Local synagogues have begun preparations for the High Holy Days, considered the most important holidays in Judaism.

B’nai Tikvah Congregation, with locations in Westchester and Mar Vista, has planned a busy month of celebrations that span the ten High Holy Days, Monday, October 3rd to Saturday, October 15th, as well as the Jewish Simchat Torah and Erev Sukkot holidays during the last half of October.

Observation of the High Holy Days is during the ten day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah falls on the first and second days of Tishri and is considered the Jewish New Year. It is usually celebrated through family gatherings, sweet-tasting foods and rejoicing. It is also a day of remembrance where Jews reflect on the history of their people.

Yom Kippur is the Jewish “day of atonement,” considered the most solemn day of the year. The day is observed through fasting, reflection and prayers.

The ten-day period of High Holy Days is traditionally begun by the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn. In Jewish culture, it is believed that the destiny of man is recorded by God in the Book of Life during the High Holy Days.

Locally, B’nai Tikvah Congregation has scheduled a slate of events to mark the High Holy Days at both its Westchester and Mar Vista campuses.

B’nai Tikvah’s Westchester location is at 8820 Sepulveda Blvd.; and its Mar Vista campus is at 11827 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista.

Admission to all of the scheduled events is $125 for non-members of the congregation.

B’nai Tikvah High Holy Days events begin with a service on the eve of Rosh Hashanah at 7:45 p.m. Monday, October 3rd, in Westchester.

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah Tuesday, October 4th, a service will be held at 9 a.m., followed by a High Holy Days program for children at 10 a.m. At 4:30 p.m., Tashlich, a ceremony meant to “cast away sins,” where bread crumbs are tossed into flowing water, will take place at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. A 7:45 p.m. service in Westchester will conclude the day’s events.

On day two of Rosh Hashanah, a service will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a 10 a.m. High Holy Days program for children.

“Schmooze and Views,” an informal get-together and discussion with Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, October 6th, at the Westchester campus.

“Kibbitz and Koffee” is an informal get-together of parents of nursery school children at B’nai Tikvah set for 9 a.m. Friday, October 7th, at the Westchester campus.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 7th, a Light Up Shabbat followed by a vegetarian potluck dinner is planned at the Westchester campus. The event is a family-geared musical service led by Mike Sirota, with music by a congregation band the Nu Tikvah Minstrels.

A Kabbalat Shabbat service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, October 7th, at the Mar Vista campus.

On Saturday, October 8th, a 9:30 a.m. service is scheduled in Mar Vista. “Tot Shabbat,” a 45-minute program for children five and under with their parents, hosted by Doda Mollie, with singing and storytelling, is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Mar Vista location.

A Kol Nidre service, which marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. on the eve of Yom Kippur Wednesday, October 12th, in Westchester.

Yom Kippur services will be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, October 13th, followed by a High Holy Days program for children at 10 a.m. in Westchester.

Information, (310) 645-6262.

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