Rosh Hashana 1894

Though this is the first Rosh Hashana officially celebrated by the Homestead Hebrew Congregation after it was formally organized, it is actually the second Rosh Hashana celebrated in town.  The first Rosh Hashana, celebrated in 1893, helped raise awareness that the Jewish community had grown to a size where it could support a congregation.

The Homestead News, 9/29/1894, p. 1

The Homestead News, 9/29/1894, p. 1


It will be celebrated on Monday and Tuesday.

The Hebrew New Year (Rosh Hashona) begins to-morrow evening and marks the year 5,655 in the Jewish calendar. With this day is ushered in the autumnal festivals that follow each other in rapid succecsion (sic). Among the Orthodox Hebrew the New Year is celebrated for two days, while the Reform church only celebrates one. It is a time of great rejoicing, and special services will be held in both temples and synagogues. Presents are exchanged and cards appropriate to the event are sent to friends and relatives. The holiday is of great significant to the Hebrews, and many little disagreements during the past year are adjusted on that day.

The Homestead congregation of Rudef Schulam will celebrate the new year. They will assemble in Bost’s hall1 to-morrow night and observe the passing out of the old and the coming of the new year. The celebration will last all day Monday and Tuesday. Many Hebrew stores will be closed on both or a portion of each day.


Shortly thereafter, Homestead’s newspaper included two brief mentions related to Yom Kippur… or You Keffer, as I will forevermore call it.

  • October 9, 1894:  You Keffer, the most solemn of the Hebrew’s holidays begins this evening. It is the day of the Atonement. The stores of Homestead Hebrews will be closed in consequence to-omorrow.
  • October 10, 1894:  All the stores of Hebrew merchants are closed to-day, and Hebrews of other vocations abstain as much as possible from labor, this being one of their most sacred holidays, the Day of Atonement.

  1. This building is famous for having been the headquarters for the striking steel workers during the famous 1892 strike.  Now a national landmark, it still stands today as the visitor’s center for the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.  This building is at the end of Heisel St., where most of Homestead’s Jewish residents then lived.  

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