Occupy Rosh Hashanah
Sunday, September 16, 2012
In or near Zuccotti Park, NYC (TBD)
September 17, the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, is rapidly approaching. The S17 Day of Action, which commemorates this anniversary, by chance or by fate, fortuitously falls on the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year.
Last year, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, a Kol Nidre service was held at Occupy Wall Street, drawing an estimated 1,000 participants, and receiving international media attention. A sukkah for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot was later erected in Zuccotti Park, creating the precedent for the tent city that soon followed. These actions were the efforts of Occupy Judaism, a loose collective of Jewish activists, educators, community organizers, and everyday Janes and Joes, representing a broad spectrum of the Jewish community.
Occupy Judaism is coming together again to celebrate Occupy’s one year anniversary and the Jewish New Year together, with Occupy Rosh Hashanah. On the evening of September 16, in or near Zuccotti Park, hundreds of Jews will gather to pray and cry out for a just world, culminating in the blowing of the shofar, heralding a New Year of renewed action, and the tumbling of Wall Street like the walls of Jericho.
Just as with previous Occupy Judaism services, the Occupy Rosh Hashanah service will be pluralistic, inclusive and nondenominational. Individuals from every stream of Judaism have volunteered to help organize and facilitate services. It will also be held without a permit as an act of civil disobedience, reflecting the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel that “Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive.”
Following services, there will be a kosher vegetarian potluck dinner, where guests will enjoy traditional holiday foods including pomegranates and apples and honey, as well as festive singing and dancing.
Occupy Rosh Hashanah provides Jewishly observant supporters of Occupy with a means to participate in the September 17 Day of Action without violating Jewish religious law, thereby allowing the Occupy movement to remain as inclusive as possible. This is extremely important considering recent findings that one in six households in New York City is Jewish, and one in four Jews is poor.
This event is cosponsored by Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Jewish Voice for Peace.
For more information and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page.