Creating A Ritual Life Planner with Casper ter Kuile

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Join Casper ter Kuile, author of the Power of Ritual, to create your personal ritual life planner, celebrating your favorite ritual moments throughout the year. Draw on religious and spiritual rituals alongside rituals from sports, food, family, travel, nature - and beyond! A joy-filled experience including quiet solo reflection, small group sharing and whole-group activities. A perfect opportunity to ground your coming year in meaningful moments.

RBG: Breaking with Tradition, Even in Death

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By Shani Goloskov

We are all mourning the loss of a great woman. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer, a true role model and inspiration for so many.

Being Jewish, a woman, and a mother were “three strikes [that] put me out of the game”—and yet, Ginsburg refused to let any of that count against her. She was a woman and a Jew, beginning her advocacy at a time where it was normal to see signs reading “no blacks, no Jews, no dogs” and the women’s rights movement was belittled and ignored. Ginsburg was repeatedly rejected for career opportunities in the legal sector, despite attending Harvard Law School as one of only 8 women among 552 men, graduating from Columbia Law School tied for number one in her class, and having a recommendation from the dean of Harvard Law School. 

Everything she did was outstanding because she was a woman—and more importantly, a Jewish woman going where none had gone before. She was a woman working in a predominantly male field, only the second woman to serve in the Supreme Court. She put in countless hours, argued tough cases, to establish women’s rights and gender equality as basic human rights.

And through it all, Ginsburg never compromised her faith. While not strongly observant, Ginsburg always showed pride in her Jewish heritage and did not sit in court on the High Holidays. In the documentary RBG, we learned that her grandkids fondly called her Bubbie, the Yiddish word for “grandmother.”

Even in death, she is making history: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. This honor is reserved for highly significant and revered public figures—and Ginsburg certainly was - and highlights her impact on our country. Lying in state also gives the public she so passionately served, to whom she means so much, a chance to pay their respects in person and give thanks. 

In many ways, Ginsburg’s life offers a model for embracing and embodying contradictions. Short in stature, but enormous in impact; an octogenarian beloved by a generation of young people; a feminist icon who made her early career arguing cases on behalf of men. And the way we’ve publicly mourned her loss similarly reflects these contradictions.

While RBG’s Jewish faith would mandate burial within 24 hours of her passing, in this way, too, she broke with convention. Traditionally, funerals happen as soon as possible to allow families to quickly transition into the structured, seven-day mourning period of shiva, and Jewish customs generally do not allow public viewing of the body.

During Covid-19, many Jewish customs around death and mourning have adapted. Technologies like Zoom have enabled more people to honor the memories of loved ones lost through video shiva calls, shiva drive-bys and virtual shmirah shifts. Sites like Shiva.com and Kavod Nivuchim, have shared resources for mourning from a distance. 

With Ginsburg’s passing, we’ve seen many social media tributes, especially from Jewish people sharing how much Ginsburg meant to them as Jews, and explaining specific customs to the wider public. For example, inviting people to say “May her memory be a blessing/revolution” rather than “rest in peace.” The sites Kveller and Alma even hosted a virtual Kaddish for Ginsburg so Jews around the world could come together to honor and thank the Jewish icon.

Ginsburg’s Jewish identity and life as a woman endure, just as her groundbreaking work will have an impact for generations. 

RBG, may your memory be for a revolution.

Making Meaning In Their Memory with Esther Kustanowitz

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Judaism has a treasury of customs and rituals that keep us connected to the loved ones we've lost. With the High Holidays as a launchpad, this interactive workshop invited participants to share lessons from loved ones and includes opportunities to reflect and create in their memory.

Workshop Resources
Mourner's Kaddish set to Adele's song, Hello. 
Rituals for Remembrance 


Support our work and help us provide additional free webinars throughout the year - https://haggadot.charityproud.org/Donate

Events to Celebrate the High Holidays with Our Partners

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For those looking to celebrate the High Holiday season in the digital communal space, many of our partners are offering ways to connect. 

Secular Synagogue is offering interactive preparation throughout Elul and online programming during the High Holidays with Rabbi Denise Handlarski: https://www.secularsynagogue.com/elul-high-holidays

The Pop-Up Shul, in collaboration with the Silverlake Independent JCC has a series of live-on-Zoom events led by Deanna Neil for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as a guided Tashlich meditation: https://www.innovativejudaism.com/pop-up-shul

Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute is celebrating the High Holidays with earth-honoring communal ritual and prayer. Priestesses will guide us in chant, embodied practice, Torah reading and more to usher in the New Year. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/high-holidays-with-kohenet-hebrew-priestess-institute-registration-114596286578

the Den Collective is gathering online for Days of Awe[some], contemplative & holistic services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Bonus: DC-area residents will find in-person shofar blasts! Learn more here: https://www.thedencollective.org/high-holy-days-2020

Hillel and Reboot have collaborate on Higher Holidays, an epic global celebration for college students featuring Broadway performers, Hollywood screenwriters, artists, musicians and more. Sign up at: https://higherholidays.org/

