Sept. 7, 2018 By Christian Murray
The Jewish high holidays are fast approaching and Young Israel of Sunnyside is inviting residents to celebrate its ancient traditions.
The synagogue, located at 43-01 A 46th Street, will be offering free services to mark both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this month—the two most important events for Jews each year.
“Our synagogue takes a modern look on the traditional teachings,” said Rabbi Reuven Stengel, who will be conducting the services at the modern orthodox temple. “We welcome all opinions and understandings.”
Next Monday and Tuesday will be Rosh Hashanah, which is the celebration to mark the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The coming year will be 5779, according to the Jewish calendar.
Services will begin at 8:30 a.m. on both Sept. 10 and 11, with the sound of the shofar at approximately 11:00 a.m. on both days. There will also be prayer services both days at 6:45 p.m.
“We will be focusing on how a New Year offers people a fresh start,” Rabbi Stengel said. “Every day is a fresh start in a way—but a New Year is particularly special.”
Stengel said it’s also an opportunity to get closer to God.
The synagogue has a membership of about 70 families, with congregants hailing from South America, Israel and other Middle East nations. Most now live in the Sunnyside area and other western Queens neighborhoods.
“It’s a nice, inclusive space,” said Betty-Ann Weiner, a Young Israel of Sunnyside board member. “It’s not cliquish.”
The synagogue was renovated last year and includes a revamped children’s area.
The synagogue will also be offering Yom Kippur services at no cost on Sept. 18. There will be a candle lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m. marking the start of the day-long fast as the day of atonement begins. The synagogue will then mark the end of the fast at sunset, or 7:37 p.m. on Sept. 19.
The services aim to make everyone welcome and bring new members into the fold.
More information can be found at www.youngisraelofsunnyside.com or on the synagogue’s Facebook page. Office hours are subject to change, and residents are asked to call (718) 786-4103 before visiting.