Jewish Summer Fest

Carole Frank, from left, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., Brian Ashin, of Ventnor, and his five year-old daughter Sydney, watch as Idan Mazuz, of Margate, demonstrates how a shofar works at the Jewish Summer Fest on Sunday in Ventnor.

VENTNOR — Rams’ horns aren’t usually on the agenda at summer festivals. But at the ninth annual Jewish Summer Fest, visitors could get an up-close and personal view of how a shofar is made.

“You take a ram’s horn, cut it down, drill a hole, sand it and (polish) it, so it has a nice shiny look, and eventually it looks like this,” said Rabbi Sholom Rapoport, holding both a finished shofar and a yet-to-be-completed horn. “The high holy days are coming, so you blow the shofar in the synagogue as a wake-up call that the new year is coming and you should reflect on the past year.”

The festival, behind the Ventnor Community Center at Newport Avenue and the Boardwalk, was organized by the Ventnor group Chabad at the Shore. Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, Sholom’s brother, said the festival “is an opportunity for people to experience Jewish culture through food, music and arts. It’s opened up to the Jewish community and also the community at large, so everyone can get a nice, positive, outdoor experience.”

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There was a little of everything in arts and crafts — traditional Jewish and otherwise.

Adrienne Hollander and Brian Ashin, of Ventnor and Potomac, Md., watched as their children poured colored sand into tubes to make bracelets.

Meanwhile, Amy Atkins of Miami Beach, Fla., joined her daughter, Aerin, and mother, Sharon, in making challah bread.

“It’s for shabbat dinner,” Atkins said. “The little kids like to play with it.”

Mendy Schwartz, of Atlantic City, explained the importance of the bread as his wife, Lynn, helped the Atkinses with the dough.

“This represents the manna that fell down from the sky when the Jews wandered in the desert for 30 years,” Schwartz said.

Since Jews couldn’t bake on the sabbath, they baked two loaves every Friday — and now Jews do the same as a way to remember.

“We’re teaching the children how to do it,” Schwartz said. ‘We make it from scratch, braid it in different shapes. They make everything here, then take it home and put it in the oven.”

Said Avrohom Rapoport, “It’s an especially important time of year, with the high holy days coming up. People are reminded of tradition.”

Contact Steven Lemongello:


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More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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