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As the High Holidays approach once again, we have created a number of resources for individuals and congregations to utilize as we mark these most important days in the Jewish calendar. We know we will be a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community when we fully incorporate the diversity that is the reality of modern Jewish life. We hope that each of these materials will help your High Holiday experiences and programming serve a wide range of identities and help you create communities of belonging.
Every year I look forward to this time as a reset button, and a chance to truly evaluate who I am and who I am becoming. I also know, from my time as a congregational rabbi, that for those of us working in the Jewish world, Elul takes on its own strange character.
Blaming God for such tragedies is theologically problematic; blaming God for failed human policies is blasphemous. This idea is worth considering as we cope with the devastating aftermath of the multiple disasters confronting us.
Last year, we talked about it being a High Holidays like no other. And this year we are faced with the same opportunity – to create something that has never before existed.
It’s a long-standing custom for Jews to wish one another a “sweet new year” on Rosh Hashanah; to hope that this coming year will be one filled with joy, fulfillment, and an abundance of blessings. However, Judaism isn’t a path focused simply on wishing for good things; if our goal is to make each year “sweeter” than the last, we must work to make it happen.
I pray that our observance of Yom Kippur will be probing and transformative, helping us become the best people and the most inspiring Movement that we are meant to be.
The High Holiday season is an important time of personal and communal reflection, including your congregation’s leadership. This can also be a time of reflection for your congregation’s leadership.
We are in the third year of High Holidays like no other. As we approach the yamim nora’im (the days of awe) and the festivals that follow, take advantage of the offerings from the URJ to supplement your programming and manage your operations.
By Cantor Barbara R. Finn
What did Reform rabbis talk to their congregations about this Rosh HaShanah? Based on my totally non-scientific survey, Israel was far and away the most popular topic.