By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — People of the Jewish faith across the Delaware Valley are celebrating the start of their New Year.

Yom Kippur started Tuesday at sundown.

“Yom Kippur literally translates to the day of atonement,” said Rabbi Eli Friedman with Congregation Rodeph Shalom. “It is considered one of the most important, holiest days of the Jewish calendar.”

Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia started their observation of the holiday on Tuesday evening by hosting two services.

“We spend the day in prayer,” Friedman explained. “We spend the day fasting.”

Rabbi Friedman says the holiday is about self-reflection.

“It’s really thinking about the past year, thinking about where they went wrong the last year,” he  said, “maybe also thinking about what we did right, strengthening those parts of ourselves that we want to grow this year.”

Congregation Rodeph Shalom had five services planned for Wednesday as they observe the day.