Related Blog Posts on High Holidays, Israel, and Jewish Life Around the World

Keeping Family Close, Regardless of Distance

Rabbi Stacey Blank
September 21, 2022
As I boarded the plane to Israel in the summer of 2002 for my first year of rabbinical school at HUC in Jerusalem, my mother said, "Please, just don't meet an Israeli." As soon as the plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport, I knew that I was home. A few months later, I met that Israeli. From our first conversation, he understood that I was studying to be a rabbi, and I understood that he wanted to live only in Israel.

A Vegan Rosh HaShanah for a Sweet New Year

Kayla Kaplan
September 14, 2022
I am vegan because I am Jewish. Everything that led me to a vegan practice came from my childhood where I kept kosher, learned by asking thoughtful questions, and practiced daily rituals like hand washing and reciting brachot that brought intention to aspects of daily life.

A Liberatory Elul Journey

Yolanda Savage-Narva
August 31, 2022
The month before the High Holidays, Elul, is a time of spiritual preparation and t'shuvah. This year, as we conclude a Shmita, or sabbatical year, after focusing on taking time to pause, rest and reflect, I feel a sense of urgency and the need to act.

Turning Rosh Hashanah Into an Opportunity

Rabbi Austin Zoot
August 29, 2022
Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur worship services are among the most-attended services of the year. That can be a challenge when those worship experiences are not the easiest entry points to Judaism, especially compared to the joyousness of Simchat Torah, the food and rituals of Hanukkah, or the sensory stimulation of Passover.

Shabbat Message: A Galvanizing Visit to Israel That Fills Me With Encouragement

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
March 4, 2022
In meetings with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, we discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the future of the Kotel, ensuring more funding and rights for non-Orthodox Jews, combatting racism, and stopping extremist violence against Palestinians, in addition to other pressing issues.

An Israeli Reform Congregation Joins its Ethiopian Jewish Neighbors in Celebrating the Holiday of Sigd

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
November 3, 2021
For many generations, the Beta Israel had longed to reach Jerusalem in a quest to renew their covenant with God and for spiritual redemption. So strong was their desire that they created a holiday as a time to pray for this miracle. They called it Sigd (meaning "worship") and celebrated it on the 50th day after Yom Kippur. This year it is celebrated today, November 4.

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual”

Rabbi Esther L. Lederman
Rabbi Leora Kaye
August 15, 2021
As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals. 

Why Israel’s Next Government Gives Me Hope

Rabbi Josh Weinberg
June 15, 2021
On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.