Our community’s ingenuity in the face of a crisis knows no bounds. From dawn to dusk, on Facebook, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Houseparty and other popular social media platforms, Jewish life in lockdown has taken on a new and unexpected vibrancy as we discover different ways to work, pray, mourn and celebrate.
While limiting our daily lives and physical interactions, the pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to explore Judaism in creative ways never before imagined.
Synagogues of every demonination are attracting huge online congregations for services, simchas and social events. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Senior Rabbi of Reform Judaism Laura Janner-Klausner, Rabbi Joseph Dweck of the S&P Sephardi Community and outgoing Senior Liberal Judaism Rabbi Danny Rich have all significantly enhanced their online presence.
Youth and Zionist movements are also experiencing heightened levels of interaction. As we report this week, a spellbinding Yom Ha-Shoah performance by JLGB’s virtual children’s choir has generated more than 540,000 views in just seven days while last night, in partnership with Jewish News, JNF UK held a virtual song contest to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day.
You can watch many of the 120 entries and discover who won on social media via the hashtag #songhaatzmaut.
These are dark and difficult days, but how gratifying that for so many an unforeseen legacy of this crisis will be a newfound sense of Jewish belonging.