Innovative Ideas for Tisha B’Av Programming

19 Jun 2014

Live Lectures from the OU

There will be live webcasts of speeches from the OU’s Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb and Rabbi Steven Weil.  Connect your shul’s television or visual projector to to watch these lectures after the recitation of Kinot.  In addition, the OU’s website also contains inspiring audio lectures on related Tisha B’Av topics from Rabbi Weinreb for those who want to engage in the learning of permitted Torah ideas in the afternoon. You can also sign up to receive the 2015 Tisha B’Av video brought to you by the OU and YU.

Movie Viewing

The long summer afternoon after Kinot is a good time to show serious movies, in addition to the OU lectures.  Appropriate movies for the afternoon could be about the Holocaust or about anti-Semitic and anti-Israel terrorist acts around the world. These movies could be shown after the OU program or run in a different hall simultaneously, enabling congregants to move from one film to the other at their personal preference.

Each of these films are appropriate for specific demographics:

For children: Exodus; Operation Thunderbolt

Young Adults: Europa, Europa; Escape From Sobibor; Defiance; A Beautiful Life; Schindler’s List

Adults: (including movies above) The Pianist, The Long Way Home.

Learn About Hilchot Aveilut

On Tisha B’Av, one is prohibited to study Torah, with the exceptions of hilchot aveilut and the sections of the Gemara and Navi that are connected to the Churban.  Tisha B’Av could therefore be an opportunity for the rabbi to lecture about hilchot aveilut. Congregants could also learn the halachot in small groups, which could eventually lead to the culmination of the third perek of Moed Katan, where these halachot are found.

Visit to Holocaust Museum

During the afternoon of Tisha B’Av, the rabbi and congregants could visit a local Holocaust museum or museum of tolerance.  Due to the somber nature of these museums, the Rabbi could engage the congregants in discussions about the destruction of Jewish life in Europe, the impact of the Holocaust on the current Jewish community, and biographies of congregants’ relatives that were killed by the Nazis.  If the museum is a larger, tolerance- themed museum, the rabbi and congregants could discuss the dangerous effects of baseless hatred with relation to the Churban in particular, and towards other racial and ethnic groups on a larger scale.

Unified Communal Observance

All shuls that are close to each other get together to do a joint Tisha B’Av program instead of having separate programs in each shul.  One shul is picked to host the event, kinot are said and an inspirational video is played.  Bringing everyone together truly epitomizes the goal of Tisha B’Av—unity for klal Yisroel.

Timeline of Events

Have an event broken up into 3 parts:
A) The world that was
B) The Tragedy
C) Aftermath
Each segment has a video clip relating to that period, a cantor singing a period piece, and a speaker  from the community talking about Judaism in that period.

Paper Clip Project

Show the Paper Clip Project movie and follow up with a discussion.  This powerful documentary captures a project of how a school in Tennessee commemorated the lives lost in the Holocaust. It will provide understanding and a way for children and adults to relate to the effects and magnitude of the Holocaust. 

Powerpoint for Megillat Eichah

Use a power point program for Megillat Eichah.  This program enables the inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing, visually impaired, and other individuals with learning challenges to participate in the reading of Eichah and the commemoration of the Fast of Tisha B’Av.

To order the program, please contact Batya Jacob at 212-613-8127.

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