World shofar record blasted in Boston burbs

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Boston’s North Shore reclaimed the world record for largest shofar ensemble Sept. 17 when 798 participants sounded the shofar for 7 minutes, 50 seconds, on Phillips Beach in Swampscott, Mass.

The Great Shofar Blowout, organized by the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, demolished the previous record of 400, set last year by a synagogue in Philadelphia. Organizers say the total number was probably well over 800, but the official tally includes only those who registered and were known to have made the half-mile walk from the assembly area at Congregation Shirat Hayam to the beach, where the blowing took place.

The Lappin Foundation considers the event part of its efforts at “keeping our children Jewish.” Lappin has worked to export the blowout franchise around the country, subsidizing the efforts of other communities to break the North Shore record.

Official confirmation from the Guinness Book of World Records won’t arrive for several weeks. The foundation must first submit registration logs, press clippings of the event, and testimony from five authenticators.

After the 7 minutes and 50 seconds of blowing, an elated Deborah Coltin, executive director of the Lappin Foundation, announced, “We did it! We have to get ready for our tekiah gedolah (the big blast). We’re going to face Israel. Get ready.”

And the crowd did, blowing a lengthy and spirited tekiah gedolah toward the Jewish state, 6,000 miles across the ocean.