Peter Haden / WLRN

Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – began the evening of Oct. 2. And for the more than half a million Jews living in South Florida, the holiday is brought in with a familiar sound: the shofar.


The shofar is an ancient musical instrument made from a hollowed-out ram's horn. The rabbi blows it at the end of the Rosh Hashanah service, after Yom Kippur and at other times during the High Holidays.

Jewish families celebrating Passover this year might want to take a good look at that box of matzoh in the kitchen. If it says "Streit's" on it, they're looking at the end of an era.

For almost a century, the Streit's company has been making 40 percent of the country's matzoh out of a factory on New York's Lower East Side.  Now, after 90 years, the factory is shutting down, and Streit's is moving to New Jersey.  But not without a cinematic send-off.

11/27/13 - Wednesday’s Topical Currents looks at the 200 year history of Hanukkah in America.  Professor Dianne Ashton looks at how American Jews have been transforming the ancient holiday from a simple occasion into something grand.