This year was the first time in a long time I wasn’t with my immediate family in Australia or my cousins in Israel to celebrate Rosh HaShanah.
For children, traditions and rituals are significant; they provide predictability, support, and familiarity, while bringing families together and creating unity and a sense of belonging.
Although my 13th birthday was in August of 1974, I became bat mitzvah in June of that year because my parents didn’t want me to worry about studying while at Camp Ramah in the Poconos over the summer.
Let’s start with a little historical context.
Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov was new to her congregation in Wilmington, NC, when she faced an unprecedented challenge: a Category 4 hurricane during the Days of Awe.