Introducing a Meaningful New Way to Reflect This High Holiday Season

August 20, 2020Rabbi Esther L. Lederman and Rabbi Leora Kaye

If the High Holidays were to be pared down to their very essence, what are some words and phrases that might come to mind?

Belonging. Connection. Memory. An accounting of the soul.

These are just some of the words that drove the creation of the URJ Reflection Project, the Union for Reform Judaism's signature virtual experience for this unprecedented High Holiday season.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Righteous Persons Foundation, this three-pronged experience is designed to help to connect to your spirituality at a time and place that best fits your needs. The activities can be done in solitude, or you may choose to do them with those with whom you live. They include:

  • The Spiritual: Every year, we return to the doctor’s office to check-in with our physical body. What if we adopted the same practice for our spiritual bodies? This offering is an opportunity to take stock of the vital signs of your inner core.
  • The Setting: Our community, comforts, and support systems are made up of all types of people, places, and things. As we go through the High Holidays, who and what do we want alongside us? Because we won’t be going to synagogue in person, this offering is an opportunity to make our High Holidays community our own.
  • The Memorial: We are coming to the end of a year of incalculable loss. The traditional rituals of mourning – a funeral, shivashivaשִׁבְעָהSeven-day mourning period that begins on the day of burial. – might have looked different this year; we may be mourning something abstract that we don't have a familiar way of honoring. This offering is designed to help you begin to process these losses in order to reflect on how they will change the way you live moving forward.

We also collected a sprinkling of additional ideas, a “highlight reel” of some other ideas that emerged, so that you and your loved one can continue to delve deep into your experiences and your hopes for the future.

The URJ Reflection Project is intended to be supplemental to the incredible offerings and plans that Reform congregations are developing for this High Holidays season. We encourage you to find a Reform congregation near you and contact them to learn how you can join them online for this High Holidays season.

Visit the URJ Reflection Project now to begin.

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