There is no lake, sea, or stream outside the headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia.
That wasn’t going to stop the performance of a Jewish purification ritual that usually calls for handfuls of breadcrumbs, representing sins or failings, to be cast into a body of water that carries them away.
A trio of rabbis led a Tashlich ceremony Sunday in front of the School District offices, marking the Jewish new year by calling out a litany of ways state and local government have failed city schoolchildren.
“Traditionally, Tashlich is a personal ritual,” said Rabbi Linda Holtzman of the Tikkun Olam Chavurah community as late afternoon shadows began to fall over North Broad Street. “You go to a body of water and symbolically cast out the ways you missed the mark during the past year.
“Anything you want to get rid of, you feel bad about, you toss into