chant together, led by grandpa Ygal Sonenshine.
Then the family packs into cars and heads for Laguna Beach to
continue its uniquely Southern Californian Jewish New Year's
Wynn makes it to Orange County at least once during the High Holy
Days, which began Monday night and continue through Oct. 13. This
year, she's arriving for Yom Kippur.
That's when the "Battle of the Shofar" will commence.
In perhaps the wackiest of family traditions, Wynn and her father,
Ygal, challenge each other to a contest in which each person blows
the traditional instrument, a ram's horn, for as long as possible.
It usually ends in a draw, they say.
And for Wynn, the trips always end with a hug and a salutation --
L'Shanah Tovah, or Happy New Year.
"I cherish going home," Wynn said. "I've been dying to find a
temple here that uses the same melodies and has the same traditions
as the one where I grew up. It makes it hard to join anywhere else,
because nothing can compare."
Traditions and togetherness are central to the High Holy Days, the
holiest time on the Jewish calendar. Families across Newport-Mesa
celebrated the start to the year 5766 in their own ways Tuesday.
Smiles graced the faces of the Sonenshine clan as they trickled
out of Temple Bat Yahm after the morning service. Congregants stopped
to thank Ygal Sonenshine for sounding the shofar -- something he's
done at the temple for more than 20 years.
The Israeli-born Sonenshine has been involved in the reform
congregation since its founding year, 1973. His family's name adorns
the temple's sanctuary. It's his way of paying homage to relatives
lost in the Holocaust.
Sonenshine's parents saw the words printed above the door. Now his
children and their children read the family name every time they go
"They are an institution here," said Temple Bat Yahm Executive
Director Bill Shane. "They've been in leadership positions for close
to 30 years. What stands out is that they always give of themselves."
Sonenshine's wife, Sheila, was the congregation's first