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Celebrating Rosh Hashanah 2012 on Mercer Island

Make this holiday special with these traditional recipes and share some of your favorites.

This Sunday, as the day draws to a close, the Jewish community will ring in year 5773 as part of their celebration of Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. The festivities will continue until nightfall on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

And the new year's fun promises to be memorable on Mercer Island: Congregation is ringing in the Jewish New Year on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. with a "Rockin 'eve" musical Erev-Rosh Hashanah service for pre-school aged children and their families, led by Rabbi Jill Levy & Music Specialist Chava Mirel. According to Herzl Ner-Tamid, there will be a special countdown to Rosh Hashanah accompanied by shofar (horn) blasts, and non-members are encouraged to attend. The event will be followed by services at 6 p.m.

is also holding services at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

And the will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday and remain closed on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 17-18. The SJCC will reopen at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Head Rabbi Bernie Fox offered this message to students, parents and the community on Friday:

Rosh HaShanah beckons us to slow down for a few wonderful days and to contemplate our lives and our many blessings.  At NYHS, we are blessed to work with dedicated students and their families.  We are blessed with the opportunity to make a difference and to help shape a bright future for our children, community and people.  Thank you for your trust and your support.

Wishing you and yours every blessing in the coming year.

Rosh Hashanah, which literally means “head of the year,” signals the beginning of the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, marks the end, and together they are two of the holiest days for Jews.

Like most New Year celebrations, Rosh Hashanah is a time of introspection and a time to bring about changes in the coming year. The traditional blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, during services on Rosh Hashanah marks a time to contemplate past mistakes and find ways to make things right.

On this day, as on Sabbath, Jews avoid work and spend the day with family. And where there’s a family gathering, can food be far behind? It’s no surprise that after services Jewish families tuck into an elaborate spread of traditional dishes.

The day begins with eating apples dipped in honey, in hopes that the new year will also be sweet. Another tradition is to bake challah, a round-shaped bread that is a symbol of the circle of life.

So, it's time to get into that festive mood! Patch has come up with some great recipes that will make your Rosh Hoshanah meal extra special this year from all over the US:

Newton Patch (Massachusetts) contributor Wendy Schapiro shared her family recipe for a mouth-watering, traditional meal complete with , and .

Want to try something new this year? Take a look at this , which Susan Silverberg shared on Culver City Patch in California.

In the mood for some baking and indulging that sweet tooth at the same time? Try this recipe for from West Bloomfield Patch in Michigan.

Here’s wishing you L’shanah Tovah--the traditional Happy New Year greeting-- and B'tayavon (that’s Hebrew for bon appetit)!

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