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The Jewish New Year and High Holidays are all about reflecting and setting intentions.

This year, we're taking a fresh approach to this practice and choosing just one word to frame the year ahead. 

Learn more about this realistic and rewarding approach, and check out the examples below to see how our partners and network members are using one word to shape the new year!


Aliza Kline, Founding Executive Director, OneTable
Schusterman Fellow
Word: Belonging
We live in an increasingly disconnected world, with people spending more time alone than they want to. I am grateful for the communities I'm a part of—all of the people who hold space for me when I need it. Over the next year, I want to focus more on how I can be a part of making that a reality for others.

Ari Hart, Rabbi, Skokie Valley Synagogue 
ROI Community Member and Schusterman Fellow
Word: Roots
The world can feel so crazy, with so much change and instability all around us. Though I believe that ultimately some very good things will emerge from the turmoil, in the moment it can feel destabilizing. Worse, following the news cycle, social media, etc. can take me off track from the things I know I need to do in this world. So this year I'm focusing on the roots in my life—what keeps me grounded and what helps me grow? What can I do to deepen and nurture those roots? May 5780 bring depth, stability and power to us all!

Avi Rubel, Co-CEO, Honeymoon Israel
Schusterman Fellow
Word: Gratitude
Every day is both a gift and an opportunity to grow. 
My goal in the coming year is to express gratitude for the many gifts and opportunities that make my life so rich.

Dyonna Ginsburg, Executive Director, OLAM
REALITY Alum and Schusterman Fellow
Word: Awaken
As a working mom, I cherish every minute of sleep I can get. But, this Rosh Hashana, I will do my best to stay awake all afternoon in observance of an ancient custom not to nap on the Jewish New Year. Like the blast of the Shofar, which is often compared to a wake-up call, this tradition reminds us to open our eyes (and hearts) to the world around us. This year, I'd like to "awaken": pay more attention to those in need, fight the urge to feel overwhelmed, show more compassion. (And, drink more coffee :))

Elad Caplan, Managing Director, ITIM
ROI Community Member and Schusterman Fellow
Word: Responsibility
In the coming year we will often be asked to take responsibility. Responsibility for Judaism, to protect it from extremism and separatism between different tribes. Responsibility for our public and political space, to bridge gaps between left and right and to provide productive solutions to the challenges we face. Responsibility for the environment and its significance for the future of humanity. Above all, it is our responsibility to be honest and moral people, in an age in which political interests and divisions sometimes come at the expense of a discourse on values, opinions and beliefs.

Isaiah Rothstein, Rabbi in Residence, Hazon
ROI Community Member
Word: Relationships
There is a growing need for people across differences to be in relationship with one another. In a world of so much fear, and where we are being taught to be wary of those who are different, it is relationships which bridge understanding, strengthen community and empower a generation to build a world from love.

Jessica Siskin, Founder, Misterkrisp
REALITY Alum
Word: Community
I believe that community is the single most powerful force in making both small- and large-scale change. Being part of a community makes every individual member stronger.

Stacy Schusterman, Chair, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Word: Hope
The word hope resonates with me because I believe it is essential to all tenacity and progress. Without hope, people will not keep trying to improve their lives, the lives of those around them, or the world, because that work is hard! If we want to help make the lives of all people better, we must have hope that we can—no matter what obstacles we face.

Yolanda Savage-Narva, Executive Director, Operation Understanding DC
Schusterman Fellow
Word: Compassion
I've always been a compassionate person, but for the Jewish New Year-5780, I want to take compassion to new heights. In order to become a better person, I have to see the best in people; meeting them where they are in their journeys. Connecting through the common thread of humanity!

What word are you choosing? Share your word to inspire others with this fresh approach to goal-setting!