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What’s your #NewYearPrayer?

To ring in the new Jewish year, 5777, JCCs and their communities can take part in #NewYearPrayer on Thursday, Sept. 29. Jewish communities around the world will have the opportunity to unite around a #NewYearPrayer sent around the world in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, which begins the evening of Oct. 2.

The 92nd Street Y, created the #NewYearPrayer to celebrate the start of 5776 last year, and are continuing the effort this year.

Through #NewYearPrayer, communities can share their messages of reflection, hope and inspiration for Rosh Hashanah. Anyone anywhere can get involved in #NewYearPrayer — it’s a great way for JCCs to engage their communities and become part of a larger, worldwide movement.

“This is our second year. Initially it was to have a global blessing that you hand off from your community,” says Melissa Cronin, chief of staff at 92nd Street Y. “We thought it could be really meaningful to make it available to anyone in the world on a shared day.”

The point, she noted, is to create a “global moment” out of the Rosh Hashanah greetings most Jewish organizations are doing at this time of year, anyway.

92Y has shared this very tweetable New Year prayer to use:

May hope dispel the darkness. May our vision keep us strong. May loving kindness bring us peace. #NewYearPrayer

But JCCs need not be limited by those 111 characters. Your J can participate by planning an activity in your community and sharing videos and photos on social media, for example:

  • Recording the #NewYearPrayer with friends or community members
  • Sharing your reflections on the past year and your hopes for the coming year
  • Sounding a shofar in a meaningful spot
  • Showing how a local, traditional holiday delicacy is made
  • Taking us on a virtual tour of your local spot for tashlich (symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread into a body of flowing water)
  • Post a meaningful question, and start a conversation with the global community
  • Host an in-person or online event – like a text study, meditation or learning moment

Social media is key to spreading the message and ensuring it reaches communities around the world. So is using the hashtag #NewYearPrayer.

It’s a great way to involve the community beyond the J. Last year communities around the globe including JCC Krakow, in Poland, North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, Australia, Untied Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong, the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism in Tel Aviv, and the Finchley Reform Synagogue in London, all took part.

You can download the toolkit, or share your ideas and questions here.  For ideas, check out 92Y’s Storify from #NewYearPrayer 5776/2015.

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