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Chabad Lubavitch of Southside, Inc.

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Amid Pandemic, Chabad to Offer Outdoor High Holiday Service in Jacksonville

With Years of Experience Organizing Outdoor Shofar Services, Chabad Has Adapted its Model for the Jewish New Year of 5781 with COVID-19.

Jacksonville, FL, September 11, 2020 --( With the High Holidays approaching and COVID-19 creating difficulties for many in joining a traditional synagogue service, Chabad of Southside will hold an outdoor Rosh Hashanah Shofar service on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 2pm open free to all Jewish Jacksonvillians, no membership required.

The service, which will include prayers for the wellbeing of all humanity, a key theme of Rosh Hashanah, will also be centered around hearing the sound of the Shofar, the central observance of the holiday. It will be one of thousands listed on, the world’s largest directory of outdoor High Holiday services.

“The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, considered the most influential rabbi in modern history, insisted that the observance of hearing the Shofar, the key observance of Rosh Hashanah, be made accessible to all Jews even those not attending synagogue,” Rabbi Novack explained. “Chabad of Southside has always prioritized making Judaism available to all. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has taken on a whole new meaning, but our mission to serve everyone remains the same.”

While Rosh Hashanah services are generally held in a synagogue (and will offered this year as well), Chabad has in past years met the needs of those who couldn’t make it with a short outdoor service focused on the shofar observance. Chabad of Southside also creates accessibility by creating a welcoming and nonjudgmental atmosphere and affordability, with no expectation of membership or affiliation. This year, they’ve gone a step further to ensure that the very real health concerns Jacksonville faces are not an impediment to holiday observance.

“Our goal is to lower the barriers of entry, and to encourage each and every Jewish person to actively participate in the observances of Rosh Hashanah,” said Dr. Lazar Finker, Chabad’s President. “This year, that means bringing a Rosh Hashanah service to a location where people can safely participate and making it free of charge as many in our community are hurting financially now.”

The brief service will include the sounding of the shofar as well as selected prayers from the High Holiday liturgy. While not a substitute for the complete Rosh Hashanah prayer service (which can and should be done at home if one is not able to join a congregation), the service will enable everyone to hear the shofar, and bring a heightened sense of community during this difficult time.

Chabad of Southside will also be hosting their regular traditional High Holiday service, albeit with a more limited crowd and distanced, throughout the Holidays the schedule and a link to reserve a seat is available on their website.

For more information about this ceremony contact Chabad at 904-646-4434 or visit

Press Contact:
Rabbi Shmuli Novack 904-646-4434 . (Note: In keeping with Jewish practice, Rabbi Novack will be unable to answer phone calls or email inquiries on the holiday, and interviews and photo ops will be available before the holiday, which begins Friday, Sept 18 at sunset.)

About Chabad of Southside
Chabad of Southside offers Jewish education, outreach and social-service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations from the recently completed Finker-Frenkel Chabad Center. For more information visit

About Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins this year at sundown on September 18 through nightfall on September 20. Literally meaning “head of the year,” the two-day holiday commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday. For more information about Rosh Hashanah, visit

About the Shofar
The shofar is the central symbol of Rosh Hashanah, which is celebrated near the beginning of each fall. Synagogues blast the shofar every day for a month leading up to the holiday, culminating with a sequence of 100 blasts during the Rosh Hashanah services, which take place this year on September 20. The cry of the shofar is a call to repentance as Jews look back at misdeeds of the past year and resolve to improve during the coming one. From more on the shofar, visit

Note: The shofar is only sounded on Sunday, September 20. While Rosh Hashanah services will also take place the preceding day, Saturday, September 19 and the evening of Friday September 18, the Shofar is not sounded then, as its use is actually prohibited on Shabbat.
Contact Information
Chabad Lubavitch of Southside, Inc.
Shmuli Novack

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