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Hot Topics for Rosh Hashana – How Do You Decide?

by the Coalition of Innovating Congregations
Tablet recently interviewed rabbis from all over the country a simple question, “What will you say in your High Holiday sermon?”  The answers came from a diverse group spanning the spectrum of observance, and located all over the United States – and some were quite surprising.  

Read the full article here (and we are proud to note that our colleague Rabbi Andy Bachman of Beth Elohim in Brooklyn is a featured guest). 

As interesting as the topics themselves is the way rabbis and other congregational leaders choose the topics on which they will speak over the holidays.  What influences the decision?  What does the process look like?

Our partners at Darim Online pioneered a fascinating approach to sermon-writing – one that uses new technologies to engage the entire congregation in conversation and collaboration.  They called it the “Social Sermon.”  Chiseled down to its essence, the social sermon means proposing a potential topic for the next week's drash, posting that to a blog, Twitter, or Facebook feed, and spending the rest of the week exploring, refining, and challenging that idea with your community, asynchronously, online.  The final product then reflects the knowledge, opinions, hopes and concerns of the community as a whole.

Read more about the social sermon here.

How do your leaders decide what to speak about over the High Holidays?  Share your stories and continue the conversation in the comments!

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