A new ritual for an unprecedented New Year


The Jewish New Year is upon us — usually a time for reflection, renewal, community and celebration. But this year, we won’t be schmoozing in synagogue or sitting around a packed holiday table, and we are yearning for connection.

To that end, the team at American Jewish World Service has created a ritual to bring us all together symbolically this New Year. It’s a Rosh Hashanah “seder” — a feast for justice — inspired by the tradition of Jews from Spain, North Africa, the Middle East and other lands to bless and eat a series of foods that symbolize our hopes for joy, strength and justice in the year ahead.

You’ve probably heard of eating apples and honey to bring a sweet new year. But what about celery for health or olives for peace? This ritual combines two of our favorite things: food and a commitment to social justice, and I hope you’ll add it to your New Year’s tradition.

Whether you will be celebrating virtually with family from across the country, at socially-distanced services, or enjoying a quiet dinner at home, use this resource below to spark hope in your heart and change in the world together with the AJWS community.

Wishing you a shanah tovah — a year of strength, health and action to build a better world.

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