At Passover back in April, it felt like we were all scrambling to acclimate to Zoom. How many hours did we spend on the phone discussing ways to make sure all family members were set up to participate in virtual seders, thinking about whose participant codes we’d be using and lamenting the fact that we couldn’t all enjoy the same matzah ball soup?
Now, four months later, many of us have become Zoom experts and are wondering how we will make the Days of Awe indeed feel inspired and full of awe, despite the virtual-ness of the celebration.
Recognizing that Jewish people and communities around the country and world will be thinking about this, we at JArts teamed up with New York-based Jewish artist support organization Asylum Arts to co-commission four artists to create High Holiday-themed digital works. In addition to great art we can share far and wide for the holidays, this is also a meaningful opportunity to support artists who are out of work and in need of support.
What was our charge to these artists? Make something virtually accessible that excites, inspires and steeps us all in the essence of the Days of Awe. Links to the final works will be available in late August, but these descriptions will help you plan.
Virtual Taschlich: Throw Away Your Sins
I have always thought that Taschlich, a moment where you throw your sins into a body of water, is a cool and under-appreciated Jewish ritual. Now, Israeli artist team Efrat Hakimi and Shabtai Pinchevsky are creating a virtual Taschlich via a public website where visitors will be encouraged to reflect on the things they wish to cast off for the new year, both personally and socially. The website will know where you are and will find the body of water closest to you. After casting off a selected phrase, you’ll then be able to browse through other visitors’ cast-off contributions in the same body of water and visit other bodies of water around the world. It’s a whole new mode of introspection and global community-building and sharing!
For the young, and the young at heart you, illustrator and Orthodox mom Chari Pere is creating High Holiday coloring sheets that will be fun, educational and cool! Who doesn’t want an excuse to color?
Send a Unique Greeting (Card)
Shay Arik is an accomplished Israeli installation artist who has shown at Mass MOCA and around the world. His e-card series will feature photography that references the seven species. They are beautiful and intriguing and remind us all of our innate connection to the land.
Get in the Groove
Dvir Cohen Eraki is an Iraqi Israeli musician who shares the vast and rich traditions of liturgy and sacred music from the Mizrachi and Sefardi traditions (which many of us in the U.S. know little of). This is beautiful music with fascinating roots. Watch him and an array of talented musicians play traditional High Holiday music that I’m guessing will be new to you (it is to me!).
Special shout-out to our friends at PJ Library, URJ, Reboot, and Hillel, who are partners in this project.
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