Many families to celebrate Rosh Hashanah virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Temple Beth Sholom, a conservative synagogue in Cherry Hill, was gearing up Friday to celebrate Rosh Hashanah virtually.

The temple got creative with a cardboard cutout audience, similar to the one at the Philadelphia Phillies games, incorporating a bit of humor.

"Usually we have a couple thousand people in the sanctuary and 500 people in our family services, but this year, in order to keep everyone safe, we are providing virtual options," Rabbi Micah Peltz said.

Rabbi Peltz said also this year, every member received a high holy day box. His message this year pertains to the times.

"It's we, not me. The idea that we can't be only focused on our own needs but we need to be focused on the needs of our community and needs of others in our country," he said.

Members of Temple Beth Sholom will gather for an in-person service on Sunday. The service will be outside and socially distant.

"For Tashlich, which is a ceremony where we take some bread and symbolizes our mistakes from the past year," Rabbi Peltz said.

Brian and Rita Adler, of Marlton, have been cooking for the holiday since early Friday morning.

"Spinach Kugel is in the oven, potato knish, a lot of good traditional dishes," Brian Adler said.

Usually they're for hosting 30, but this year the group is cut in half.

"Just our immediate family and one close family friend that has been on our quarantine team," Rita Adler said.

"One of the common things you wish people is - at the beginning of the year - is good health and happiness for the upcoming year. I think COVID drives that point home a little bit more," Brian Adler said.
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