The Holiday season is officially upon us. In a few days we will usher in the New Year. For the past month we heard the shofar’s call urging us to wake up and think about the year that has passed while looking towards the future. Realizing that some of the best changes are not necessarily made in synagogue, but as individuals in our communities, the holiday season reminds us to be our best selves. As Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton reflected on her recent trip to Ghana, “Each Jewish holy day—indeed, each day—presents an opportunity for kedusha, for holiness, and tikkun olam, the repair of the world.”
With that in mind, here are some resources to help kick-start your year:
- It’s fair to expect that some sermons this season will reflect the pre-election political climate. Whether Rabbis Inspire with Words of Torah or The Torah is Political is a matter of opinion. The real job comes from deciding how to turn the words of the sermons and reflection on the holiday into action that create positive change.
- Don’t have a congregation for services this year? You’re in luck: this list is full of low-cost or no cost High Holy Day services around the U.S. In New York, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) is hosting a community Tashlikh at Prospect Park on Sunday, October 2nd. This is a great opportunity for New York area Jews to come together in this season of reflection.
- The Workmen’s Circle, an organization focused on creating social change and working towards social justice in the Jewish community has a new home in New York. Their new offices are up and running after selling their landmark space last year.
- Wishing friends and family a “Sweet New Year” is commonly heard during the High Holy Days. There are always opportunities to make the New Year sweet for people living in our communities that are in need. Hazon, America’s largest Jewish environmental group will be holding their inaugural Care to Share fresh food drive in October, encouraging volunteers to fulfill the Jewish custom of gleaning.
- Uri L’Tzedek, Orthodox Social Justice offers a virtual guide for Self Reflection and Social Change for the High Holidays. These thoughtful reflections should not be saved just for this season, but for the next year as well.
- There are a lot of clever Rosh Hashanah videos online this year. We’ve selected three, but make sure to check the rest out too. The G-d Cast’s animated “Shofar Callin’” tells the story of the Akedah set to a catchy rap. The Ein Prat Fountainheads once again take us to the Judean hills for their take on Shakira’s “Waka Waka” with “Dip Your Apple.” Lastly, the Art Kibbutz NYC’s Rosh Hashanah Greeting card is a round-up from the Shofar Flash Mob that took place across the globe last weekend. Shana Tovah!