Rabbi Sam Blustin wrote a Guide To Virtual Tefillah. Especially in times of social and personal change, prayer has the potential to be transformational - if we approach prayer intentionally from a perspective of values and needs. This is no less true or possible in virtual services. His goal in this guide was to explore, through the lenses of ritual and gathering theory, how to elevate our online prayer gatherings to make them feel a little more holy and a little more meaningful. The suggestions, examples, and questions offered come from leading prayer for various established and experimental communities over the last several months, as well as interviews with several clergy and analysis of dozens of livestreamed services from communities of various sizes and denominations across the US.
The guide is shared on Google docs with comment permission. Sam's hope is for this to be a living document, and for his ideas and questions to spur a conversation about how to pray deeper and more meaningfully online. Please comment with your own examples, questions, disagreements, and anything else you might think is important to add to this discussion.
Thank you to Rabbi Jan Uhrbach for her guidance and feedback in the writing of this guide.
An example of what an in-person service looks like taking COVID-19 considerations into account.
Download the resource
This video walks through the steps to making your computer Shabbat and Yom Tov friendly for streaming services.
In an effort to support families with young children who are quarantined or selecting to do less socializing through playdates or community classes, UJA-Federation of NY, PJ Library, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and The Jewish Education Project have come together to aggregate a collection of high-quality Jewish activities and content that families can engage in together at home.
Prizmah put together a helpful resource page focused on schools and resources for teachers and students.
We must be conscious of infection control issues when we do taharah. Here are 20+ articles covering a 30-year timespan. They show the range of analysis, recommendations and the evolution of thinking on this topic.
Does your community livestream services or study opportunities? Feel free to add details to this communal open Google doc created by our colleague Karen Reiss Medwed. This is an opportunity to help those who cannot congregate join community. Please feel free to share widely.
The Cantors Assembly is putting all available livestreamed services and classes for all denominations in a user-friendly list in one central place. If you have specific information about livestreamed offerings for your shul or community, including exact days and times (halachic or fixed), please enter it into this form and pass it on.