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Sample Prayers: Yehi Ratzons (May it be your will / Blessings)

Below are examples of blessings with which Committees may choose to start their meetings. Beginning in blessing can serve as a reminder that the Committee’s work is grounded in Jewish tradition and values, provide a moment of centering and reflection before beginning to work, and highlight the holy nature of building safe, respectful, and equitable organizations. Asking God for guidance is a practice in humility, reminding the Committee that it is not all-powerful but a vessel through which to perform sacred work.


For Committee Work:


יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו ואמהותינו שתברך ועדה זו ועבודתה כאן היום, שתצליח בידינו לייצר נהלים המגינים על קהילתנו. עזור לנו לזכור שבעדיפות עליונה עלינו להגן על המבוגרים, .הילדים, הפגיעים והרגישים ועל כל אדם אחר התלוי בנו לעשות הישר עבורם ולקדש שמך בעולם

G-d, we ask you to bless this Committee and our work here together tonight, so that we can put procedures in place to protect our community. We ask that you help us remember that our priority must always be to protect all community members, including adults, children, vulnerable and at-risk individuals, and all those who depend upon us to do what is right.¹


¹ This Yehi Ratzon was originally written by Dr. Shira Berkovits for use as a kavanah, or intention-setting, at the start of policy consultations with synagogue committees. It served as a personal prayer to remain focused – even in the midst of difficult conversations – on the ultimate goal of policy development: protection of the institution’s people, rather than the institution, or even, its well-intentioned committees. It was translated into Hebrew by Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat.