Responding to the unprecedented challenges of this year’s High Holidays – people alone, singles, the elderly, vulnerable populations, families with small children stuck at home – the Orthodox Union, the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, has created a unique online Torah learning platform, “Chag at Home,” which will offer high-level learning resources from renowned Torah educators, content for families, guides for study, holiday table discussion and activity sheets for children and teens.
This year, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many within the Orthodox community will be attending either abridged prayer services or spending Rosh Hashana (September 18-20) and Yom Kippur (September 27-28) at home. Building off the success of “Sinai at Home,” the Orthodox Union’s Department of Torah Initiatives has created “Chag at Home” to empower a more spiritually uplifting holiday experience for the entire community.
Visitors to the Chag at Home website can add resources to their free virtual shopping cart as they browse through more than 100 presentations and Torah source sheets. When finished adding the materials, they are able to download one collated, multi-page packet.
“The pandemic will force Jews to take new precautions this year with regard to our celebration of the High Holidays. It will be a different year in many ways, but we are proud to offer innovative resources to help adults, teens and families prepare to enter the new year with renewed inspiration and internal strength,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“We have partnered with schools, synagogue youth directors and other organizations, to provide material that will help enrich every member of our community regardless of their background,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “Chag at Home enables families and individuals to focus on their learning by simplifying the process of identifying and selecting resources that best suit their needs.”
The presenters include: Rabbi David Aaron, Rebecca Belizon, Rabbi Moshe Benovitz, Dr. Rivkah Blau, Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz, Rabbi Daniel Feldman, Rabbi Shai Finkelstein, Rabbi Bernie Fox, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider, Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Rabbi Avi Heller, Rabbi Haim Jachter, Rabbi Ari Kahn, Emma Katz, Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, Rabbi Anthony Manning, Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, Rabbi Judah Mischel, Rabbi Yonatan Nacson, Dr. Rona Novick, Mrs. Zemira Ozarowski, Rabbi David Rabhan, Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels, Rabbi Reuven Sasson, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Schwartz, Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier, Rabbi Sam Shor, Rebbetzin Shira Smiles, Rabbi Moshe Taragin, Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner, Rebbetzin Tzipora Weinberg, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersch Weinreb and Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf.
Partner schools and organizations include: Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Shalhevet High School, Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School, Yeshiva of Flatbush Elementary School, Kohelet Yeshiva, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School, Aleph Beta, Alliance of Jewish Youth Professionals, CJF | Center for the Jewish Future, The Pardes Project, Rabbinical Council of America, Shivti Learning Program, Yachad and Yad HaChazakah – The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center.
“With the High Holidays being the starting block for the Jewish year, preparation and the right state-of-mind are integral for a fulfilling observance. We hope that by offering a wide range of content for members of our community of all ages, Chag at Home will help everyone start the Jewish year off right,” said Orthodox Union Managing Director of Torah Initiatives Rabbi David Pardo.
For more information or to utilize the website please visit: https://www.ou.org/chag/