Same day: Tuesday
Same time: Noon – 1:00 PM
Same place: Wise Center
Same topic: Torah!
Take a middle-of-the-day break to feed your mind. Fascinating content led by our expert rabbis and rabbinic interns will give you a deeper understanding of the Torah and its meaning in our lives.
Questions? Contact Alex Burte, Membership/Program Manager 513.793.2556.
|July 7, 14, 21||Jewish Law, Reform, and Medical Ethics||Rabbi Danziger||How do modern Jews, and Reform Jews, in particular, discern what Jewish law has to say about issues of science and medicine, some of which were unimaginable when the law was written? Through the lens of issues such as transplantation, elective surgery, abortion, and genetic testing, we’ll explore intersections of science and religion, and of tradition and modernity.|
|July 28, August 4||Can Women Be Rabbis? A Retrospective||Libby Fisher||In 1972, Sally Priesand became the first woman to be officially ordained as a rabbi in America. While many of us know about this momentous occasion, did you know that this issue was being discussed as early as a hundred years beforehand? These sessions will focus on the history of American Jewish opinion on women in the rabbinate from HUC’s opening in 1875 to Rabbi Priesand’s ordination in 1972.|
|August 11, 18, 25||How one person changed the Jewish World: Ben Yehuda and the Transformation of Hebrew into a Modern Language||Rabbi Kamrass||Discover the man who changed modern Jewish life by reviving an ancient language that had only been used for prayer and study for 15 centuries. Eliezer Ben Yehuda, a fascinating character, had a clear vision: to create a modern language for a modern Jewish state and to unite the Jewish people. Learn about his life, his passionate vision, the success, failures, and all that was involved in creating Hebrew as a modern, spoken language.|
October – May
|Oct 13, 20, 27||From out of the Fire: Embers of Hope||Rabbi Kamrass||Having led the German Jewish community and survived the Nazi camps, Rabbi Leo Baeck’s writing from that unique experience represents a heroic example of Jewish life, learning and teaching that can enrich us all. His life, his wisdom and his stirring prose challenge us in our own day with deep devotion to Judaism expressed in a universalist message of faith from the Jewish heart. Join Rabbi Kamrass in studying Baeck’s writing, themes and values for our day.|
|Nov 3, 10, 17||Values, Virtues and Vice in Jewish Tradition||Rabbi Danziger||Is legal good enough? Should we strive for perfection? How much is too much? How nice do we have to be? Explore stories and sources from our tradition that see to teach us about which thoughts and behaviors are to be cherished, and which ones are to be avoided.|
|Dec 1, 8, 15||Sermons Delivered in Trying Times||Rabbi Thomashow||It may not surprise you to learn that even as the current pandemic unfolds, archives and their archivist are currently collecting sermons from pulpit rabbis on the pandemic. Perhaps these sermons will be catalogued next to sermons delivered during the Civil War, the First or Second World War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, the Spanish Flu, the AIDS epidemic, and more. There are sermons from rabbis serving pulpits in the US and sermons from rabbis serving pulpits in England, and even sermons that respond to one another across the seas! I trust that we may gain some wisdom and perspective on our current times upon a closer study of these sermons delivered in trying times.|
|Jan 5 and 12||The Hidden World of Jewish Craftsmanship||Jonathan Falco||In today’s world, the expression “Jewish professional” rarely elicits the image of a woodworker with a Star of David around his neck. Unbeknownst to most, our tradition has a rich history of artisanal craftsmanship and artistry, echoes of which continue to reverberate today. Join us in exploring this world of Jewish craftsmanship – the products upon which our sacred communal spaces rely.|
|Jan 19 and 26||“Jewish Texts and “The Other”||Libby Fisher||Historically, the Jewish community has been a strong ally and advocate for social justice, especially when it comes to issues of racial justice. But what do our Jewish texts have to say about our relationships with “the other”? Together, we will dissect some of our texts, both troubling and uplifting, and explore how we can continue our legacy of social justice work.|
|Feb 2, 9, 16, 23||American Jewish Thought Since 1934||Rabbi Thomashow||Leading contemporary Rabbis David Ellenson and Michael Marmur edited a fabulous book of essays in May with this title. A leading book review of it reads: “The editors are careful to point out how a plurality of approaches emerged in response to the fundamental ruptures and challenges of continuity posed by the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.” During these four sessions, we will take one essay per week and examine the modern Jewish thought within its pages.|
|Mar 2, 9, 16, 23||Decoding Our Diary: Unlocking the History, Mysteries, and Meanings of our Prayer Book||Rabbi Danziger||Though much about our worship may look different than it once did, the guidebook to our worship has maintained much of its structure and content. Its development reflects the history of the Jewish people, its words chronicle our most deeply held beliefs and desires, and its use has punctuated Jewish daily life for generations. Our past is in its pages; our story is waiting for us to discover it.|
|Apr 6, 13, 20||Permanent Economic Inequality: Jewish Aspirations of Resolving Generational Poverty||Rabbi Kamrass||As far back as biblical days, our Jewish tradition addressed permanent economic quality with texts, ideals, aspirations, and structures to directly address generational poverty and the economic inequalities of every society in which we have lived. Join Rabbi Kamrass in exploring those texts and ideas suggested through the ages to the persistent question of permanent economic equality.|
|Apr 27, May 4, 11||Rabbi Akiva’s Three Loves: People, Torah and God||Rabbi Jan Katzew||Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph clearly would have a place on the rabbinic version of Mount Rushmore. Indeed, he is widely considered to be second to Moses a teacher of Torah and an exemplar of love. In three sessions, we will focus on three dimensions of Rabbi Akiva’s love: humanity, divinity and the thread that holds them together, Torah. The timing of this series – between Passover and Shavuot – is intentional, since during this period we walk from slavery to freedom, from degradation to praise, from hatred to love.|