This image shows members of the St Albans Masorti community gathered with local individuals and members from local organisations for the blowing of the shofar around the Jewish New Year. St Alban’s Masorti Synagogue have interfaith connections in their local community, which is often the case in many synagogues around the UK.
The Masorti movement is a stream of Judaism which is traditional with a modern outlook. Masorti services are often egalitarian, which means women also take on the same leadership roles as men within the synagogue and in services. This image shows a woman co-leading the shofar blowing, we can see a Shofar in her left hand, and a woman wearing the Tallit (prayer shawl) which is traditionally worn by men. The Tzitzit (fringes) on all four corners of the Tallit remind Jewish people of the 613 commandments in the Torah when they are praying.
The Shofar is a musical instrument and most commonly made form a ram’s horn. It is blown during the time of Rosh Hashanah to announce the new year. The Shofar symbolises a wake-up call to start repenting and reflecting. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur also known as the High Holy Days, is a time to reflect on the past year, apologise for any mistakes and reflect on how we can improve ourselves and better our actions in the coming year.