Shana Tova! Message for Rosh Hashanah from Theresa Villiers

Celebrated over two days by Jewish people in the UK and across the world, Rosh Hashanah starts on the first day of Tishrei and is marked by the lighting of candles, prayers and the blowing of a ceremonial ram horn called a Shofar.

Traditional Rosh Hashanah meals will be taking place this weekend including fruits such as apples and pomegranates dipped in honey which symbolise a sweet and prosperous New Year. As MP for a constituency in the borough which is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in Britain, Theresa Villiers has issued the following Rosh Hashanah message:

"I would like to wish Shana Tova to all those who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah this weekend.

Sadly the continuing threat from Covid means that long-standing practices and customs will look different this year. But I hope that people will still be able to enjoy the festivities within their family and support bubbles, and at their synagogue.

Although social gatherings have to be far smaller than normal, I very much hope this will not undermine the spiritual importance of this festival and that it will still be possible for my constituents to celebrate this very special time of the year for the Jewish community.

Commencing at sunset on the 18th September, Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the new year in the Jewish calendar. I would like to wish all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah a sweet, happy and safe New Year”.

Because of the rule that six people will be allowed to socialise indoors or outdoors, Barnet Council has confirmed that a minyan in a private garden, public park or other public outdoor space will not be allowed this year. Synagogues may hold overflow services under their auspices in buildings such as public halls or community centres and their adjoining outdoor spaces, providing that Covid-19 risk analysis and planning has taken place and use has been authorised by Barnet Council.

There is no limit to the number of people attending a religious service in a recognised place of worship provided social distancing is maintained and face coverings are worn indoors.