COVID-19 impacted so much this year, but it isn’t stopping the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles from blasting the shofar for the entire city to hear.
On Sept. 20, L.A. Jews can welcome in 5781 with the Shofar Wave.
Created by the religious leadership at IKAR, the wave involves placing people on corners throughout the city and asking them to blow the shofar — a much safer alternative to the traditional shofar service that would require hundreds to pack inside their synagogues.
“It feels like an obvious way for the various layers of Jewish community in Los Angeles to do this together,” IKAR Rabbi Sharon Brous told the Journal in August when plans started to form for what the High Holy Days would look like in pandemic times.
Locations span from Santa Monica, Westwood, West Hollywood and Thousand Oaks to Santa Clarita, Pasadena and Redonda Beach. To date, 26 synagogues are participating. The event will kick off at 3:00 PM on the second day of Rosh Hashanah with the first set of tekiot (shofar blasts) from Pasadena and, upon completion, will set off another and another, culminating in final blasts in Thousand Oaks at 3:50 PM.
“During these incredibly challenging times where most of our community is homebound, we are excited to partner with IKAR so that our entire community can share the mitzvah of hearing the sounds,” Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson said in a statement to the Journal.
Because of the Shofar Wave, Jews in all neighborhoods of all denominations will be able to observe the tradition of hearing the shofar in a safe and meaningful way throughout the city. The Shofar Wave features shofar blowers from around Los Angeles standing on street corners near their respective synagogues and, in sequential order, blowing the shofar to create a “wave” that will echo throughout Los Angeles. According to the Federation’s statement the “shofar [serves] as a symbol of hope and renewal — and the Shofar Wave as an extension.”
If your level of observance allows, the federation is encouraging families to capture the moment with photos and video and share them on social media using the hashtag #shofarwave.