Take Advantage of URJ Support for High Holidays this Year

August 9, 2022Amy Asin

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.

Programming

All of the following programming is available to you to distribute to congregants and others in your community. Share links via your website, your bulletins, or host an event onsite.

  • Reflect and Prepare for the High Holidays: ReformJudaism.org offers opportunities to prep for the High Holidays at home. On our dedicated site for reflecting before the High Holidays, there are activities to do individually, with children, or with a group of adults. It’s an accessible experience for newcomers with opportunities to go deeper for those who attend services year after year.
     
  • On Repentance and Repair: The Reform Movement is coming together to advance our understanding of t’shuvah (repentance), particularly in the context of our ethics accountability work, with video resources and a discussion guide that will enhance your congregational, communal, or individual experiences during the High Holy Day season of reflection and repentance. Video resources will feature a discussion between Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of the forthcoming book, On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World, and Rabbi Jill Maderer, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia. Rabbi Mary Zamore, Executive Director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN), will offer introductory remarks. URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, CCAR Chief Executive Rabbi Hara Person, and HUC-JIR President Dr. Andrew Rehfeld will also offer remarks on the theme of t’shuvah.

    Materials are now available for free download.

    These resources may be shared in a variety of settings, such as a Selichot study session, Yom Kippur afternoon study, board meetings, adult education programs, and book discussions.
     
  • Our Story, Your Table: The URJ has developed a children’s activity book that can be used by families with children grades 1-7 to reflect and prepare for the High Holidays. Send this link to your families, add it to your website or newsletter, or make the activity books available to families on site.
     
  • “Spaghetti & Matzo Balls!” World Premiere: Invite your adult members to reflect on their Jewish identity during this movie premier event. After the virtual premier watch party, we’ll be joined by actress Rena Strober and director Stuart K Robinson in discussion, also taking questions from the online audience. Share this event with your members or host a watch party at your congregation. The event is Sunday, October 2 at 7:30PM ET.
     
  • Torah Scroll Unroll: Many communities choose to fully unroll their Torah scrolls in celebration of Simchat Torah each year. We’ve captured the awe-inspiring experience of seeing the fullness of our sacred text laid out before you, now in video format. The Tour of the Torah video is a two-minute journey through the scroll and its highlights which you can use both for virtual Simchat Torah celebrations and as an educational tool for students of all ages. A study guide for each highlighted text will be available in September for use in your Simchat Torah programming. 

Operations 

High Holiday logistics can be daunting. These offerings from the URJ can help to make it a bit easier.

  • Security: As we prepare for the holiness of the holiday season, we also need to be prepared for the safety and security of our facilities. Visit the Secure Community Network (SC) High Holiday page to see several resources that can help your temple be prepared and safe. Also, be sure to visit the Safety and Security group in The Tent where you can find more valuable resources and conversation about temple security.
     
  • The Reform Movement Marketplace: There are many products and services available in the Marketplace that can help your congregation save money during this busy time of year.
  • High Holiday Seating: If your members are traveling for the holidays this year, the High Holidays Courtesy Seating Request Form will make it easy to request complimentary seating at the URJ affiliated congregation of their choice. Also, be sure to visit the Congregational Profile page in the Reform Movement Marketplace to indicate if you will be welcoming guests to your congregation for the holidays this year. Your selections here will be reflected on the Courtesy Seating Request form for potential visitors to your congregation to review.
     
  • Promote Your High Holiday Opportunities to Non-Members with the URJ:  If your congregation offers services or other events that are open to non-members, be sure to update your Congregational Profile and check the appropriate box to indicate that, so you are included in URJ promotions. See the full list of congregations who offer these opportunities.

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