Jewish community to celebrate Rosh Chodesh this weekend

First Congregation Sons of Israel will celebrate Rosh Chodesh this weekend with services Friday and Saturday.


Rosh Chodesh, a celebration of the new moon, has long been considered a special holiday for women.

Women’s association with this time of the new moon dates far back in history. This special day was a reward given to the women of Israel because they refused to surrender their jewelry for the creation of the Golden Calf, which the Israelites worshiped in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

Because of their righteousness, the women were exonerated from working on Rosh Chodesh.

There is a joyous mood to the day on Rosh Chodesh. Hallel, a celebratory collection of Psalms, is recited. Additions to the standard daily prayers include the reading of the Torah, in which women will participate.

Because of the unique relationship between women and Rosh Chodesh and women and the moon, Rosh Chodesh has always been celebrated by Jewish women.

Formal Rosh Chodesh groups are a recent development in Jewish history and represent the advancement of the women’s movement. This movement has helped create unique ways to celebrate feminism, women’s roles and women’s contributions to history and to the world.

Services begin at 6:30 p.m. today with Erev Shabbat, followed by a complimentary Shabbat dinner. Reservations are required.

Shabbat service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday with Rabbi Joel Fox.

For Shabbat dinner reservations, call 829-9532 or email

First Congregation Sons of Israel is at 161 Cordova St., St. Augustine.