Hillel, CSU's Jewish student organization, is holding on-campus services and activities next week in observance of the Jewish High Holiday, Rosh Hashanah.
"Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, but it's celebrated much differently than the American New Year. It's a time for reflection," said Kayla Brummett, president of Hillel and senior English major.
The 10-day period runs from the start of Rosh Hashanah on Oct. 3 through the end of Yom Kippur on Oct. 13 and is the most sacred time of the year for the Jewish community, Brummett said.
"This is a time to look to the past and future to see what you want to do and who you want to be in the coming year," said Hedy Berman, director of Hillel. "This is a time to seek forgiveness for wrongdoings to start the year with a clean slate."
Many of the ceremonies associated with Rosh Hashanah are symbolic of this new beginning, Berman said. In the Tashlich ceremony, breadcrumbs are tossed into a pond or other body of water to symbolize the casting off of the previous year's transgressions. Apples dipped in honey, a common Rosh Hashanah dessert, represent the hope for a sweet year ahead and will be served in all residence halls next week.
Events planned for Rosh Hashanah include a traditional kosher dinner at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Lory Student Center's Cherokee Park Ballroom, a Tashlich ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Vietnam Memorial Bridge and prayer services held from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Wednesday in room 203 of the LSC.
While tickets for the Monday night dinner needed to be purchased by last Wednesday, students are encouraged to contact the Hillel office if they have not bought tickets but wish to attend. All other Rosh Hashanah events, including a Monday night service at 7 p.m. in the Cherokee Park Ballroom, are free and open to all students.
"We are totally welcoming of all Jewish students wherever they are in their Jewish identity," Berman said. "Non-Jewish students who want to learn more are also welcome to come."
Interested students can find a full list of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur programming on Hillel's Web site, located at www.csu.hillelcolorado.org.
Hillel provides a significant sense of community for Jewish students during a time they might normally spend with family, Berman said.
"Jewish holidays always have a sense of community about them," Berman said. "For many students, it's their first time away from home for the holidays. I think it's really important for them to be part of a community."
Stephanie Kroll, sophomore biology major from Aurora, appreciates the community Hillel is able to provide.
"It's been a second family for me because I can't always go home," Kroll said. "It's nice to know that you're not alone during this time of holiness."