Tablet Magazine

New Beginnings

Ep. 243: Ringing in 5781 with wisdom from Rabbi Sandra Lawson and Father James Martin, plus High Holiday resources from OneTable

September 17, 2020
Tablet Magazine

This Jewish New Year will definitely be different from all others, but we’re here to help you ring in 5781 with as much enjoyment and enlightenment as possible.

First we talk to Rabbi Sandra Lawson of Elon University about her plans for High Holiday services on campus this year, as well as her experience as a gay, Black rabbi navigating the Jewish world. She also shared how she uses music and social media to get her rabbinic message out to broad audiences. You can follow Rabbi Sandra on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Then Stephanie talks with Aliza Kline and Zoe Plotsky of OneTable, a platform that helps millennials gather for Shabbat meals. They tell us about their new High Holiday initiative, HereFor, which offers a variety of resources and virtual gatherings to help Jews feel connected and engaged this holiday season.

Our gentile of the week is Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine, who first joined us on the show for Ep. 121 alongside comedian Judy Gold (he then appeared on her podcast, too). He shares his thoughts on the need for humor in dark times, and offers us some Jesuit-inflected wisdom for the Jewish New Year.

Check out Tablet’s guide to streaming High Holiday services (including accessibility options) here. The page will be updated regularly; send additional links to [email protected].

Want more of the hosts? Listen to Stephanie on the Change Talk podcast as she sets intentions for 5781 with host Noah Pile.

And share your 5781 intentions and resolutions at [email protected], or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

Our annual fundraiser is underway, but we’re doing things a little differently this year. We’re looking to get as many participants as we can, giving whatever amount they’re able. Everyone who gives will be entered into a raffle to spend some virtual time with the hosts. Head to to donate.

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The Great Courses Plus Learn about everything from film to wine, personal finance, and public speaking, from professors and experts in their fields. Start your free trial at

Harry’s is a great shave at a great price. Get a free Harry’s trial shave set at

PJ Library sends free storybooks to children (newborn to 12 years old), making it easy to start sharing Jewish traditions. Sign up at, and check out their digital guide to High Holidays at home at

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