trek in the Sinai prior to entering the promised land and serves as a celebration of the fall harvest. The holiday features the building of a sukkah, which can be a perfect activity for you and your family to come together and decorate.

Celebrating the Holidays Safely During the Pandemic 

The traditional activities of the holidays can continue at home, such as the preparation and cooking of traditional meals, which can be enjoyed with immediate family and even close friends. Social distancing should still be practiced protecting seniors from infection while allowing them to enjoy the holiday traditions with family.

In fact, older family members would likely enjoy teaching traditional recipes to younger family members. During the time together, seniors can also share family stories of past holidays and even enjoy reminiscing about their own childhood when they learned the traditions, as well as the foods prepared, and the symbolism behind them.

In situations where seniors are unable to join family members, video conferencing is a great way to share holiday traditions with them. They can prepare the foods and guide young ones who can follow along in their own homes.

In either instance, families can still enjoy reading from the Torah and joining in prayer together, as well as carrying on family traditions during the upcoming holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. 

Gathering Together Safely for 2020 Jewish Holidays 

The holidays present a wonderful time to gather safely and be encouraged. The caring team of Jewish Family Home Care is ready to help when needed, with the promise of reliable home care and enhanced quality of life for you or your loved one.

Feel free to contact us if you need assistance and discover how our well-trained and compassionate caregivers can help you and your family provide the best care for the seniors in your life.