department for innovative rituals
Developing creative new rituals and experiential education that enable Israelis to enrich their Jewish identity
The Institute’s Department for Innovative Rituals develops and facilitates the implementation of new ceremonies and rituals that enable Israelis from all backgrounds to connect to their Jewish-Israeli identity in a meaningful and relevant manner that strengthens a shared civil society.
The department has instituted a tradition of a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) “Memory Circle” that offers participating synagogues, youth movements, families, and individuals the opportunity to conduct meaningful and original rituals and ceremonies on this solemn day. Memory Circles are conducted by trained facilitators who create the ceremony from reading materials, discussions, and songs from a guide published by the department’s scholars and educators. This project has grown from an experimental pilot to an annual tradition, with hundreds of participants attending events at the SHI campus in Jerusalem, and with thousands attending 150 events across Israel.