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Tickets offered for High Holidays

On behalf of the Howard County Board of Rabbis, the Jewish Federation of Howard County is coordinating requests for free tickets to High Holiday services for those in need who want to attend but are unaffiliated with a synagogue.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins 18 minutes before sundown Wednesday and extends until about 45 minutes after sundown Sept. 14. Observance of the Sabbath begins 18 minutes before sundown Sept. 14.

The holiday, which combines solemnity with joy, is a time for introspection, examining deeds of the previous year and making good resolutions for the future, said Rabbi Hillel Baron of the Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education.

The shofar, or ram's horn, will be sounded to call congregants to return to the ways of God during services Thursday and Friday, he said. The shofar is not blown during Wednesday evening's services.

"We believe in the extreme joy of Judaism, and the services reflect that," said Rabbi Susan Grossman of Beth Shalom Congregation. "Teshuva is about coming back to oneself, to the perfect being that God created each of us to be."

Traditional practices express the prayer and hope that the coming year will be good: eating an apple with honey to symbolize sweetness or visiting a body of water where fish swim to say the Tashlich prayer, casting away old habits that need improvement, Baron said. "The body of water symbolizes a fresh start."

The holiday initiates 10 days of teshuva (return) that culminate on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, which begins Sept. 21.

To request tickets, call Avrum Weiss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Howard County, at 410-730-4976, ext. 102. For a listing of local synagogues:

Jewish Family Fun Fest Sunday

The third annual Howard County Jewish Family Fun Fest - with entertainment, family relay events, a teen klezmer band, a Moon Bounce, crafts and a firetruck - will be held from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

The cost is $15 a family. There could be an extra charge for some events. Food, including ice cream and dinner, will be sold.

The festival is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Howard County, the Parent Resource Place of Jewish Family Services in Howard County, and area Jewish schools and synagogues.

Information: Helaine Brenner, 410-730-4976, Ext. 118, or

6 new ministers to be installed

The Columbia Center for Spiritual Living will install six newly licensed ministers at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Hawthorn Center, 6175 Sunny Spring, Columbia.

The Columbia Center, formerly known as The Columbia Church of Religious Science, is affiliated with Religious Science International of Spokane, Wash. The organization's doctrine is based on the teachings of Ernest Holmes, author of the 1926 book The Science of Mind.

The group of six ministers has been licensed by Religious Science International.

Information: 410-750-8559 or visit

Muslim group plans picnic, food drive

The Howard County Muslim Foundation, a nonprofit organization, will hold its sixth annual food drive and picnic at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Meadowbrook Park in Ellicott City.

Those who wish to participate in the picnic are asked to take a donation of nonperishable food for the hungry.

Information: Irfan Malik, 410-750-2739.

Rabbi to speak about diversity

Rabbi Sonya Starr of the Columbia Jewish Congregation will speak about "The Changing Face of the Progressive American Jewish Community: Embracing Diversity and the New Realities," from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Kittleman Room (ELB 100) at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.

The event, sponsored by the Howard Community College Jewish Student Union, is part of the group's "Lunch and Learn" series. Lunch will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Admission is free and open to everyone. Reservations are requested. Information: Sue Bard, 410-772-4887 or e-mail,

If you have an announcement for Religion Notes, send it to or fax it to 410-715-2816.

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