Goat Yoga, Mosh Pits, Glow Sticks: Younger Jews Reinvent Yom Kippur

On the holiest day of the year, some rabbis are trying to lure new worshipers

For 2,000 years, Jews have spent Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in a synagogue abstaining from food and drink, fervently praying and beseeching God to forgive their sins.

This year, some rabbis, eager to woo younger people to High Holiday services, are holding programs in a beer garden, replacing deep reverential bows with goat yoga and celebrating the end of the season with glow sticks in a mosh pit.

“For the millennial generation, walking into a synagogue can feel like a Civil War re-enactment,” said Rabbi Dan Ain, who started a Rosh Hashana service called Bowl Hashanah at the Brooklyn Bowl, a music venue and bowling alley in Williamsburg, N.Y.

To older or more traditional Jews, this is nothing but a “shanda,” the Yiddish word for embarrassment.


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”Goat Yoga, Mosh Pits, Glow Sticks: Younger Jews Reinvent Yom Kippur” by Shayndi Raice, September 5, 2018, The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2018 by The Wall Street Journal.


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