With nearly all shuls and synagogues in Massachusetts closed for in-person services this Jewish new year, many are struggling with the thought that this year they’d have to do without the awe, joy and, most critically, the camaraderie of the traditional shul experience.
Enter Rabbi Berel Grunblatt of the International Jewish Student Center, a division of Chabad Lubavitch of Cambridge, and Rabbi Avi Bukiet of Center for Jewish Life in Arlington-Belmont. Together, with a cohort of 30 other Chabad rabbis from the Greater Boston area and their combined talents, the initiative of Greater Boston Shofar was born.
The two rabbis found themselves discussing what could be done to help people celebrate Rosh Hashanah this year amidst a pandemic. In keeping with the Chabad philosophy of welcoming all and removing all barriers, they conceived a plan to go the extra mile and bring the shofar to the people—literally.
If the people cannot come to shul to hear the sound of the shofar—the primary mitzvah of the holiday—then they’d help bring the shofar to the people.
Tapping into the combined talents and far-ranging reach of over 30 Chabad centers in the Greater Boston area, they were able to arrange this monumental feat at warp speed and on a shoestring budget.
Greater Boston Shofar is a unique way to help you and your family and those in your bubble/pod hear the shofar in a safe, COVID-19-friendly way. You can almost call it the Uber for shofar blowing.
You have three ways to take advantage of this special opportunity:
- Pre-existing locations: Look up areas in your neighborhood where pre-existing shofar services will be occurring and RSVP to meet us at a shofar event at a time and place that works for you and your schedule.
- Reserve yourself shofar sounding: This service is an option that—with some terms and conditions of safety—you can request. A rabbi serving your area will come and sound the shofar just for you. Or, better yet, get your family together (or friends, if you’re quarantining together) and have the rabbi sound the shofar for your entire crew.
- “How-to” resources: Find tips, guides and how-tos to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with joy and meaning.
Concurrently, the Greater Boston Shofar Facebook and Instagram accounts highlight new locations as they get posted on the website and feature short Rosh Hashanah inspirational clips from Chabad center directors from Greater Boston.
Greater Boston Shofar is currently serving all of Eastern Massachusetts. Donations to help underwrite this mitzvah in honor or in memory of a loved one can be made here.
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