Rosh Hashanah: Where to celebrate in LA County

Rosh Hashana begins at sundown Sunday with free services being held in Beverly Hills and Hollywood while several congregations will stream their services marking the Jewish New Year.

The JEM Center in Beverly Hills will hold a Rosh Hashana Eve service at 6:50 p.m. Sunday, a traditional service at 10 a.m. Monday, an evening service at 6:45 p.m. and another service at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Registration can be made by calling 310-772-0000 or online at

FILE: A Tashlich ceremony on Venice Beach for Rosh Hashanah in 2021. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Laugh Factory will conduct a free service at 11 a.m. Monday. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 323-656-1336. The club will announce details of the streaming of the service Sunday.

This will be the 39th consecutive year that The Laugh Factory has provided free High Holy Days services.

Stephen Wise Temple, a Reform congregation in Bel-Air, will stream what it is billing as a family-friendly Erev Rosh Hashana service at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and an adult-focused service at 7:30 p.m. at, and

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A "tot service" will be streamed at 9:30 a.m. Monday and a kindergarten through sixth-grade service at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Adult-focused services will be streamed at 9 a.m. Monday and 12:30 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday at, and

A digital worship supplement is available at

Shomrei Torah Synagogue, a Conservative congregation in West Hills, will stream musical and traditional Erev Rosh Hashana services at 6 p.m. Sunday at

Temple Judea, a Reform congregation in Tarzana, will stream its Erev Rosh Hashana service at 4:55 p.m. at

Most congregations require membership and tickets for High Holy Days services.

Services marking the arrival of the year 5783 on the Hebrew calendar will be held Sunday night — the day begins at sundown on the Hebrew calendar — Monday and Tuesday. They feature the blowing of the shofar, a ram's horn mentioned in the Torah and used by ancient Jews in religious ceremonies and as a call to arms — and now used at Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Jews are biblically commanded to hear the shofar during the High Holy Days.

Rosh Hashana is a time when Jews gather with family members and their communities to reflect on the past year and the one beginning. Celebrants also eat festive meals featuring apples dipped in honey, symbolic of the wishes for a sweet year.

Rosh Hashana ushers in the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of repentance and contemplation culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Judaism's most solemn and somber day.

During the High Holy Days, Jewish tradition holds that God records the fate of each person for the coming year in the Book of Life, which is sealed at the end of Yom Kippur.

"Rosh Hashana celebrates creation, when God, according to the Torah, looked out at the chaos unfolding in the world and decided to create a better one," Rabbi Noah Farkas, the president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, told City News Service.

"It's this choice — to transform what is into what could be, that propels Jewish life."

In his Rosh Hashana message, President Joe Biden said, "With the piercing sound of the shofar and the sweetness of apples dipped in honey, the Jewish New Year ushers in a sacred time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. A time to pause and look inward. During these Days of Awe, we have the opportunity to ask what kind of person we want to be and how we have measured up."

In a video released on his Twitter account, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles' first elected Jewish mayor, said, "Every year finds us, finds our souls, our communities our world somewhere between together and apart. That's why I cherish the ritual time of the Days of Awe. It allows us to renew and to reflect, to return to the world."

Bernard Cohn was acting mayor of Los Angeles from Nov. 21-Dec. 5, 1878, having been appointed by the Common Council to the position after the death of Frederick A. MacDougal.