We have expanded our Reverse Tashlich program to include Repair the Sea Stewards - unaffiliated individuals who want to join the global movement. Read on to learn more, join the community, and register for the 6th Annual Reverse Tashlich.
The Small Start
Do you think that when Bill Gates and Paul Allen were sitting in a garage in 1975, they knew what impact Microsoft would have on the world? Similarly, in 2016 did five Eckerd College students know that their new Jewish tradition of a High Holiday waterfront cleanup, cleverly nicknamed Reverse Tashlich because it was the opposite of casting sins into the water, would become an international phenomenon? In six years, the number of participants cleaning up local waterfronts as a High Holiday tradition multiplied by a factor of 500 - over 3,000 Jews and allies in 12 countries came together to clean the environment as a part of the 5th Annual Reverse Tashlich.
In 2016, Repair the Sea - Tikkun HaYam was a college club, Scubi Jew. Rabbi Ed Rosenthal crafted the club as an innovative way to connect college students to Judaism and each other. However, over time he began to uncover a deep connection between Judaism and the water. Now, the once college extracurricular has expanded to become an international non-profit organization, focusing on repairing water-based environments from a Jewish perspective.
The Jewish People
The diversity of the Jewish people is vast. We come from different countries, express our religious beliefs differently, are born into Jewish households, or are called to convert. Some of us adhere to the strict mitzvot from the Torah, and others of us host an occasional Friday night dinner with wine. There are many ways to express Judaism, and there are many ways to remain tied to our ancestry or to the new community we are building. One belief we at Repair the Sea - Tikkun HaYam act on is that we all have been called upon to be stewards of the planet, including the often-forgotten aquatic environment.
The Step Forward
With that in mind, we have again innovated the Reverse Tashlich program for our 6th Annual event. Those five college students in 2016 had a community base, a structured organization that allowed them to express their Judaism as environmental stewardship together. However, some of us, whether living in remote areas or not engaged in organized Jewish communities, do not have that opportunity. Or, some of us may be a part of organized communities that cannot host an official Reverse Tashlich. If so, we still invite you to join the 6th Annual Reverse Tashlich as an Official Repair the Sea Steward. (Even if you are removed from the ocean, all our actions inland affect the big blue ocean.)
With this new addition to our usual Reverse Tashlich Official Communities model, we will continue to work with communities like Congregations, JCCs, and Moishe Houses AND expand to include interested individuals who would like to join wherever they are. It is as easy as taking a plastic bag tucked under the sink and using it to collect trash from a local waterfront on September 10th. Repair the Sea Stewards can be individuals, couples, families, or groups of old or new friends. When you register as an official Steward, you can add yourself as a hotspot for others. If you opt-in, we will mark your cleanup location and connect you with any other Stewards in your area. Whether or not you opt-in, you are invited to our virtual Round Tables for Repair the Sea Stewards and Communities worldwide. In this way, we encourage a broader involvement in the global initiative to Repair the Sea and foster connection and collaboration.
Register as a Repair the Sea Steward or an official Reverse Tashlich Community and join the expanding global community by visiting www.repairthesea.org/rt2023. Thank you!