Dessert and Drash: Saturday, March 1, 2014 @JCDSRI
7:30 pm. Havdalah and Niggunim (by community cantors)
8:15 - 9 pm. Shiurim
9 pm. Dessert Reception
Purim, A Serious Holiday
Often mistaken for merely a "children's holiday," Purim is in truth a complex, mystical holiday with profound undertones and implications, both macabre and hopeful, but anything but simply happy and light. Join me for an exploration of dark and deep dimensions of this little-understood topsy-turvy day.
Renewing Jewish Prayer
Are new prayer books the answer to reviving synagogue life in our communities or do we need new approaches to the practice of prayer? This session will try out some new expressions of Jewish prayer and consider the challenges of liturgical innovation.
Mitzvah Banks, Miracle Making and Rabbinic Economics: Rabbinic Biographies and Value Education in Tractate Ta'anit
So, Nu, You Want to Hear a Joke?
Jews have used humor throughout the centuries as ways of coping, critiquing and honing the skill of laughing. In this session, I will explore the relationship between Jews and humor through jokes and historical context.
The Magen David in Text, Art and Craft – A Hands-On Workshop. Join Rabbi/Cantor Anne Heath of Congregation Agudath Achim and The Jewish Community House in Taunton (MA) in discovering the richness of the Star/Shield of David. We’ll explore text references from Jewish tradition, artistic representations from public and private art, craft and architecture and then pull out our colored pencils and graph paper to develop our own interpretations. Project ideas for quilters will be emphasized (Rabbi Heath is a quilter). Examples from contemporary Judaic needlework and other artists included in a multimedia presentation.
MANY WAYS TO GOD
There are limitless ways that Jews experience and express the presence of God in their daily lives … through prayer, Torah study, the beauty of nature, song, silence, doing good deeds in the world, and so many more. Sometimes we’re not sure what we believe about God, but we are the People Yisrael, the people who struggle with God. Join together with other Jews as we study texts, wrestle, and discover more about our own personal relationship with God.
Tefillah: Mean What We Say; Say What We Mean. We'll explore variations in nusach / formulations of liturgy in a number of siddurim / prayer books and examine the theological commitments that have compelled these changes. Cases in point: the existence of the State of Israel; the premise of egalitarian, traditional Judaism, the Third Temple.
Esther As Strategic Planner.
Just in time for Purim, we will explore how Esther utilized strategic planning to help save the Jewish community of her time. What lessons in planning can our communities learn from Esther?
Moshe Kibel Torah MiSinai and then came the “Telephone Game”.
Today, we study online, in synagogues, and classrooms all over the world while the Torah is interpreted by all of us. When Moshe received the Torah at Sinai, after generations of playing the “telephone game” if Moshe was at the end of the circle listening to the repetition of the original message, how would he react?
THE SEFIROT: THE INNER LIFE OF GOD
An introductory look at the core of Kabbalah:
the mystical symbol system that points to the interrelationship of God's inner life and our own inner lives.
Living with Memory: A Report on Today’s German Jewish Community. In November 2013, Rabbi Stein traveled as part of a rabbinic delegation to participate in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht and to engage in dialogue with the Jewish community of Berlin and various leadership groups in the general population. He will offer a description and analysis of his experience, and will include a number of photographs and written materials collected during the trip.
Sci-Fi and the Jewish mind: Artificial Intelligence, Cyborgs, and more. What Jewish tradition has to teach us (warn us?) about the coming Robot Revolution!
Using film clips, stories from the Kabbalah and more we will explore the Golem myth and its impact on contemporary culture. We will also discuss the ethical and moral implications of human-created artificial life.