At Columbia/Barnard the High Holidays are a uniquely communal experience. They are one of the few times when everyone comes together. Undergrads, grads, alumni, university faculty/staff and local community members are all well represented!
The High Holidays are split into two parts. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a holiday of multiple layers. On the one hand, it is a celebratory day, appreciating another year of life together with those around us. At the Kraft Center we serve apples and honey in the lobby as a symbol of the hope for a pleasant and sweet new year. On the flip side, we sound the shofar (a ram’s horn) on Rosh Hashanah which embodies notions of prayer and repentance.
Yom Kippur, the second of the Jewish High Holidays, is a day of singular focus: self-improvement. Over the course of the day we reflect on the previous year and look forward to the year to come, thinking of ways to enhance ourselves, our families and our communities. Everything culminates with all of the students joining together for a campus-wide break fast meal.