Holiday highlights religion’s diversity

The celebration of Rosh Hashana for the Jewish people joyously announces the coming of a new year.

What’s notable about the Jewish community in Bedford and Pound Ridge is its remarkable diversity. Many people are not aware of the broad spectrum of beliefs and traditions represented here, all guided by the common theme of Judaism. From the Reform movement to the yeshivas, the most traditional of Jewish communities based on the strict heritage of European Hasidism, northern Westchester is a rich canvas for the celebration of Jewish culture.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Wednesday, Sept. 4, and is the start of the High Holy Days, marking the Hebrew Year 5774. Rabbi Arik Wolf of Chabad of Bedford calls Rosh Hashana a time of renewal. “Everyone looks forward to a new beginning, a new opportunity, a new opportunity to look deeply within and find the best ways to connect with them.”

This sentiment is shared by Rabbi Marcus Burstein of the Jewish Family Congregation in South Salem: “It’s a new beginning and a chance to make things better, either by repairing things we should have done or wanted to do; a fresh start, a chance to take stock.”

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur represent the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, a time when Jews throughout the world pause to reflect on the year gone by and prepare spiritually for the one ahead.

It has always been a matter of interest that repentance comes after celebration for the Jewish people. Rabbi Wolf explains: “Look at the value system. Have I done right or have I done wrong? Rosh Hashanah gives an opportunity to refocus. At Yom Kippur, you’ll be in a better position to look for forgiveness.”

It wasn’t so long ago that the Bedford/Pound Ridge area saw restricted housing, real estate “steering” and exclusionary country clubs, and some Jews saw the need to change their names or even their affiliations. Now we can point to a triumphant diversity. Let’s hope that this diversity and tolerance extends to those of all faiths and heritages.

To the Jewish community, may it be a “Shana Tovah” — a good year. And for all of us, may this be a time to think thoughtfully about what we have done in the past and the challenges that still confront us.

Riding with the horsey set

It’s “Riders up!” in Bedford this week.

The Bedford Pace, signature event of our community, takes place Sunday, Sept. 8. It’s a pace, not a race, and the goal is for the riders and their horses to meet an optimal time set by officials early in the day. Riders set their own pace, depending on conditions. They will cross streams, navigate woodland trails, canter through jumping fields and cross roads at various points, with the help of police officers. The ride usually takes one to two hours, ending at the John Jay Homestead. The Pace, the height of Bedford’s equestrian charm, fits perfectly with our way of life, moving at the perfect speed for the spirit of the day.

A few days later, the American Gold Cup comes to North Salem. This event, which runs Wednesday to Sunday, Sept. 11 to 15, will bring world-champion show jumpers to Old Salem Farm on June Road in North Salem.

For horse people, this is a very big deal, a jewel in the crown of equine events. Horsetalk columnist Jill Murphy has much more to share on all the hoopla in her column this week. The event culminates on Sunday, with the $200,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix. Admission is reasonable; to experience the horse world surrounding us, take a trip to the farm.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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