L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu

With 5781 in the rear view mirror, and (we hope) a brighter 5782 on the horizon, we are beginning to see the impact of the pandemic on our mental health. As the new year begins, let us reaffirm our commitment to mental health and wellness for both ourselves and our communities.

A conversation on mental health can bring forth powerful connections with the potential to save someone’s life. To help start people talking, we created these resources for individuals to reflect upon and improve their own mental health as well as to contribute to the mental wellness of the entire Jewish community as we look forward to a sweet new year.

Rosh Hashanah is a powerful and transformative holiday, from the inspirational and poetic prayers we recite to the powerful and incisive blast of the shofar. This experience, however, cannot be fully embraced in a safe and healthy way without preparation, and for that, we have the month of Elul preceding the High Holidays. We encourage you to take this month to fully embrace and engage with your past with courage. It is only by building better selves that we can build a better world.

Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, can be a challenging subject for a lot of people. For some, it is a chance to make resolutions, accepting the past and committing to a better future. But for those struggling with mental illness, this process of self-criticism and introspection can be devastating to their mental health. Therefore, we all must do our best to cultivate self-acceptance and, above all, self-forgiveness, in a healthy and collected manner.

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We would like to thank Rabbi Michael Bernstein of Congregation Gesher L’Torah Alpharetta, Georgia for dedicating his Rosh Hashanah sermon to mental health, as well as his making use of Blue Dove Foundation resources. Start your new year off on the right foot by listening to his incredibly powerful sermon here.

High Holiday Guide for Organization Leadership

This is a resource that can be used by organization leadership (clergy, staff, lay leaders) to help bring mental health into High Holiday remarks this year.

“Last year, while wearing a Blue Dove kippah at our Jewish High Holidays services, I spoke about the Blue Dove Foundation and discussed mental health, suicide and addiction for the first time in front of my congregation. Many people came up to me at the end of services; it was the first time in 23 years that people shared with me their mental health and addiction stories as well as speaking about the overdose deaths of children and family members. I’m glad I shared the resources and that I used the mi sheberach prayer for those in recovery.”

– Rabbi Larry Schuval, South Florida


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Download a simple Rosh Hashanah Seder & Yom Kippur Guidebook or mix & match to create your own holiday gathering. View and use the Blue Dove clips.




OneTable Holidays 2021


HighHolyDays.org – Celebration, reflection, forgiveness, hope, community, stillness, appreciation.

Synagogue Connect – a truly global network of synagogues that have opened their doors to warmly welcome Jewish young adults 18-30 for High Holyday services with absolutely no requirement of membership affiliation. Think of Synagogue Connect as your Global Passport into the synagogue of your choice.