Resources from ReformJudaism.org
The Union for Reform Judaism’s educational website, ReformJudaism.org, is working to help members of our community find new ways to “do Jewish” from home. From Torah study to Shabbat ideas, family discussion guides to favorite Jewish Netflix shows, this content is designed to help your congregants stay busy and Jewishly engaged. Here are a number of resources they’ve gathered:
Jewish Wisdom in Times of Crisis
During a time of fear and uncertainty, the following pieces can help members of our community think about the current situation through a Jewish lens.
- “We’ve Been Here Before: Spiritual Wisdom for Enduring Coronavirus”: Rabbi Paul Kipnes says the Book of Numbers can provide insight into the current crisis.
- “The Holiness of Handwashing: Lessons from Ancient Jewish Wisdom and Instagram Celebs”: Rabbi Alex Kress finds gratitude and grounding while handwashing.
- “What Does Jewish Tradition Say About Health and Wellness?”: Rabbi Richard Address explains Jewish tradition’s insight into staying healthy.
As most congregations turn to the online streaming of Shabbat services and other programming, now is the time to provide your community with helpful resources about Shabbat home observance. When you share information about your upcoming livestreams, consider, too, including our Shabbat page and/or the following resources:
- “How to Create a Meaningful Shabbat Experience from Home”: These ideas will help congregants make the most of Shabbat, even when they can’t come to synagogue.
- “3 Ways to Bring Shabbat Home”: Help congregants recreate certain elements of synagogue life from home.
- “Blessings for Home Observance”: Find all the blessings you need to spend Shabbat at home.
- “Shabbat Blessings for Families with Young Children”: Three animated videos teach kids the Shabbat blessings.
- “Teach Your Children the Mitzvot of Shabbat”: We explain these four mitzvot and suggest ideas and family activities that fulfill them.
- [Playlist] “Songs for an Enjoyable Shabbat with Your Family”: Here’s a Spotify playlist of family-friendly Shabbat songs popular at camps, schools, and early childhood centers.
Observing Shabbat from the home provides individuals with the opportunity to study Torah on their own and to engage in thought-provoking at-home discussions with their families about Torah. Share our main Torah Study page, which includes the weekly parashiyot, commentaries, voice recordings, and more.
Consider the following, as well:
- [PODCAST] On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah: Each week offers up divrei Torah about Jewish thought and its contemporary influence.
- “Tips for Leading a Weekly Family Discussion” This resource helps parents guide their families in engaging conversations about Torah. For family resource guides, check out:
To recieve new content related to each week’s Torah portion, subscribe to the Monday edition of Ten Minutes of Torah, which delivers a new d’var Torah and davar acher to your inbox at the top of each week.
- Mi Shebeirach: Together pray for the swift healing of all who are sick
- “Nisim B’chol Yom (Prayer for Daily Miracles) for Coronavirus”: This is an original adaptation of Judaism’s series of morning blessings.
- “Prayer in a Time of Coronavirus”: Rabbi Joe Black shares his prayer during tumultuous time.
- “A Prayer for Medical Scientists”: Liturgist Alden Solovy prays for the wisdom, skills, and safety of all those on the frontlines of fighting coronavirus.
- “A 20-Second Prayer During Handwashing”: This prayer is designed to be said in the amount of time it takes to properly wash hands.
Families with Young Children
With schools and day cares closed, many parents now find themselves at home with young children, day in and day out, and in search of ways to keep them both entertained and educated. Our Parenting page includes countless resources, videos, crafts, activity ideas, and more to help fill the time in meaningful and Jewishly engaging ways.
- Jewish books for kids: Browse overviews and discussion guides of a variety of Jewish children’s books.
- Shaboom! videos and discussion guides: This animated web series teaches Jewish values through magic, comedy, and songs. Of particular relevance are:
- “Teaching Children about Peace in the Home (Shalom Bayit)”: We could all heed this lesson right now!
- “Teaching Children about Being Grateful for What They Have (Hakarat Hatov)”: This lesson is important even (and perhaps especially) when things feel difficult.
- “How to Talk to Kids about Bad Things Happening in the World”: Though not specific to the current crisis, this guide helps parents address difficult topics.
- “9 Jewish Activities to Try When You’re Cooped Up at Home with Kids”: From virtual tours to Jewishly themed crafts, we’re here to help.
- “’Homeshuling’ Under Quarantine: Fun Jewish Videos for Virtual Learning”: Here are four videos to spark connections to Judaism through digital storytelling.
Food and Recipes
During this time of social isolation and physical distancing, cooking and baking can serve as a welcome and calming distraction – even for those who don’t typically do so. Share our main Food and Recipes page, browse our vast collection of Jewish recipes, or share one of these themed roundups.
- “21 Jewish Recipes That Use Ingredients You Already Have at Home”: What should you cook when you can’t get to the grocery store?
- “18 Easy-to-Make Jewish Comfort Foods”: These Jewishly inspired recipes are perfect for beginners.
- “All Things Challah”: This round-up include 14 recipes, plus helpful hacks.
- “Cooking Like Camp: Our All-Time Favorite Recipes”: URJ Camps share their best recipes to recreate at home.
Art and Culture
With so much time to spend at home, everyone is looking for shows to watch, books to read, new hobbies to try, etc. We’re doing our best to create and adapt content that will help members of our community stay busy, pass the time, and remain Jewishly engaged, all at once.
- Books and Literature page: This landing page includes book reviews, discussion guides, and more.
- Book reviews: Browse more than 150 reviews of Jewishly themed books.
- “9 Social Justice Books to Read Right Now”: This is a great time to dive into books that teach about issues that we all have a responsibility to tackle.
- “These Are the Most Binge-Worthy Jewish (and Jew-ish) Shows on Netflix”: Find your new favorite show!
- “5 Passover Movies You’ll Love”: Get in the Passover spirit… from the comfort of your couch.
- “5 Jewish Stories to Listen to on Your Own or with Kids”: Here are the top five episodes of our Jewish storytelling podcast.
- [Playlist] “Songs of Hope and Healing”: This Spotify playlist includes songs, both Jewish and secular, to bring us courage and strength.
With some communities more susceptible to health and economic shocks, the Reform Movement is calling upon Congress to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our communities have, at the very least, affordable and quality health care, paid sick days, and support to provide nutrition and shelter for themselves and their families throughout this emergency.
- “The Jewish Imperative for Justice in the Face of Pandemic”: Rabbi Jonah Pesner asks us to commit to fight for justice during this unprecedented moment of need.
- “Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, We Urge Congress Protect the Most Vulnerable”: RAC Legislative Director Allison Grossman outlines our legislative priorities.
- [Action Alert] Urge Congress Protect the Vulnerable During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The RAC’s online tool makes it easy to write to elected officials.