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Virtual Shabbat Box

Virtual Shabbat Box illustration

Your Virtual Shabbat Box holds many ways to celebrate the day. Choose what nurtures you: listen, watch or read.

July 12-13

Rabbi Asher Sofman argues that, by pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion, congregations can be addresses for “shared experiences, shared relationships, shared practices, stories” and “the foundation for shared living.”

An illustration of Equality vs. Equity: on the left, three people stand on equally-sized crates at a fence, but the shortest person cannot see over the fence. On the right, the shortest person is given two crates to stand on to see over the fence.

In these videos and written Q & A, one young mother shares about the heartbreaking loss of her 2-year-old daughter and how creating a new Jewish ritual, one steeped in Shabbat, helped her family celebrate love and face grief.

Author Myra Sack with her book, Fifty-Seven Fridays: Losing Our Daughter, Finding Our Way

This meditation will help you explore, and maybe even unlock, the hidden messages in your dreams, messages only you can decode.

Close-up of the hand of a person meditating with a butterfly perched on their thumb

Louis Newman, Ph.D., discusses how Oct. 7 and the war in Gaza have shaken the core beliefs of many Diaspora Jews. He also offers his take on campus antisemitism and the steps colleges should take to ensure safety and free expression.

Smartphone with Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations against a background of blue waves

June 28-29

“Moving Through the Wilderness: Recommitting to Equity After 10/7” is a collection of brief essays originally published in the Forward. Rabbis Sandra Lawson, Asher Sofman and Deborah Waxman explain Reconstructing Judaism’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Illustration of a tree with exposed roots with clocks in between the roots.

Pride month is drawing to a close. This prayer is a year-round reminder that everyone is created in the divine image. Each of us is responsible to defend the most vulnerable.

People at an LGBTQ+ rally holding up signs in support of trans rights

Learn how a group of writers are creating a ripple effect by crafting new Jewish rituals and liturgy and helping to increase Jewish relevancy in today’s world. And it’s not too late to register for their June 27 book launch!

Book cover of Weaving Through Time: a tan cover with a circular rope illustration around the title text

In need of equanimity? A mantra to focus on during meditation or prayer? Listen to the voice of Rabbi Jacob Staub as he chants the most versatile of Hebrew words, shalom.

A woman sitting at the edge of a lake with her arms outstretched

June 11-12

Moses might never have ascended Mount Sinai if he hadn’t received advice from his non-Jewish father-inlaw, Yitro. We, too — especially during difficult times can learn from those whose beliefs differ from our own.

Illustration of the tablets of the Ten Commandments on the top of a mountain

These new and previously published essays offer a range of perspectives on how to engage with Torah, Revelation, Shavuot and, ultimately, Judaism itself.

A Torah scroll surrounded by wheat and a yarmulke with a Jewish star pattern

Sure, you’ve savored cheesecake during your Shavuot celebration, but have you tried Persian rice pudding, courtesy of Adva Chattler’s grandmother? Here’s your chance.

A cup of rice pudding with toppings including different types of nuts

In this inspiring blessing, Rabbi Lily Solochek asks that “the One who delivered our ancestors from oppression to freedom, redeem us and all marginalized peoples.”

A liquid rainbow pattern

June 7-8

Want to continue learning Torah after your community’s tikkun or without leaving home? We’ve specially curated hours of digital resources to learn on your own or with a group.

A sliced cheesecake on a plate next to a smaller plate with cake slices and cups of coffee

How do Reconstructionists understand the revelation of Torah at Mount Sinai in light of modern biblical criticism? Rabbi Jacob Staub explains it in this essay adapted from A Guide to Jewish Practice.

Close-up of open Torah scroll

For a Shavuot treat, follow along this step-by-step guide on baking a cake as rich in symbolism as it is in flavor, one shaped like Torah scrolls.

Shavuot cake decorated to look like a Torah scroll

This poem captures the joy of receiving the Torah, both physically and spiritually.

A person opening a Torah scroll

May 31-June 1

This stunning poem by Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein captures so much in so few words, reminding the reader that “it is very, very easy to destroy, but infinitely harder to build. May we remember that there is no future for any of us without all of us.”

Aerial view of Israeli city on the coast

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi, a Zionist who reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself, explains why she has joined calls to end the war in Gaza. She also shares some of her formative Israel experiences.

A person at a protest holding a sign that says "Stop War"

With Shavuot approaching, Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin Rubenstein reminds us that we can gain wisdom, and even joy, in studying the parts of the Torah that we’d prefer to avoid or ignore.

A Torah scroll and a bowl of wheat products on a blue tablecloth

Who knew that both Taylor Swift’s music and the counting of the Omer offer pathways to personal growth and reflection? Future rabbi LilyFish Gomberg offers a Swift song for each day of the Omer (we’re a little more than halfway through.)

A woman wearing headphones and singing to music on her phone superimposed over a wheat field

May 24-25

When was the last time you stopped to slowly take in a poem, in all its sounds, metaphors and meanings? Trisha Arlin’s poem describes how the act of counting can help us make sense of the mysteries of life and help each of us cross our personal Sea of Reeds.

Woman walking through a field of wheat with the sun glare on her face

By listening closely to the similarities between human music and the voices of birds, Rabbi Bob Gluck says we’ll see the world in a new way and move beyond speciesism and the traditional Jewish concept of chosenness.

Silhouette of birds against a pink and purple sunset

Where do you turn when you lose faith in what you held firmly? Ethicist Louis E. Newman, Ph.D., argues that, after October 7, Jewish-American civic religion, and its relationship to Israel, will never be the same and that we are in a time of “unsettling transition.”

A broken mirror standing against a gray wall

In this meditation and teaching, Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein helps us imagine the divine mystery as a loving parent and, through that, the embrace of something profound, powerful and outside of ourselves.

Silhouette of a woman watching the sun set over the ocean

May 17-18

Wrapping up nearly a decade as CEO of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Rabbi Elyse Wechterman chats with Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president & CEO of Reconstructing Judaism, about leadership, managing one’s inbox, the pace of change in Jewish life and the evolving role of rabbi. 

A smartphone screen showing Hashivenu in the media player. The phone is surrounded by leaves and flowers.

LilyFish Gomberg’s guide to counting the Omer focuses on personal growth, reflection and a deeper connection with the world, augmented with selected lyrics by the one and only Taylor Swift.

A photo of Taylor Swift altered so she is wearing a dress made of wheat and is against a background image of wheat.

Interested in stepping away from your screen? Want to gather in person to learn, connect, create new rituals and works of writing or art? Learn about this exciting opportunity in advance of Shavu’ot.

Close-up of wheat in a field against a blue sky

Confused? Looking to untangle where antisemitism and anti-Zionism diverge and overlap? Dive into this thoughtful, engaging and sometimes proactive discussion with Rabbi Tova Spitzer and Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D. 

Three rabbis on video screens: Rabbi Jacob Staub, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Rabbi David Teutsch

May 10-11

Created primarily for educators, these program ideas and reading lists offer myriad ways to explore many perspectives on Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day in the shadow of war.

Cover of Yom Ha’atzma’ut resource book against a backdrop of an aerial view of forest and sky

Geared At a time when social media is essentially another front in the Israel-Hamas War, Naomi Barnesky’s prayer calls for compassion for self and others in the face of “destruction and closed-mindedness.”

Woman sitting outside on a hill while on her phone

Rabbi Yael Levy’s guide through the Omer will take you on a healing journey.

Aerial view of a sand dune and sand structure in a desert

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This video highlights SAJs Mental Health and Resiliency Task Force and how it demonstrates a Reconstructionist approach to Judaism.

A multicultural group of adults sitting in a circle and talking

May 3-4

Rabbi Phillip Lazowski, who survived the Holocaust as a child, shares about the experiences that have shaped his vision and sense of purpose.

Star of David next to two candles

In this powerful poem, Anne R.Z. Schulman, a member of Ritualwell’s ADVOT community of writers, paints a picture of her experiences as a child of survivors.

Lit red and white candles on railroad tracks with person silhouetted in foggy background

Ariel Neshama Lee offers a guided meditation that can be used to reflect on the resiliency of our people through difficult times.

Cloudy, starry sky with thin crescent moon

Rabbi David Katz shares a prayer to help us remember and to be gentle with our souls.

Cropped view of wood, steel, and barbed wire

April 26-27

As we seek rest from the bustle of sederim and the tumult of our times, find comfort in Rabbi Shawn Zevit’s original song calling for a day or even an hour to Let me cool and recover.”

Person with their arms open against a sunny yellow sky

Rabbi Janet Madden offers a way to express grief and loss at Yizkor with the basic elements of fire, water, salt and stone.

Small stones in a bowl, one stone is inscribed with the word Remember

This meditation, created by Ariel Neshama Lee, invites you to embark on a journey of reflection and introspection by focusing on emanations of God described by the Kabbalists as sefirot.

Kabbalistic drawing in a notebook

Rabbi Nathan Kamesar reveals what it is like to be a pulpit rabbi and spiritual leader during wartime. Later, Rabbi Maurice Harris discusses all things Moses.

Cover of the book "Moses: A Stranger Among Us" against a desert backdrop

April 19-20

Rabbi Deborah Waxman delves into the nature of freedom, teaching that Passover brings our freedom to life by enacting our highest values and our deepest commitments.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman in front of a bookshelf

Rabbi Malka Binah Klein’s chant sets the tone for searching for hard-to-find hametz, both physical and metaphysical.

Hands holding lit candle

Imagining ourselves into this story involves us in an ever unfolding creating process, write Rabbis Mychal Copeland and Margie Jacobs.

Seder plate with matzah and tulips

The voices of Jews of Color have largely been missing from the pages of Passover Haggadot. These supplements offer the beginnings of a corrective.

Jews of Color Haggadot supplements

April 12-13

The voices of Jews of Color have largely been missing from the pages of Passover Haggadot. These supplements offer the beginnings of a corrective.

A multicultural group of women talking and laughing indoors against an exposed brick wall

Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, a poet and Mussar teacher, explores how retelling the Passover story illuminates the nature of suffering and has the potential to cultivate empathy.

Seder table with matzah, prayer books, table settings, and a vase of tulips

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik shares poetic wisdom for your seder table about what one can say to our children—and to the adults at a seder held in this confounding year 5784.

Read: What Should we Tell the Children?

The Virtual Passover Box is a trove of digital resources designed to help you experience, and retell, the central story of the Jewish age. These resources enhance all 15 parts of your seder.

A seder plate and four cups of red wine in gold wine glasses, next to a pitcher of red wine

April 5-6

The mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam isn’t given much character development in Exodus. Here, Rabbi Sonja K. Pilzs stirring poem imagines Yocheved’s voice in its full power and complexity.

A woman with long brown hair and a green and red striped dress walking against a yellow sky with her back turned

With Passover approaching, it’s the perfect time for this blessing for the simple joy of bread. Leavened bread.

A person's hand reaching for a loaf of challah and a cup of honey

During the weekly Ritualwell “Holding Each Other” gathering, Rabbi Shawn Zevitt strums his acoustic guitar, performing an ancient prayer for healing.

A close-up of a person's hand strumming an acoustic guitar

Rabbi Rebecca Lillian analyzes the state of antisemitism in Sweden and Denmark, offering both sobering and hopeful observations.

Aerial view of a neighborhood in Stockholm, Sweden

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Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

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