6 Jewish Resolutions for the Secular New Year

The start of the secular new year is commonly a time for making resolutions for individual betterment in the year to come. Why not incorporate some Judaism into your New Year's resolutions? Here, we've compiled six Jewish resolutions and how ReformJudaism.org can help you accomplish them in the year to come. Happy New Year!

1. Become a more observant Reform Jew. 

Been meaning to join a synagogue but just didn't make it a priority last year? Now's the perfect time! Find a Reform congregation near you and start by attending Shabbat services. And for those Friday nights when you just can't make it to shul, try observing the Day of Rest with our resources for at-home Shabbat observance.

You can also prepare for Jewish holidaysask questions of a rabbi, and learn more about Jewish rituals and lifecycle events.

2. Make a commitment to social justice. 

Social justice is an essential component of Reform Judaism. To be a Reform Jew is to hear the voice of the prophets in our head; to be engaged in the ongoing work of tikkun olam (repair of the world); to strive to improve the world in which we live; to be God’s partners in standing up for the voiceless and fixing what is broken in our society. 

Check out our Social Justice page and our friends at the Religious Action of Reform Judaism to get started exploring the Reform Jewish positions on issues like economic justice, the environment, reproductive rights, marriage equality, immigration reform, and more.

3. Study Torah more often. 

Studying Torah offers something for everyone, of all ages. On our Learning page, you'll find modern commentaries on the weekly Torah portions — a new one each week, plus robust archives — as well as resources to bring the stories and lessons of the Torah alive for young children, grade school children, and teens.

 The easiest way to commit to a new year filled with Torah and Jewish learning is to sign up for Ten Minutes of Torah, a one-page e-mail each day on a topic of Jewish interest. It only takes 10 minutes a day to get started on a lifelong journey. Spend 10 minutes a day — and before you know it, you’ll have completed 100 hours of Torah study!

4. Strengthen - or start! - your relationship with Israel. 

The State of Israel is at the very core of Jewish identity and Jewish peoplehood. On our Israel page, you'll learn about life in Israel, traveling to Israel, and even making aliyah to Israel. read up on historical sites and tourism hotspots, educate yourself about Progressive Judaism in the Holy Land, and get to know a little bit more about Israel and her neighbors.

If you're a young Jewish adult between the ages of 18 and 26 who's never been to Israel, you can even sign up for a free trip to Israel — no strings attached! — through Birthright Israel

5. Focus on health and wellness. 

Jewish tradition commands us to respect our bodies and to strive for health as a means of honoring our relationship to God. On our Health and Wellness page, discover Reform Jewish perspectives on a host of important topics, including mental illness, Jewish genetic diseases, substance abuse, chronic illness, infertility, and more. You'll also find personal stories from people whose Judaism has gotten them through difficult times and influenced their perpsective on their own health issues.

6. Experiment with Jewish cooking. 

Kugel and mandelbrot and matzah ball soup, oh my! Find the perfect Jewish recipe for any occasion on our Food and Recipes page, where you can browse tried-and-true Jewish recipes from Jewish chefs like Tina Wasserman, author of Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. Watch a video to learn how to braid challah, ask Tina your pressing cooking questions, and even submit your own recipes to be featured on the site!

You can also sign up for The Jewish Dish, our monthly foodie email chock full of new recipes and other food-related content.

Kate Kaput is the assistant director of messaging and branding for the Union for Reform Judaism, serving as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. She is a proud alumna of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s Eisendrath Legislative Assistant fellowship and also served as the RAC's press secretary. A native Ohioan, Kate grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, and holds a degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University. She lives in Cleveland with her husband, Mike.