Lab/Shul has created Shuvu, a prophetic call to moral repair, reckon, repent and return to our essence that's multi-faith/multi-racial, God-optional, everybody-friendly, all-ages and artist-driven. Learn more here: https://labshul.org/shuvu-welcome/

IKAR has High Holy Day services that will be live streamed on their site and on Facebook Live from the West Coast. Learn more here: https://ikar-la.org/high-holy-days/

TribeHerald is sharing inclusive JOC-led services for Rosh Hashanah 5781, led by Rabbi Shais Rishon, classes, music, and more. Admission is free, with a suggested minimum donation of $18 to offset costs: https://tribeherald.com/newyear/

Jewish Boston offers Rosh Hashanah cookalongs, story time, streamed holiday services and a community-wide Rosh Hashanah seder: https://www.jewishboston.com/go/

Reform Judaism has created a new interactive website with ways to reflect, reconnect and renew this holiday season:  https://reflect.reformjudaism.org/

Synagogue Connect offers young adults ages 18-30 the opportunity to attend free High Holiday services at synagogues from across the denominational spectrum, including in-person and virtual offerings: https://www.synagogueconnect.org/

 

SVIVAH is offering a digital, communal month of prayer for Elul: 
https://www.svivah.org/happenings/elulprayer and an evening of Remembering Together with Yael Flusberg: https://www.svivah.org/happenings/remembering

OROT: The Center for New Jewish Living presents Seeds of Renewal: Teachings from the Natural World on September 13. Register at www.orotcenter.org

Joyous Justice is sharing a 5-Day Racial Justice Challenge, led by April Baskin and Tracie Guy-Decker. Sign up at: https://joyousjustice.com/5day-challenge-signup

18Doors is welcoming engaged or newly-married couples who are interfaith to Our Year of Firsts, an opportunity to explore the deeper meaning behind Jewish holidays, create new traditions together and meet other interfaith couples: https://18doors.org/event/2020-09-our-year-of-firsts-september-gathering-online/

Rosh Hashanah Is Here ! Celebrate With Our Top Three Home Rituals

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With Rosh Hashanah starting tomorrow and the global pandemic keeping us from gathering in the synagogue, we have the opportunity to make this New Year meaningful and memorable. From the team at HighHolidays@Home, here are our favorite at-home rituals you can incorporate into your High Holiday season.

One: Host a Rosh Hashanah Seder 
For more than 2000 years, Jewish communities around the world have elevated their Rosh Hashanah meal into a seder, with symbolic foods and wishes for the New Year. Watch our recorded webinar about hosting a Rosh Hashanah seder, then choose one of our curated booklets to use during your meal.
- Choose a Rosh Hashanah Seder with Tashlich to look back on the past and prepare for the future
- The Four Toasts Seder offers a quicker gathering centered on symbolic foods and the four themes of Rosh Hashanah.
- Check out our Rosh Hashanah Favorites, full of the best clips from our partner organizations
- Or, make your own seder! 

During your seder, take moments for reflection, conversation and vulnerability to make meaning of this time together, especially during the pandemic. You can go around the table or computer and have each person share a point of pride from the past year, and something they would have liked to do differently. Or, talk about your intentions for the year to come.To close your seder, sing a song, take a breath together, make a toast or shout, “Next Year in Person!” 

Two: Make Sacred Space at Home 
Another way to celebrate Rosh Hashanah from home is by turning a small part of your house into a spiritual sanctuary, also known as making an altar. Many Jewish homes include a mizrach to indicate the eastern wall and help us know where to direct our bodies. Now, you can transform a table or bookshelf into a physical space to focus your prayers.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to making sacred space in your house. Or, watch a recorded webinar with even more ideas to personalize your space and have it reflect your wishes and intentions for the New Year.

Three: Try a New Way to Tashlich 
There’s a lot of reasons to love tashlich. It’s embodied, personal, adaptable for kids, inclusive, and it’s pandemic-friendly because it usually happens outside. From the Hebrew word for “casting off,” tashlich is a moment for us to symbolically cast away all those mistakes we made in the past year. Traditionally, people gather at a flowing body of water and toss leaves or pebbles into the water, which are wildlife-friendly alternatives to breadcrumbs. 

If you like your absolution structured, check out the Wash My Soul Tashlich Ceremony. Ready to experiment with a new ritual? Sketch your misdeeds with sidewalk chalk and then wash them away with a cup of water. Or, try writing your mistakes on water-soluble paper and then watching them dissolve in a bowl of water. The Apologies Exchange can be adapted for a family or a whole community.

But Wait! 
We couldn’t talk about our favorite ways to celebrate the High Holidays without mentioning Seeker Season: A Guidebook for the Curious and Courageous. Our signature holiday collection is full of opportunities to pray, meditate, eat, mourn, dance, make art, reflect, forgive, celebrate, heal and listen, now and into the New Year. You can use the Guidebook in your sacred space or take it out into nature. By doing these activities with intention, giving them your full attention and doing them with repetition - you can make any activity a ritual. 

