Looking to get spiritually connected and mentally prepared for the High Holiday season, while maintaining the social distancing requirements of this pandemic era?

A new, free, community-wide virtual program might be just what you’re looking for.

Starting this Thursday, Aug. 20, Na’aleh: The Hub for Leadership Learning will present a local rabbi or Jewish communal leader each morning – except on Shabbat – from 8-8:30 to offer Jewish learning, wisdom and contemplation throughout the Hebrew month of Elul. (In Jewish tradition, Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.)

Na’aleh is an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore.

Molly Amster, director of Jews United for Justice (Provided photo)

Participating groups include Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Beth Am Synagogue, the Pearlstone Center, Beth El Congregation, Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebel, the Jewish Community Center of Great Baltimore, Beth Tfiloh Synagogue, Congregation Netivot Shalom, the Macks Center for Jewish Education, Jewish Volunteer Connection, and Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

Presenters for the Aug. 20 opening session will be Beth Israel’s Rabbi Jay R. Goldstein and Rabbi Dena Shaffer, executive director of 4Front, who will discuss the significance of Elul and the rituals of the month employed in preparation for the High Holiday season.

Other presenters during the 30-day program will include Columbia Jewish Congregation’s Rabbi Sonya Starr, who will talk about the Book of Jonah; Amian Kelemer, the CJE’s associate executive vice president, who will discuss the biblical figure of Serach bat Asher; Rabbi Rory Katz of Chevrei Tzedek on “Why Do We Still Refer to God as King in a Democratic, Egalitarian Society?”; Rabbi Chai Posner of Beth Tfiloh on the meaning and power of Psalm 27; Molly Amster, executive director of Jews for Judaism, on racism and responsibility from a traditional Jewish perspective; Rabbi Dr. Eli Yoggev of Beth Tfiloh on positive reinforcement and motivation during the High Holidays; and JCC Chief Arts Officer Sara Shalva on yoga and teshuvah, or repentance.

Rabbi Jessy Dressin, director of Repair the World Baltimore (Provided photo)

The closing ceremony on Friday, Sept. 18, will be presented by Rabbi Jessy Dressin, director of Repair the World Baltimore, on “The Jewish Calendar and Community Organizing and Cycles of Deep Growth.”

Rosh Hashanah this year begins on the evening of Friday, Sept. 18, ushering in the High Holiday season.

For information, visit https://naalehbaltimore.org/elul/, or contact Shirley Hott at shott@naalehbaltimore.org or 410-843-7560. A Zoom link will be provided in a confirmation email.