Starting anew: Members of Temple Beth Ami gather to celebrate start of Rosh Hashanah

Wendy Hersh shows young members of Temple Beth Ami an old Torah at the temple's Rosh Hashanah celebration. Michele Lutes/The Signal

Members of Temple Beth Ami gathered along the Santa Clara River on Monday to “throw away” their sins and get a fresh start on the Jewish New Year as part of the temple’s Rosh Hashanah celebration.

“We use bread and we throw it into running water,” said Tracy Blazer, wife of the congregation’s Rabbi Mark Blazer. “That signifies getting rid of our sins and starting over fresh for the new year.”

Temple Beth Ami, located in Newhall, held the ceremony Monday at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, along the Santa Clara River.

Rabbi Mark Blazer, Rob Hershenson, Joyce Shulman and Lee Shulman stand infront of the congregation during Temple Beth Ami’s Rosh Hashanah service. Michele Lutes/The Signal

“We have services, the evening before, the day of and the second day,” said Blazer.

This year, the holiday began Sunday and continues into Tuesday evening.

Members of the congregation gathered to close out year 5778 and welcome in the possibilities of 5779.

“We are thinking about what we’ve done in the past year while going into the new year,” Blazer said.

The services accommodated all members of the congregation, from children to adults.

“We have three different programs. We have an adult program. Families are welcome, too,” Blazer said. “Then we have kids’ programming and a teens program.”

Rabbi Michael Salonius speaks to the teen program about prayer at Temple Beth Ami’s Rosh Hashanah celebration. Michele Lutes/The Signal

Rabbi Michael Salonius led the teen group and congregation member Wendy Hersh led the kids program.

Temple Beth Ami’s traditional Rosh Hashanah celebration included prayers, food and music.

The blowing of the shofar — a traditional ceremonial horn — signifies bringing in the new year, Blazer said.

Traditional foods including honey cake have significant meaning to the congregation and the holiday.

“We dip apples in honey, that is to signify a sweet new year, to make sure everything is sweet for the next year,” Blazer said.

Their worship and celebration continues throughout a three-day timespan.

Temple Beth Ami is located on Hilse Lane in Newhall. “We are a family-friendly congregation,” Blazer said. “We focus on trying to do good in the world, and do good for the community.”

Their weekly services are held on Fridays at 8 p.m.

“We accept all inner faith, so people who are Jewish or non-Jewish, they are welcome to come and pray with us,” Blazer said.

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