Did you try one of these rituals at home? Tag us @Haggadot.com or @CustomandCraft and use #HighHolidaysAtHome #RoshHashanahSeder  #JewishHomeAltars  #SeekerSeason so we can share them! 

Writing Workshop: Setting Your Intentions With Trisha Arlin

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Download Our New Coloring Book + Rosh Hashanah Faves

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Check out our new Shana Tova Coloring Book with simple blessings for your Rosh Hashanah celebration. Get in the High Holiday mindset with Seeker Season: A High Holiday Guidebook for the Curious & Courageous. It's filled with writing activities, meditations, & illustrations by Jessica Tamar Deutsch.

Shana Tova Coloring Book

Seeker Season High Holiday Guidebook

 

Or download a print-ready guidebook for holiday inspiration: 

Tashlich Ceremony

Wash My Soul Tashlich Ceremony
Download this simple guidebook for Tashlich with poetry and meditations.

Challah Recipes

Challah Recipes for the New Year
Balsamic Date Challah? Yes, please. Check out our favorite recipes from around the world.

Four Toasts Rosh Hashanah Seder

Four Toasts Rosh Hashanah Seder
Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a 30-minute seder toasting to the themes of the new year. 

Rosh Hashanah Seder + Tashlich

Rosh Hashanah Seder + Tashlich
Download this fun & simple Rosh Hashanah Seder with rituals for looking back on the past year

Time To Reflect 2019

Time To Reflect
Our guide from 2019 with more great resources for getting in the High Holiday mindset

High Holidays-Inspired Workbook

High Holidays Workbook For Grown Ups
Our popular activity book by Alison Laichter, our favorite Jewish meditation maven

 

Start Planning Your Rosh Hashanah Seder

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There's still time to make this New Year meaningful! Start with a Rosh Hashanah Seder template, then customize it with content from our partners.

Celebrate Self Care with Blue Dove Foundation

Braid a Round Challah with Reform Judaism

Reflect with the Tasman Center for Jewish Creativity

Connect to Your Body with Shamir Collective

Ask Questions with 10Q from Reboot

Get Clarity with Secular Synagogue

Listen to An Audio Tashlich Meditation with Deanna Neil

Rediscover Rituals with the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute

Gaze Upon the New Moon with At the Well

Invite the Kids with 18Doors

Listen Up with Bayit and Holy at Home

The Apologies Exchange & Alternative Tashlich Rituals

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Watch our 30-minute workshop on creating your unique tashlich ritual at home or with your community. 

To create an Apologies Exchange Booth in your community, visit: 
https://highholidaysathome.com/booklet/apologies-exchange-instructions
You can purchase water-soluble paper here: https://amzn.to/31niC3Q 

Explore Tashlich on HighHolidays@Home
- Audio-Guided Tashlich Meditation by Deanna Neil https://highholidaysathome.com/clip/guided-tashlich-meditation 
- Tashlikh Atlas - virtual tashlikh at any body of water around the world
https://tashlikhatlas.com/
- Mental Health Tashlich
https://highholidaysathome.com/clip/mental-health-tashlich
- Blessing for Seeing the Ocean
https://highholidaysathome.com/clip/blessing-for-seeing-the-ocean 
- Wash My Soul Tashlich Ceremony
https://highholidaysathome.com/booklet/ritual-for-tashlich-1 

Other Tashlich Ritual Alternatives

From Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, Union Temple
- Sit in your home before a bowl of warm water. Speak your deeds onto ice cubes and then place them into the water and watch them as they dissolve.
- Write your deeds onto a piece of paper and then rip them up, burn them (safely, please), or cross them out vigorously until you can’t make out the words.

From 18Doors
- Write your mistakes in sidewalk chalk, then spray with a water bottle. Or if indoors…
- Write things down using a washable marker on paper and then submerge them in a dish of water.
- Use washable ink to write on a rock and then place it in a dish of water.
- Use a small chalkboard to get the same effect indoors.

Announcing our High Holiday Webinar Series

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With just a few days until Rosh Hashanah, one thing is clear - the 2020 High Holidays (5781) are going to be memorable!  
Explore new ways to celebrate the High Holiday season with a series of webinars sharing DIY rituals from our community of creators. Click the links below to register - space is limited.



Monday, September 14: Set Your Rosh Hashanah Intentions with Trisha Arlin 
Tuesday, September 22: Making Meaning in their Memory with Esther Kustanowitz
Thursday, September 24: Creating a Ritual Life Planner with Casper ter Kuile 
 


Missed a webinar?  Find links to recordings here! 
Friday, August 14: How to Host a Rosh Hashanah Seder 
Thursday, August 20: Home Altars for the Jewish New Year
Wednesday, August 26: Authentic Confessions with Alden Solovy
Monday, August 31: Home for the High Holidays with PJ Library 
Thursday, September 10: The Apologies Exchange - Tashlich Project with Haggadot.com Founder Eileen Levinson