407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org


There are certain things that evoke powerful memories and emotion. The smell of frying onions and potatoes brings me back to my Grandma Esther’s kitchen. The sounds of hammering and sawing take me to my Grandpa Si’s workshop. At this time of year, it’s the sound of the Shofar that brings me back to my childhood as well as reminds me that it’s time to stop and reflect on the past year.

Last year, due to Covid, there was not the same sounding of the Shofar that we normally hear. Much was done online or virtual. Thanks to Ed and Marian Bromberg, the Federation’s Sound the Shofar program provided the gift of nearly 200 shofars to members of the community so they would have the ability to hear the shofar in person, not just virtually. In a year when nothing seemed right or the same, this gift enabled Jews in Orlando to have something that connected them from generation to generation.

This year, we were so excited about returning together to celebrate the chagim, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and hear the blast of the Shofar together once again. We would return to normalcy and have our rituals back the way we remembered. And then the Delta variant hit. Covid cases exploded and gathering together the way we wanted was put on hold. While there will be opportunities to gather together to celebrate the holidays, many people will not feel safe doing so and will once again choose the virtual option for the chagim.

Once again, Ed and Marian Bromberg stepped up to ensure we would be able to continue our Sound the Shofar program. Joining them are Brad and Eve Homburger-Jacobs, enabling us to once again provide 200 shofars to Jews in Orlando who want to blow the shofar in person but may not feel comfortable joining together in a large gathering. And just like last year, Ed will be provide online training on how to blow the shofar and the proper types of blasts to blow. All as a gift to our Orlando Jewish community.

That’s what the Federation is here to do. Identify challenges and opportunities in our community and find ways to address them. Join us on Thursday August 26th at 7 pm for our annual meeting to learn more about what Federation has done, is doing, and will be doing as well as some early highlights from our Community Study.

To get your gift of a Shofar, please click here. Pickup will be available at The Roth Family JCC, The Rosen JCC, and Hillel at UCF, Rollins, and Stetson Universities. In a time of uncertainty, this is a great opportunity to have an important piece of Judaica that you can use to welcome in the new year and a bright future.

Shabbat Shalom,