Interfaith event prepares families for High Holy Days
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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News.
By Jacqueline Mitchell
Little ones and their families learned all about Rosh Hashanah during an interfaith event co-sponsored by jHUB and Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike. At “Heading into the High Holidays – Let’s Get Ready to Celebrate,” held last month at Horseshoe Lake Pavilion in Shaker Heights, families gathered for Rosh Hashanah activities including singing, story time and a trip to the lake.
“We wanted to try to bring in some unaffiliated families for a nice joint venture,” said Rabbi Sharon Marcus of Park Synagogue. “This is the first time we’ve done something outdoors in the community, and it’s the first time we’ve partnered with jHUB.”
jHUB is an Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s initiative that connects and provides programming for interfaith families.
“(The event) was geared toward interfaith families who want to raise their children Jewish to learn a little bit more about the holidays,” Marcus said.
About 30 attendees learned about the holidays from Marcus and Rabbi Melinda Mersack, director of jHUB. Some were working toward conversion; others were members of Park Synagogue.
“We had a nice mix in the community,” said Marcus.
Children completed Rosh Hashanah-themed coloring pages, listened to music and walked down to Horseshoe Lake.
“We threw crackers into the water, symbolic Tashlich, and talked about throwing away your sins, starting the year fresh and saying you’re sorry,” Marcus said.
After, they enjoyed a snack of challah, apples and honey.