Come find me at Rosh Hashanah – anywhere
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Something very exciting is happening in the borderlands of Jewish life. Across the country, we’re seeing the emergence of congregations and havurot (fellowships) grounded in a commitment to justice and human rights.
Communities where we are invited to bring our whole selves: our Jewish selves, our political selves, our queer selves. Communities where all are welcome as equals: Jew, Jew-ish, or none of the above. Communities that do not require allegiance to Israel or Zionism as a prerequisite.
It is not an accident that Jewish Voice for Peace is at the forefront of this new emergence. I’m so proud of my colleagues on the JVP Rabbinical Council who are creating and celebrating Jewish community transformation from within, and from without. Congregations such as Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland, the Tikun Olam and Fringes Havurot in Philadelphia and my own Tzedek Chicago are providing new models of intentional, values-driven Jewish communities that put social justice, anti-racism and solidarity with the oppressed at the center of their missions.
If you live near Chicago, Philadelphia or the Bay Area you may well be familiar with these congregations – and you might have even made plans to join us for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. But even if you don’t, you will still able to celebrate the High Holidays with us!
I am thrilled to announce that for the first time, through the miracle of livestreaming, JVP is making it possible for you to virtually attend these three very special Jewish communities for the High Holidays. We will also be streaming live from a powerful interfaith service that will take place at the militarized U.S./Mexico border during the School of the Americas Watch Convergence.
These plans represent a crucial strategic part of our work at JVP. Together with the JVP staff, members and my visionary colleagues on our Rabbinical Council, we’re proving that a Jewish communal transformation is truly possible. As you can see from the schedule above, Immigrant justice, the Movement for Black Lives, and Palestine solidarity will be interwoven through our services along with this season’s themes of reflection, return and renewal.
Since founding Tzedek Chicago one year ago, I’ve heard constantly from people around the country asking if there is a congregation like ours in their community. I know for a fact that there is a real thirst for Jewish congregations and havurot that put real justice on their agendas — and don’t compartmentalize “Tikkun Olam” through Social Action committees or direct service projects. And there are many who genuinely seek to participate in Jewish congregations but are kept at bay because they oppose Israel’s racist oppression of Palestinians and/or do not consider themselves to be Zionists.
So this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we’ll be coming together as Jews to share and build transformed Jewish community. Together, we’ll create spiritual spaces grounded in universal human rights, Palestine solidarity, and racial justice.
You can stop by for a sermon or two, drop in on the JVP co-led interfaith service at the School of the Americas Watch Convergence, or even join our communities for the duration: from the start of Erev Rosh Hashanah to the end of Neilah on Yom Kippur.
We look forward to welcoming the New Year together with you!
Rabbi Brant Rosen
PS: Already have plans? Check out JVP’s 5777 webpage for member-created, Rosh Hashanah table blessings to share with family and friends. We also have supporter-created, BDS-friendly resources like JVP new years cards, yahrzeit candles, and a 5777 calendar.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine. Become a JVP Member today.
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