Activity suggestions for individuals and families to help you take action during the Yamim Noraim:
- Dormant Judaica: share your personal and your synagogue's dormant Judaica items with those who are in need: America’s Jewish prisoners. Helping prisoners feel connected to their Jewish faith is a large part of Jewish Prisoner Services International's t'shuvah outreach efforts. There is no better time than the Yamim Noraim to run this program and check your storerooms, attics, and closets for dormant Judaica. Items to consider may include: Jewish books, Torah study materials, Torah commentaries, Hebrew-English dictionaries, pocket-sized siddurim, tefillin, tallitot, kippot, Hebrew-learning workbooks and books on Jewish customs and traditions.
- Juvenile Justice: Contrary to popular belief, juvenile crime rates continue to decline, and the vast majority of young people caught up in the criminal justice system are not violent and do not re-offend. Most delinquent youth struggle with social, education, emotional or economic hardships that are often beyond their control. Get involved and volunteer at a local juvenile center, become a mentor or encourage your congregation to start a partnership with a local juvenile recreation center. For more information contact the National Police Athletic League or Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
- Write and send Rosh HaShanah and holiday cards to Jewish prisoners.
- Educate yourself! Pick an issue pertaining to the judicial system. Spend each night of the 10 days learning about a different aspect of that issue and ways that you can be an advocate.
- Study the text! Read some of the key prayers and readings in the machzor related to themes of justice, repentance and forgiveness, such as Unetane Tokef and Al Chayt. Reflect upon and discuss these key concepts as they are applied to the criminal justice system.