GatherDC Alternative Yom Kippur: Crash, Burn, Rise

For you, the idea of observing Yom Kippur this year may feel overwhelming, disappointing, or pointless. Maybe you’re thinking of skipping it entirely! We don’t blame you. It's been a crap year. Why subject yourself to another Zoom experience on Judaism’s holiest day of the year? Will this day even make a difference?

We get it, and are here to help you find creative non-Zoom ways to connect with the High Holidays if you want to swear off video conferencing. 

But if you want to have a personal, immersive Yom Kippur experience where you can grapple with your questions and leave feeling seen, connected, and genuinely motivated to face this next year, GatherDC is excited to offer you "Crash-Burn-Rise: A Collective Yom Kippur Experience". We admit that it will take place on Zoom, but we will treat you as our guest, not another audience member. 

So, what are we doing? 

On the morning of Yom Kippur (Monday, September 28), we will gather virtually with other Jewish, Jew-ish and Jew-curious 20’s and 30’s across the DMV for individual and collective reflection, engaging conversation, and participatory ritual. 

Together, we will explore the challenges and opportunities of our time through multiple perspectives of CRASH, BURN, and RISE: What do we do when reality diverges from the vision we had for our lives? What can we learn and take from this destruction? How do we rise from disappointment, anger or despair, and recognize our agency to pursue fulfillment, change and goodness? How can we take impactful steps into the new year? How can we help one another start?

If you are looking for a community where you can show up authentically as you are, to feel more connected to yourself, others and the true spirit of the day, join us! If you register by 9/21, we can guarantee you’ll receive a special goodie bag to go along with the experience. 

This experience is open to young adults of all gender identities, sexual orientations, backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, and levels of religiosity. No previous Yom Kippur experience necessary. 


Rabbi llana Zietman will be leading GatherDC’s Collective Yom Kippur Experience together with the Gather team and peer facilitators. This is not a traditional service. It’s not from a synagogue. It’s non-denominational. There is no fasting required and you don’t have to believe in God. There will be words of Jewish wisdom to discuss with peers, prompts for honest introspection, communal storytelling, accessible ritual, live acoustic music and compassionate goal-setting for the new year. 

Feel free to join us alone or with roommates and friends at a socially-distant gathering! If you sign up by Monday, September 21, you'll receive a Yom Kippur Survival Kit (aka some GatherDC goodies), so register today!

Day: Monday, September 28th
Time: 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: Zoom (link to follow upon registration)
What Will You Need? A pen, a notebook or paper
GatherDC is committed to making Jewish experiences accessible to young adults who are in a variety of circumstances in the DC area. If cost is a barrier, please email


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Please note this event is for those in their 20s and 30s.

(Note: We will have closed captioning and ASL interpreters on standby for this event, we will use this information when we build our small groups)

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GatherDC is committed to making Jewish experiences accessible to young adults who are in a variety of circumstances in the DC area. GatherDC is a Jewish organization that welcomes people of all faith and no-faith backgrounds, and welcomes the participation of individuals of all abilities and backgrounds.

GatherDC fosters inclusive communities and strives to accommodate all needs whenever possible. If you require special accommodations, please contact us in advance of the event at (202) 656-0743 or, and we will make every effort to meet your needs.

By attending, you understand that photographs and/or recording may be taken at this event, and your picture may appear on the GatherDC website, publications, or other media.