Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, begins on Sunday night. Traditionally the day is spent praying and fasting. While anyone can fast no matter where they are, what about those who live in an area with little or no Jewish community, or those who have difficulty making it to services?
As they did last year, the congregation Nashuva in Los Angeles is working with the Jewish TV Network to broadcast their Yom Kippur services on Sunday night, live and online. They drew an estimated 200,000 people from around the globe last year, creating an opportunity for all these folks – whether part of the mainstream or on the periphery of the community - to share in the celebration of the holiday.
While we think it’s great that they were able to lower barriers and reach so many people, we believe online services work best when they lead to further engagement offline. Free online services serve as a good entry point, and we hope those participating take the next step and begin to make real-life connections with the larger Jewish community.
To all those reading this blog, wherever you are in your Jewish journey and however you decide to celebrate, we at JOI hope you are able to find meaning and value in the redemptive nature of Yom Kippur.