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Free pass

“Don’t let me catch you praying” is the punch line of a great old joke about the high cost of High Holy Day tickets. It’s a perennial controversy: Synagogues need to pay their bills; some Jews wonder why they need to pay for the privilege of prayer.

But it’s also a perennial opportunity: The hagim are an ideal time for Jews to reconnect with tradition, and synagogues to reconnect with Jews. For young newcomers especially, free tickets this year may be an investment in their — and the synagogues’ — future.

Recognizing this, local synagogues have been signing on to MetroPass, a program being coordinated by the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ.

Newcomers and first-timers can go to the website and scroll through the list of participating synagogues. Click on the synagogue that looks appealing and order some free tickets.

It’s a community’s way of saying “Bruchim haba’im” — welcome to our home. They not only want to catch you praying — they’re hoping it catches on.

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