World's largest Yom Kippur Kol Nidre service to stream live on JewishJournal.com

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Over 100,000 expected to watch the service, led by best selling author Rabbi Naomi Levy.

Rabbi Naomi Levy

While many churches webcast their services, Rabbi Levy is a pioneer of the idea in the Jewish community.

On October 3rd, Yom Kippur Eve, Rabbi Naomi Levy and Nashuva will lead a virtual congregation of over 100,000 people in the world’s largest Kol Nidre service, being streamed live over the web at JewishJournal.com.

In 2004, Rabbi Naomi Levy founded Nashuva, an outreach organization focused on reaching out to unaffiliated Jews in Los Angeles. Nashuva means "We Will Return," and thousands of Jews have found their way back to Judaism through Nashuva.

Five years ago, in partnership with JewishJournal.com, Rabbi Levy decided to take Nashuva's message global by livestreaming the service. The audience has continued to grow, and last year more than 60,000 people all over the world participated live via the web.

This became Rabbi Levy's virtual congregation: students, travelers, the homebound, people in hospice, Jews feeling disconnected from organized religion, people curious about Judaism or searching for a new spiritual path. They connected from India, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, South Africa, Italy and all over the far East as well. They are all returning online, reaching out and finding a new way to gather as a community.

Rabbi Levy’s high-energy services combine charismatic preaching, traditional prayer and meditation, along with a heavy infusion of musical styles, from reggae to klezmer to gospel, performed by a five-piece, multi-cultural Nashuva band. Via Facebook commenting and subsequent email, Rabbi Levy has heard from thousands of people of all faiths moved and changed by the experience.

While many churches webcast their services, Rabbi Levy is a pioneer of the idea in the Jewish community. The engaging, high-energy style of Nashuva sets it apart from traditional synagogue services, and makes for compelling viewing.

The live service will emanate from Founders Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles and will be transmitted (and later archived) via jewishjournal.com, at jewishjournal.com/kol_nidre.

Kol Nidre is the evening service of Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and/or attend services on this day. Nashuva’s unique service combines the gravity of the holiday with an upbeat, captivating message.

Levy, a rabbi and best-selling author, was ordained in the first class of women at Jewish Theological Seminary. Nashuva is a post-denominational, non-membership community open to all who wish to  blend spirituality with social action. The service will begin at 6:15pm PST.

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Rob Eshman

Rabbi Naomi Levy
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