High Holiday Hurricane: How Maritime Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah after post-tropical storm Fiona

While post-tropical storm Fiona battered Atlantic Canada in Sept. 2022, a tree fell on Shayna Strong's house in New Waterford, a small coastal community northeast of Sydney, Nova Scotia. (Supplied photo)

This week, about 30 members of the Temple Sons of Israel Synagogue in Sydney, Nova Scotia, gathered for Rosh Hashanah services in a building that was cold, wet and lacked electricity. The building was one of many in the Maritimes battered by a post-tropical storm from Hurricane Fiona, pushing winds of up to 170 km/hr and dumping seven inches of rain across the region.

But since a rabbi had already arrived from Halifax and a cantor flown in from Israel, congregants decided to go ahead with the High Holiday services—although not every Atlantic Jewish community did. And while power outages forced at least one community member to throw away kosher food imported from Toronto, and cleaning up the downed power lines and fallen trees will take days, the community is in relatively good spirits, having found ways to celebrate the new year.

Shayna Strong, a community member in New Waterford, just northeast of Sydney, joins to discuss how the island’s Jews are coping during these difficult times.

What we talked about:


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