When Hannah Rapoport created her vision board — a collage that visually represents the creator’s goals — the 25-year-old was inspired by thoughts of freedom and travel. And a pet. One of her goals for 2023 is to get a dog, so she included pictures of canines in her vision board as well.
“I’m a pretty simple person and enjoy the simplicities in life, and I wanted my vision board for 2023 to reflect that,” said Rapoport, a resident of Moishe House Washington D.C. — Columbia Heights and a research assistant.
To usher in 2023, the Moishe House held a vision boarding event on Jan. 9. Young Jewish adults came together to craft and envision what they wanted from the new year.
At events all over the country, people began the new year by creating vision boards. There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to the process of creating a vision board, but they are usually poster boards decorated with text and images cut out of magazines, or drawings or stickers. The end result is a collage that serves as a visual representation of the creator’s goals. It can continue to be an inspiration throughout the year.
According to Lane Florsheim in the WSJ Magazine, vision boards were popularized by the 2006 self-help book “The Secret.” In it, author Rhonda Byrne promoted vision boards as a tool that could be used to help readers manifest their desires. They were a part of the greater Law of Attraction that Byrne wrote about, a pseudoscientific idea that positive thinking will cause positive things to happen.
Many Jews who create vision boards do so ahead of the Jewish high holidays. The practice of sitting down to visualize goals can be an opportunity for reflection or a chance to organize plans for the year, while the vision boards themselves can motivate and inspire.
“Vision boards are one of my favorite ways to create sacred art; a display of what I want to manifest in my life in the coming year,” wrote Rabbi Malka Packer-Monroe of 18 Doors, a national organization that supports Jewish interfaith couples and families. The group has a Washington, D.C. branch.
Packer-Monroe wrote that when she and her partner created a vision board for 2015, they were both in transition points in their careers. “The combined images on our board served as a constant reminder of our dreaming process and kept us focused on our hopes for our next jobs,” she wrote.
There have been vision board events sponsored by Friendship Circle in Richmond, Va.; Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; and the Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, Ariz.; among others.
“Vision Boards: If you write it you invite it!” reads a Facebook post from the group Inspired Jewish Women.
“When I get into that flow of finding colors or quotes or images that really speak to me, I can reflect in a way that I might not otherwise [do] without really forcing myself to sit down and think about vision boarding or collaging,” said Shayna Levitan, 25, a Moishe House Columbia Heights resident.
A day after the Columbia Heights event, the Baltimore Moishe House made vision boards. Lia Hyman, 23, said she wanted her 2023 vision board to capture a sense of romanticizing her life, of fun and of working toward the best version of herself.
Hyman said that she started by looking through the magazines and cutting out words and phrases that resonated with her. Then, she looked for images. To capture her interest in traveling, Hyman included an image of a suitcase, with a camera and a hat hanging off of it.
“If you’re not looking for something specific, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming, so I tried to think of the exact images or like images that I wanted to include.”
She said it’s helpful for her to be part of a community when creating a vision board.
At the end of the Columbia Heights Moishe House event, attendees shared their vision boards with each other.
Rapoport said that was her favorite part. “I also enjoyed hearing about the other attendees’ goals for the year, which helped me realize I want to accomplish many more things than I originally even thought.” ■
Selah Maya Zighelboim is a freelance writer.