Sep 292005
Authors: Amber Baker

Rosh Hashanah services

Oct. 4 and 5 at 9:30 a.m.

The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St.

Evening services

Oct.3 at 6 p.m.

Oct.4 at 7 p.m.

Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado

Yom Kippur services

Yom Kippur eve, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

Oct. 13, at 9:30 a.m.

The Armstrong Hotel, 259 S. College Ave.

Call 407-1713 or 690-1718 for more information.

More than 100 people turned out for the Jewish High Holiday Fair Sunday at the Best Western University Inn without the aid of advertising.

The newly established Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado , sponsored the fair, which boasted many interactive exhibits to display the customs and traditions of the High Holidays.

The exhibits included a shofar factory, displaying how the instrument that is used to signal the start of the Jewish New Year is made; a live demonstration of bees making honey and the significance of honey during the Jewish holidays; kosher wine tasting; a kosher mini feast with recipes for kosher dishes and scores of authentic Jewish items for purchase.

"By all accounts it was a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience," said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, the new Rabbi who recently moved here from the East Coast. "And it was a first for almost everyone present to have something of this nature in Northern Colorado."

The fair celebrated the coming of the most important holy days on the Jewish calendar-Rosh Hashanah , the first day of the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur , the "Day of Atonement." To the Jews, this is the most holy day of the year. It is the day that God grants them atonement for sins.

"Yom Kippur is the 'Day of Awe,'" Gorelik said. "It is the most awesome day of the year. It is the day that we rejoice and give thanks for our atonement, and celebrate the sweetness of a wonderful new year with God."

Some students who attended the fair were glad to see the Jewish community coming together.

"I thought it was absolutely outstanding," said Michael Foxman, a freshman construction management major and the president of the Chabad Jewish Student Alliance. "The Rabbi (Gorelik) was so dynamic, really the most appropriate person for this sort of thing. And there was a really excellent example of Jewish food and wine tasting."

Even non-Jewish students enjoyed the fair.

"I'm not Jewish," said Foxman's friend Devin Yedo, a senior construction management major . "I just went for a good time. I was impressed. The wine and the food were pretty good."

Gorelik and his wife, Devorah Leah, were the prime organizers of the fair. They recently moved to Fort Collins from New York with their 1-year-old daughter, Basya, as emissaries of the Chabad-Lubavitch organization.

Their branch has recently been established in their home near the CSU campus and is one of 3,000 across the globe.

Gorelik, the only orthodox-trained rabbi in Northern Colorado, is an expert on all matters of traditional Judaism. His father was also a rabbi, and he studied Hebrew for a year and a half in Israel. He fluently speaks Yiddish, the national language of Jews, which is becoming obsolete among the younger Jewish generation.

"I've noticed that throughout Northern Colorado there is a widespread level of ignorance about Judaism, and there are a lot of Jews who have no place to learn and grow," Gorelik said. "That is why I'm here – to strengthen Jewish awareness and educate Jews by providing educational, religious and social activities in the spirit of traditional Judaism. But we even though we adapt to our world, we want to keep traditions the same. And I am here to teach those traditions, to keep them alive."

"We're not missionaries," Devorah Leah added. "We're here to teach, not to convert."

"Yes," Gorelik agreed. "We believe everyone has their own religion, and they should stick to it. We welcome everyone to attend our services. But we don't require membership. This is geared for everyone. I want it to be consumer-friendly and fun and enjoyable for everyone."

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