Home Essex CountyBloomfield A Guide to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Montclair + Essex County | 2023

A Guide to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Montclair + Essex County | 2023

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Summer is quickly slipping away, but September is a month filled with many events — from back-to-school happenings and Hispanic Heritage Month to the start of the fall season. The Jewish High Holy Days are another highlight for the month of September. Jewish holidays are based on the lunisolar calendar, meaning that land on different days each year. This year, Rosh Hashanah starts on the evening of September 15th and ends on September 17th; and Yom Kippur starts on the evening of September 24th and runs through September 25th. The Montclair Girl has you covered on what you need to know about the Jewish High Holy Days in 2023 — including how to observe both in Essex County and the surrounding North Jersey area. Read on to learn more about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 2023 in North Jersey — including where to buy challah, bagels, apples, + other holiday treats.

rosh hashanah yom kippur montclair essex county new jersey

All About Rosh Hashanah

In Judaism, holidays begin on the evening before the day is observed. The reason for this stems back to the Creation story — it’s believed that God created night before day, so nighttime is viewed as being the start of the following day. The book of Genesis reads, “And it was evening, and it was morning; day one.” According to the Torah, every day begins with the night before. This is why Shabbat dinner is held on Friday nights even though Saturday is the Sabbath.

Read More: Tasty Passover Treats to Try in North Jersey

Rosh Hashanah is the official Jewish New Year and is one of the holiest days in the whole religion. It starts on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish Calendar. During Rosh Hashanah, it is customary for Jews to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. Challah bread, which is eaten frequently in many Jewish families, is also served in a round or spiral shape rather than the usual long loaf. People have different interpretations for this, but many say it’s meant to symbolize continuity, the circle of life, and/or progress. Jews wish each other l’shana tova on Rosh Hashanah, which translates to, “For a good year.”

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, also known as Yamim Noraim or the Days of Repentance. During these 10 days, which end with Yom Kippur, Jews are meant to reflect on their past mistakes and repent. It’s believed that God keeps a book on who will live and who will die for the upcoming year — on Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, meaning Jews have these 10 days to make good decisions before the book is closed.

We are currently in the year 5783, with the year 5784 being welcomed in the coming weeks.

This year, Rosh Hashanah will be observed starting the evening of September 15th and will run through the evening of September 17th.

All About Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur closes out the Days of Awe and is one of the most solemn and holiest days of the year in the Jewish religion. Yom Kippur is a day of atonement, and observant Jews must fast (abstaining from food + drink) for a full 24 hours from sundown to sundown. The day is meant to be spent in prayer, meditation, and personal reflection — as well as seeking forgiveness and giving forgiveness for all past sins.

The day culminates in a big breakfast with friends and family. Ashkenazi Jews typically eat brunch-style foods like bagels and lox, while Sephardic Jews often prefer light breads and savory meats. The idea is to try to eat something filling and satisfying without upsetting the stomach after the fast.

This year, Yom Kippur starts on the evening of September 24th and runs through September 25th. Montclair Public Schools will be closed on Monday, September 25th.

Local High Holy Day Events

Chabad of Montclair | 690 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair

From September 15th to September 25th, Chabad of Montclair will be celebrating the upcoming High Holidays at The MC Hotel. Their schedule is as follows:

Rosh Hashanah:

Saturday, September 16th:

  • 10AM-1PM: Morning Service

Sunday, September 17th:

  • 10AM-1:30PM: Morning Service
  • 11:30AM: Sounding of the Shofar

On both days, after the services, there will be a Kiddush lunch to follow. For families with children, there will be kids service and babysitting offered during the times of the service.

Yom Kippur:

Sunday, September 24th:

  • 6:30PM: Koi Nidrei (opening service)

Monday, September 25th:

  • 9:30AM: Shacharit (morning service)
  • 11:30AM: Yizkor (memorial service)
  • 5:15PM: Mincha + Neila (afternoon + closing service)
  • 7:30PM: Break-Fast

Babysitting and kids services will be held during the time of these services.

Temple Ner Tamid | 936 Broad Street, Bloomfield

In Bloomfield, Temple Ner Tamid will be hosting both Rosh Hashanah + Yom Kippur events. Their schedule is as follows:

Rosh Hashanah:

Friday, September 15th:

  • 8PM: Main Service

Saturday, September 16th:

  • 4PM: Tot Family Services
  • 5PM: Tashlich Experience

Sunday, September 17th:

  • 10AM: Main Service
  • 1PM: Community Luncheon

Yom Kippur:

Monday, September 25th:

  • 2PM: Tot Family Service
  • 3PM: Yizkor Service
  • 4PM: Minchah, Avodah, Neilah (concluding services)

Temple Sholom of West Essex | 760 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove

At Temple Sholom of West Essex, High Holy Days will be observed but tickets, parking, and seating should be purchased in advance here.  The temple’s schedule is as follows:

Rosh Hashanah:

Friday, September 15th:

  • 7:30PM: Erev Rosh Hashanah

Saturday, September 16th:

  • 8:45AM: Family Service
  • 11:30AM: Traditional Morning Service
  • 2:15PM: In-Person Tashlich

Sunday, September 17th:

  • 10AM Second Day Rosh Hashanah

There will be prayers, workshops, discussions, and lunch after this Sunday service. Virtual services are an option for those who can’t attend in person.

Local Ideas for Observing Rosh Hashanah + Yom Kippur

When it comes to purchasing apples + honey for Rosh Hashanah, local farmers’ markets are a great way to go. We’ve rounded up farmers’ markets in Essex County as well as the greater North Jersey area to get the freshest apples and local honey.

Many pick-your-own apple farms are also opening up in September for a fun family gathering prior to Rosh Hashanah — because nothing beats hand-picked, fresh local apples.

Many grocery stores sell challah, especially around the High Holy Days — but here are some local North Jersey spots that sell challah bread:

For the Yom Kippur breakfast, here are our picks for some of the best bagel shops in Montclair — many of which also sell favorites like white fish salad, lox, tuna fish, and more. Hobby’s in Newark is also one of the best and most reputable Jewish delis in the area. Mikki + Al’s Noshery at 179 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair and Eppes Essen Deli + Restaurant at 105 East Mount Pleasant Avenue in Livingston are other local Jewish delis to check out.

Kosher Nosh Deli Restaurant + Catering in Glen Rock is just a drive away from Essex County. It serves deli and chicken platters, and sandwiches, and even does banquet catering.

See More: A Guide To Rosh Hashanah And Yom Kippur In Hoboken + Jersey City | 2023

Many synagogues have started live-streaming their services during the pandemic era, so for those looking to observe without leaving their homes, keep an eye out on your local temple’s website for details.

From all of us at Team MG, we wish everyone who is celebrating an early l’shana tova.

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