In times of pandemic and lockdowns, when the public feels down and lonely, it is hard to stay upbeat in order to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays. But Jewish people can still fill their homes with joy, albeit through a computer screen, with the help of a special cultural center.
Jerusalem's Beit Avi Chai, a Jewish cultural hub dedicated to the creation, development and expression of Jewish thought and ideas, has launched a worldwide virtual project in an effort to help Jewish people during the coronavirus pandemic celebrate their traditions.
The project is essentially a new online platform meant to enable wide and diverse audiences and age groups around the world to connect with the uniqueness of the coming Jewish holiday period – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simachat Torah - directly from the comfort of their homes.
“It is hard to imagine celebrating the coming Jewish holidays during the corona pandemic,” said Beit Avi Chai's Executive Director Dr. David Rozenson. “In response, Beit Avi Chai has created a new, multifaceted online platform with a wide variety of original programs and presentations that we hope will enable people around the world to participate in a special experience of celebrating the ideas and spirit of the holidays directly from their homes."
Thee initiative includes a rich selection of over 200 items, in Hebrew and English, with original presentations, podcasts, preparations and recipes of holiday foods, essays, poetry, music, and art by leading educators, major performers, award-winning writers, poets and chefs as well as key cultural personalities (accompanied by texts, explanations, and visual images).
Among the presenters are a host of Jewish educators, author Meir Shalev, musicologist Prof. Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew literature expert Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld, composer Shlomi Shaban, musicians Eviatar Banai and Rona Kenan, chef and food entrepreneur Hedai Offaim and many others.
The project is available throughout the duration of the Jewish High Holidays via Beit Avi Chai's website