Whats so Jewish About the Super Bowl? Plenty! Union for Reform Judaism Urges Feeding the Hungry
New York As the stage is set for a clash of titans on the football gridiron, millions will spend a cold and wet February Sunday celebrating whats become a new American Holiday: the Super Bowl. But is there a way to make this secular holiday Jewish?
While most North Americans, regardless of their team affiliation, will watch some of this classic showdown, snacking on chips, chili and other Super Bowl treats with friends and family, millions of homeless Americans will be left in the cold. The Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism suggests taking some action off the field or the couch to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday Jewishly.
The Torah says: The world stands upon three things: study, prayer and righteous deeds, said Rabbi Marla Feldman, director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, which recently published a Building Relationships: A Social Justice Program Guide for National Holidays. By performing the deeds found in this program guide, these acts of loving-kindness before or after the game we can all elevate ourselves as Jews, as human beings and football fans.
Asking fans to plan a trip to the local food pantry or help organize a community wide to project to help end hunger, the program guide aims to raise awareness and help individuals and congregation fight injustice even while enjoying the game.
For most modern North American Jews, their American and Canadian identities have become entwined with their Jewish heritage. The Holiday Guide provides a Jewish context for rituals such as eating turkey during Thanksgiving, watching fireworks on Independence Day and honoring our parents on Mothers and Fathers Day.
Found in the Social Justice Programming Guide to Winter Holidays, the section on the Super Bowl includes program ideas and Jewish texts to help fans make the day a meaningful Jewish experience by helping others. For more information about this guide please visit www.rac.org/pubs/holidayguides/#natl.
The Union for Reform Judaism is the synagogue arm of the Reform Movement in North America, and represents 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 congregations across the United States and Canada. Union programs and services include youth camps, adult education opportunities, music and book publishing, Outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC