July 17, 2019

Israeli rabbinical group to host 55,000 secular Jews for holiday services

The Tzohar rabbinical organization will host more than 55,000 people at 295 locations throughout Israel for Yom Kippur services.

In addition, the group for the first time will host the “Listening Together” shofar program for Rosh Hashanah in community centers and schools.

Participants will be provided with a prayer book to make it easier to follow along, as well as with an explanatory pamphlet written by Tzohar about the customs, prayers and meaning of the High Holidays to help guide the participants throughout the services.

“Going to a religious synagogue can be an intimidating and sometimes off-putting experience for someone who doesn’t regularly attend or associate with that particular community,” said Rabbi David Stav, co-founder of Tzohar. “We have seen such an outpouring of desire for Jewish connection by the secular community, especially relating the High Holidays, that we knew something had to be done to accommodate them. By moving these important Jewish lifecycle events to neutral locations – such as community centers or event halls – it becomes more much inviting and accessible for anyone interested in connecting with their Jewish tradition.”

The organization of religious Zionist rabbis started the Yom Kippur “Praying Together” program, which organizes the explanatory Yom Kippur services, 16 years ago.