The Jewish campus community continues to address the emotional and spiritual needs of students on campus in the wake of the suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers. Hillels are taking the lead in creating accepting environments for students of all sexual preferences.
Google Images and YouTube videos are helping Jewish educators create new midrash and bring sacred meaning to age-old traditions. Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz created an innovative, interactive experience for the seven hakafot (circles) of Simchat Torah.
Her "Seven Dances for Simchat Torah in the YouTube Era" is available on the Sh'ma Koleinu website. Sh'ma Koleinu is an online center for spirituality and connection from Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT, which seeks to bring sacred meaning to convey something of the deeper meanings of the High Holy Day liturgy.
Don’t you have anything more important to do today, on the eve of the last days of the long Sukkot holiday -- at the end of a month of two-and-a-half day work weeks -- than read blogs?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have you here, just a little surprised, that’s all. I wasn’t really expecting anyone. Thought I would just vent in private about how tough this month has been in terms of keeping up with work responsibilities.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are holidays for deep reflection, confession and apology. This year, with the High Holy Days coinciding with major college football games, the beginning of the school year and other season-opening activities, students are contemplating what to do when conflicts arise – while university officials, from New York to Tennessee, are making this a season for saying they’re sorry.
Robin Chotzinoff reflects in the August/September 2010 issue of Hadassah Magazine about how she observed the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah (the ten days of repentance) last year by answering a series of e-mail questions from 10Q. Ben Greeman, who launched the project in 2008 explains that "we tried to let people tap back into tradition, but without feeling like they have to pass an entrance exam."
After the soul-searching introspection and indoor setting of our Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur experiences in synagogue, the holiday of Sukkot provides the sharpest of contrasts. Rather than continue to focus on our innermost thoughts and deeds, we are commanded to get outside — outside of ourselves, and outside of our homes, eating our meals under the stars.