Celebrate Jewish New Year

Jewish Autonomous Region

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
If the usual New Year’s Eve is still a long time to wait, there is an unusual alternative: go to the Jewish Autonomous Region in the fall and celebrate… Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Year.

Visit Russia’s only autonomous region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, which was formed on the basis of nationality, and join in celebrating the New Year together with one of the oldest religions on the planet.

Stop by a festive service in a synagogue, talk to experts about faith and traditional values, taste sweet New Year’s treats and have a delicious holiday dinner in a kosher café. And it doesn't matter if you're Jewish or not, what matters is the desire to explore new things!

How to celebrate the Jewish New Year?

Although Rosh Hashanah is considered a strictly Jewish religious holiday, no one is stopping you from joining in the festivities, even if you belong to another religion. Jews will be especially happy if your goal is to learn more about the history and traditions of the Jewish people.

To catch Rosh Hashanah in the capital of the Region, Birobidzhan, you need to visit in the fall. The Jewish calendar will help you to find out the exact date of the holiday week and online converters will help you to understand it and compare the date with the Gregorian calendar.

Once in Birobidzhan, do not hesitate to go to the main synagogue. Attend a service the day before or on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, meet the congregants and members of the Freud community and wish everyone involved a sweet new year! And, at the end of the day, you should definitely head to Cafe Simcha to recuperate and eat something kosher. Birobidzhans highly recommend ‘gefilte fish’ (pike cutlets with garnish) or schnitzel in the Birobidzhan style, so pay attention to these dishes first! And be sure to ask about holiday treats - your new year should be sweet, too!

And it's hard to imagine Rosh Hashanah without its main attributes: blowing the shofar (a traditional Jewish wind instrument), candy and a festive table!

The coming year should be sweet and happy, so apples, honey cake and other sweet dishes become obligatory “offerings” on the festive table. Among other things, they serve fish with its head - a symbol of fertility, as well as a pomegranate, which will increase success and merit.

The main thing is not to forget to eat a slice of apple dipped in honey at the beginning of the dinner, so the coming year will definitely be successful!


The editorial staff of the project would like to thank Chief Rabbi Ephraim Kolpak (@kolpak_efraim) and the Freud community for their help in organizing and conducting the filming!

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