Texting during a religious service? Normally a big no-no.
Not here. Temple Beth Sholom, a reform synagogue in Miami Beach, is encouraging its members to text in temple.
As recently featured in the The New York Times, the temple held a special service for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, that involved text messaging in a big way.
The young congregation, made up mostly of 20- to 30-year-olds, were asked to text in their thoughts, hopes, doubts, and prayers throughout the service. Their text messages appeared anonymously on a large white screen behind their rabbi.
“Texting will give you a voice in the service,” advised Rabbi Morrison, the leader of the temple. The congregants agreed: “It felt like a community… it was great to share,” offered one 26-year-old. “I paid attention the whole time,” added another 25-year-old congregant. “That’s a problem with me, tuning it out.”
We’ve seen time and time again how texting is an ideal way for religious organizations to energize and engage today’s youth. Temple Beth Sholom gives us a powerful new example of a growing trend.