SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains will offer a combination of virtual and in-person socially-distant services and events in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The synagogue’s Family Service and its Community Shofar Blowing are both free and open to non-members.

From Sept. 8 through Sept. 17, Congregation Beth Israel will hold a Community Shofar Blowing so that congregants and members of the community will have opportunities to listen in-person to the sounds of the shofar, the ancient horn traditionally blown during the Jewish High Holy Days. On scheduled dates and locations, members of Congregation Beth Israel will blow the shofar for participants assembled safely outdoors. No registration is necessary. Participants are asked to wear masks. 

Congregation Beth Israel will also hold a free family service on Erev Rosh Hashanah, Friday evening, Sept. 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  This child-friendly service will be streamed online and available for anyone to join. Rabbi Howard Tilman and Cantor Matt Axelrod will officiate the service that combines traditional liturgy, child-friendly songs, and a holiday story. The service is open to everyone in the community, but online registration is required at

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“We know that the holidays will be different this year, but we are still thrilled to be offering this open High Holiday family service once again,” said Rabbi Tilman. “It’s a service that will be accessible and interesting to people of all ages and backgrounds. We want everyone to have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday from the comfort of their own home and this is our way of creating a special experience to begin the new year.”

The Community Shofar Blowing will be held on the following dates and times on the sidewalks in front of the following locations:

Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., 21 Allenby Lane, Scotch Plains   
Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m., 201 Pleasant Avenue, Fanwood
Sept. 13, 6:00 p.m., Congregation Beth Israel parking lot, 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains

Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m., 17 Traveller Way, Scotch Plains
Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., 10 Oxford Road, Scotch Plains

Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m., 755 Knollwood Terrace, Westfield  

Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m., 1507 Ramapo Way, Scotch Plains  

Congregation Beth Israel is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, serving the religious, educational, cultural and social needs of congregants from Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield and surrounding towns. It has an active Sisterhood, Men’s Club and youth group, plus a wide array of programs, ranging from adult education courses to social action opportunities.

Congregation Beth Israel has been recognized as an ABLE Awarded Congregation by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest for its commitment to inclusion and accommodation for all its members and guests. For more information, contact the synagogue office at (908) 889-1830 or Congregation Beth Israel is located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, NJ  (corner of Martine Ave.).