Staff Report

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar is nearing, and there are still many Jews who have no plans to attend services.

Some are not affiliated with a synagogue; others are looking for enjoyable, meaningful and inspiring services, while others will be in town visiting their families and loved ones; and a sizable percentage simply don’t feel comfortable in a synagogue setting. There are also some who cannot afford the cost of services.

Whatever the case is, many of these would-be worshippers are feeling the pangs associated with being left out of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, the local Valrico branch of the largest Jewish outreach organization in the world, has presented its own High Holiday services option, providing services at no charge for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a warm and inclusive setting.

Chabad’s services are “user-friendly,” making it enjoyable and meaningful for both the beginner and the advanced.  Song, commentary and the use of English-Hebrew prayer books, enable those of all levels to become active participants in the services.

“According to Jewish tradition, on the Jewish New Year, the doors of Heaven are open.
God accepts prayers from everyone,” said Chabad Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, who is the Rabbi at the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center. “The least we can do is open our doors as well, to the entire community.  Whether someone can afford to pay or not, whether he/she is familiar with a synagogue or has never been to one, we will do our best to ensure that everyone is made to feel welcome.”

Rosh Hashanah begins this year after sundown on Wednesday, September 20 and extends until nightfall on September 22. Yom Kippur begins this year at sundown on the eve of Friday, September 29 and extends until nightfall on September 30.
Services will be held at the Jewish Discovery Center, located at 1578 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

Space is limited. To reserve a space, register online at  or call Chabad Jewish Discovery Center at 571-8100. There is no charge for services.
For more information on the Jewish High Holidays,

visit To find High Holiday services in hundreds of cities throughout the world, visit

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