Even families that live in the same city are choosing not to be together in person this holiday, but still want to connect. “If your children can’t be with you, put brisket, kugel and apple cake in small containers, take it to your family, and then everybody could Zoom and eat together,” suggests Marcus. “Sending parcels of food to people makes people so happy.”
Relatives near and far can also bake challah, honey cake, or some other family favorite together online. “My sister is a great challah baker. She has gotten on Zoom with her grandchildren that are in Maine and Chicago. If the parents can handle it, that’s a tradition that you can pass on with your own family," Marcus says, noting the value in grandchildren learning these traditions and feeling ownership with what is served on the table. “We can get along with not seeing our friends for a little while, but when the generations can’t get together and pass something down or a word of wisdom, that’s really where the sadness comes from, to me.”
The Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta staff work to keep the Kosher food pantry stocked. Courtesy of Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta
Perhaps, you are the kind of family who doesn’t let a holiday pass without giving back. Many Atlanta Jewish organizations, including Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, are offering services and ideas for celebrating the holiday despite the pandemic. JF&CS Atlanta is coordinating with area rabbis to help older housebound adults participate in Rosh Hashanah rituals, such as the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn. The shofar is traditionally blown during synagogue services, but this year, rabbis will be visiting people at their homes and blowing the shofar outdoors.
If you’d like to do something for someone who may need a little more than just a piece of honey cake this new year, volunteer for JF&CS Atlanta’s One Good Deed friendly visitor program, which calls 150-plus seniors every week. Children can send Rosh Hashana greeting cards to older adults who may feel isolated due to the pandemic, or you can donate to the JF&CS Atlanta Kosher food pantry to ensure someone doesn’t go hungry this holiday season.
The heart of this holiday is togetherness. With people yearning for connection, there are still ways to do that safely. And there are still things to celebrate.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta. 4549 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Atlanta. 770-677-9429, JFCSatl.org.