Leave it to COVID to break a tradition that dates back thousands of years. While Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, will still be observed — beginning this year at sundown Sunday, Sept. 27, and ending at sunset Monday, Sept. 28 — services will be held virtually, not in temples or synagogues.
A 25-hour period of fasting will still be observed by many, though the meal that marks the end of the fast will look different this year as well. “We won’t be gathering together to celebrate two nights of Rosh Hashana [the Jewish New Year] or the traditional break-the-fast meal after Yom Kippur,” says Jessica Whitehill, executive director of Jewish Family Services of Western North Carolina. “I was thinking of how we might offer that meal and raise some funds.”
Specifically, Whitehill was referring to supporting the JFS holiday meal program, which delivers kosher meals to isolated seniors for Rosh Hashana, Hanukkah and Passover. The meals are prepared by chef Rachel Kalin, who pre-COVID also prepared lunch for the JFS’s Elder Club, which normally meets 11 a.m.-2 p.m. three days a week in the organization’s office.
What Whitehill came up with is a Break Your Fast catered meal, prepared by chef Kalin. “Though the fast ends at sunset, most American Jews have a light meal that looks more like brunch,” she explains. The menu for Break Your Fast includes a bagel from Joey’s Bagels in Hendersonville, house-smoked salmon cream cheese, a salad sourced from the River Arts District Farmers Market, and a sweet-savory kugel (noodle pudding). Breakfast for one is $18, for two $32, and must be ordered by Sunday, Sept. 20. Meals can be picked up at the JFS office on Biltmore Avenue, or for an additional $10, will be delivered.
“JFS programs are open to people of all faiths,” Whitehill clarifies. “And so is the Break-the-Fast meal.” More at avl.mx/87w.