Yom Kippur the Occupy Wall Street way

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2011

More than 300 people have said they will attend a Kol Nidre service in the middle of what may be the biggest protest to hit New York City in decades.

The Yom Kippur service at the Occupy Wall Street site has been organised on Facebook by Daniel Sieradski, a digital entrepreneur who founded a website enabling people to customise prayer books and Haggadot.

Occupy Wall Street, which began on September 17 and has now spread to other US cities including Washington DC, has been described by protesters as a stand against social and economic inequality and corporate greed.

Hundreds of people have pitched tents in Zuccotti Park, in a style not dissimilar to the tent city protests in Tel Aviv over the summer.

The Yom Kippur event, which has the support of social action groups including Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and the Shalom Centre, will involve an egalitarian service.

The organisers have cautioned that there will be no seats and that congregants should bring their own prayer books.

"Rather than spending the holiday safe and warm in our cosy synagogues thinking abstractly about human suffering, perhaps we should truly afflict ourselves…by joining the demonstrators and holding our Yom Kippur services there amongst the oppressed, hungry, poor and naked," said Mr Sieradski.

Last updated: 11:31am, October 7 2011