In an historic cross-denominational partnership, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality today announced the Shofar Project, a program of spiritual preparation for the High Holidays in collaboration with the Central Conference of American Rabbis, International Rabbinic Fellowship, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Union for Reform Judaism, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
The free program runs during the month of Elul (August 20-September 18) and includes daily Jewish meditation sits led by clergy from the partner organizations, weekly Torah study, and a twice-weekly Jewish yoga studio. IJS faculty will prepare short teachings to frame each week in a theme related to listening to the shofar. Upon registration at IJS’s website, participants receive email reminders about the weekly and daily events. Local communities can create weekly practice groups to reflect on the themes and build other programs around them.
“What is most exciting to me about The Shofar Project is that it’s really an open-source platform,” said IJS Executive Director Rabbi Josh Feigelson. “Because it’s free, local communities can piggy-back on the programming and customize it. That’s a big paradigm shift and a wonderful form of collaboration and partnership.”
“IJS has pioneered the renewal of Jewish spiritual life in North America for over 20 years, and we are thrilled to partner with them,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Hundreds of Reform clergy have transformed their approach to Torah and Jewish life through experiences with IJS. I know—I was in the very first cohort of rabbis who studied with IJS two decades ago. So I’m thrilled that we can bring this Torah to so many more people through this partnership.”
Feigelson reflected that the cross-denominational collaboration potentially reflected a broader turning-point: “While I know the movements have collaborated in various ways over the years, I cannot think of a time when this wide a cross-section came together in the cause of spiritual practice. It’s profoundly heartening to witness, especially at a moment when so many people are awakening to the vital importance of spiritual life.”
For more information on The Shofar Project, including registration information, visit https://www.jewishspirituality.org/go-deeper/the-shofar-project/.