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New Ideas for the Jewish New Year: Innovation in Worship for 5781

By September 4, 2020March 12th, 2024Atlanta Jewish Community, Federation Innovation

Your support for the community campaign has been a catalyst for new ideas through Federation’s Innovation Fund. This year, as we approach the Jewish high holidays, there’s been so much creativity right here in Atlanta.  Because we can’t sit close together, sing together, blow the shofar in small spaces, or give each other happy hugs, our community leaders have amped up their creativity. Inspired by local leaders and by Federation Innovation initiatives, you’ll be amazed by the unique ways this community is leapfrogging virtual limitations to personalize high holiday worship.

Your Jewish Bridge, funded by a Federation Innovation Propel grant, provides access to Jewish educational, life cycle, pastoral and rabbinic services to the unaffiliated Jewish community on a fee-for-service basis. Right before the high holidays, Pamela Gottfried, a rabbi at Congregation Bet Haverim and Your Jewish Bridge, is hosting a (virtual)  9/11 observance where she will livestream the ritual of “taking challah” on Congregation Bet Haverim’s YouTube channel. It involves separating a small piece of raw dough and burning it as a remembrance of the sacrificial offering in the Temple in Jerusalem. The ceremony will be in honor of those lost during the 9/11 attack, as well as those lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the high holidays, Rabbi Gottfried will lead several discussions and sessions to enrich the meaning of the season. See the full schedule here.

Federation Innovation has made exciting things like this happen all over Atlanta. For the 2021 Campaign you can amplify your support and seed new ideas by designating a gift for Federation Innovation. Here’s how.

Congregation Gesher L’Torah is innovating with Kol Nidre Under the Stars, a drive-in worship experience. Cantor Zeldin and Rabbi Bernstein will Livestream the service from the sanctuary to your home, or the big screen. Experience the haunting melodies and the powerful message of Kol Nidre in a whole new way.

Temple Sinai is doing “Experience Tashlich” with socially distant tailgating at The Springs Cinema & Taphouse Drive-In Theatre. Bring your own tailgate setup, sit on the roof of your car, or simply tune in to the service from the comfort of your car via the FM station. Join us at 5:30 pm for music with Beth Schafer followed by the service beginning at 6:00 pm. Each car will receive a dissolvable paper to write your sins. Sinai staff, wearing necessary PPE, will anonymously collect these and bring them to flowing water to complete the mitzvah of Tashlich.”

Congregation Shearith Israel is offering socially distant gatherings in various neighborhoods on the afternoon of the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 20) so that people can see each other. They are also asking members to create VIDEO HUGs — 15-second video messages to be shared with the CSI community. Congregants are also turning photos of themselves into 3-D cutouts that “sit” in the pews to give the clergy a sense of support and community as they lead services.

Limmud Atlanta + Southeast has created High Holiday Journey in the Park: An Outdoor, Multisensory Experience, September 13, at Mason Mill Park. Timed entry, between 9:45 am and 4:00 pm allows individuals or groups of seven or fewer to take part safely. Using a mini-golf model, participants will move through five stations that safely combine Jewish wisdom with sensory experiences. Sign up here. For all ages!

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