We are gearing up for a unique High Holiday season. The journalists at the Forward captured some of our innovations along with those of a group of diverse congregations from around the nation.
Tashlich,” a Rosh Hashanah ritual in which Jews stand by a body of water and symbolically cast away the year’s sins, is an ideal coronavirus custom: It takes place completely outside and can be conducted in small groups. Many synagogues are using tashlich to create in-person experiences for congregants who will otherwise gather online.
Kinberg plans to organize a tashlich lunch at a local lake. Family units can bring their own food and picnic blankets, and clergy will use a speaker system to invite people to the shore in small groups to perform the ritual. Labovitz, meanwhile, envisions “docent tours” to a creek near her synagogue: Clergy will lead small groups to various distanced access points to perform the ritual, perhaps accompanying it with shofar blowing.
New Year Box 2020/5781:
Kinberg said that Congregation Kol Ami’s “main innovation” for this year’s High Holidays are take-home “kits” for use throughout the season. Each family will receive a box that includes crafts for kids, question cards to facilitate discussion and even a honey cake. “We’re trying to bring some stuff from the synagogue into people’s homes,” she said.