Reboot – Making Jewish Your Own
March 22nd, 2017
Founded 16 years ago, Reboot affirms the value of Jewish traditions and creates new ways for people to make them their own. Inspired by Jewish ritual and embracing the arts, humor, food, philosophy, and social justice, Reboot produces creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community. Among Reboot’s productions are events, exhibitions, recordings, books, films, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) activity toolkits, and digital apps. Reboot also collaborates with local and national community partner organizations to take these resources and adapt them in ways, which enrich their Jewish programming offerings. Since Reboot’s inception, 542 network members, over 950 community organization partners, and hundreds of thousands of people have looked to them to rekindle connections and re-imagine Jewish lives full of meaning, creativity, and joy.
Both in terms of depth and breadth, Reboot’s engagement continues to increase. Its recent annual National Day of Unplugging—the 24-hour respite from technology from sundown to sundown on the first Shabbat of March—had a record-breaking year, engaging over 45,000 individuals, with 275 programs. Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the National Day of Unplugging has reached over 136 million people (and covered by more than 930 online, broadcast and print media outlets). The 24 hours included live events across the country–including yoga, indoor climbing, digital free parties, and more–that all celebrated users’ commitment to be more thoughtful about unplugging with Reboot’s signature cell phone sleeping bags and “I Unplug To _ Signs.” Since it’s inception, the National Day of Unplugging it has reached 112,649 participants with 1,000 events.
It was so refreshing to spend an evening unplugged, and connecting with people. It was a great reminder that our technology can distract us from the wonderful people standing in front of us. After attending the unplugged party I made a point to tell my friends that we need to start putting our phones away when we are together. – UNPLUG LA participant, 20s, Venice
Reboot is able to strike both a personal, communal and cultural chord through the do-it-yourself material it creates and distributes, and its tiered approach to programming. It produces signature events, such as large scale Unplugging parties or the construction of an experimental public Sukkah City, while also consulting with local and national community partner organizations to enrich their offerings with Reboot’s field-tested Jewish content—everything from enhancing a local synagogue’s High Holiday program with an integrated 10Q experience, to helping a JCC launch a Jewish food festival that uses Beyond Bubbie’s programs of intergenerational exchange.
The event [reBar – an opportunity to reflect back to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah] was spectacular, interesting, meaningful, edgy a bit. I thought it was inclusive in a way that was really interesting to me. It is rare for me to go to an event which is a Jewish event, but where non-Jews are included. – reBar participant, 20s, East Bay
Now, Reboot is gearing up for the 10th anniversary of its beloved 10Q, the annual introspection project that runs throughout the Ten Days of Awe and fuses modern technologies with the ancient practice of renewal. 10Q emails a question a day for 10 days. At the end of the process the answers are sent to a secure 10Q digital vault where they are locked away until the next year on the eve of Rosh Hashanah when they are returned to the user and the questions begin anew. 10Q enables a multigenerational, unaffiliated and pluralistic audience to connect with the idea and practice of introspection and intention setting, core themes of the High Holidays. In honor of 10 years of 10Q, Reboot is creating pop-up installations in its core cities that bridge the digital and the physical, and are in-person opportunities for reflection and sharing.
At the same time, Reboot continues to look for new opportunities to fill a void in Jewish life. Its 2016 Hanukkah Pop-Up in San Francisco at the Partners in Crime agency engaged thousands of people, with plans underway for more pop-ups around the country. Reboot also is currently piloting Death Over Dinner – Jewish Edition in Los Angeles with partners IKAR and Death Over Dinner founder Michael Hebb, which works to break the culture taboos around death conversations and activate meaningful connection for people around their dinner tables through a Jewish lens.
I gained an insight that people have a need for a forum to discuss death in a Jewish context. Everyone had a lot to say and welcomed the opportunity. – Death over Dinner: Jewish Edition Launch Event participant, JCC East Bay
Learn more about the many ways to engage in Jewish life through Reboot at Rebooters.net.