The lay-led Torah Study group began in October 1998, and marks its 18th (chai) birthday in October. The group meets monthly on a Saturday morning at 10:30. We started with "In the beginning..." and over the past 17 years have delved into the first three books of the Torah. These gatherings are very much cooperative and stimulating (ad)ventures in learning - new participants are welcome at any time, and members can attend one or many sessions.
The Torah portion we study always sparks lively discussion that unfolds on several levels, from the literal meaning to multiple interpretations from our tradition to associations that we in the 21st century bring to the text. At our October 15, 2016, meeting we continue with Numbers 31. The fascinating journey continues.
Genesis and Exodus were more or less familiar territory; nevertheless, more than a decade was spent reading and talking about the stories, miracles, lessons, puzzles, inconsistencies, revelations, and inspirations contained therein. Leviticus, by contrast, was “all those boring laws,” to quote one participant. We were so wrong. With its detailed descriptions of sacrifices and proscriptions, among other things, Leviticus offered fascinating insights into the lives and thoughts of the ancient Hebrews; its verses have stimulated some of the most interesting discussions ever. Now we continue with Numbers!
We use several different English translations, keeping the Hebrew text close at hand. Our pace is slow and our discussions lively as we discuss the various levels of meaning, and in particular how the text does or does not relate to us today. We have no set objective or time frame, and proceed as the discussion requires. No preparation is necessary - we read and we discuss. Please join us; new participants are always welcome. The study dates for 2016-2017 can be found on the Calendar.
Rabbi's Class - Jewish Contributions to American Society
Join the monthly Sunday morning study group led by Rabbi Dr. Dubin
Previous classes included:
JEWS OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH
We celebrated the 123rd birthday of famed actor, Leslie Howard (b. April 3, 1893). Yes, the blue-eyed British-born blond who played the quintessential Southern gentleman Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind was indeed Jewish! During this one-hour session, the class took a close look at the history and contributions of Jewish life in the American South.
ISRAELI CIVIL RELIGION
The class examined what many consider to be the single most intense period of time in the annual Israeli calendar: the rollercoaster ride that is the two-week, three-Israeli civil religious holiday cycle of Yom HaShoah > Yom HaZikaron > Yom HaAtzmaut (Holocaust Day) > Memorial Day > Independence Day.
Cantor's Class - Jewish Text and Tunes
An ongoing number of sessions with Cantor Ted Labow to explore a variety of Jewish texts, secular and religious, and their expression in different styles of music, from popular song to the concert hall. Explore the ideas and issues expressed by the music, learn songs, and listen to recorded performances. A deeper understanding of the texts and of Judaism will be gained through the wonderful medium of Jewish music. Non-musical study sources include Torah, Talmud, and Hebrew poetry.
In 2016-17 the class will meet on the following dates: Saturdays: November 5, December 17, March 11, May 20.
Details (time and topics) TBA.
Previous classes have included:
THE MUSIC OF MISHKAN Z’MIRAH
New Jewish music from his upcoming release of 150 pieces in the Mishkan Z’Mirah collection.
IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
The Ancient Temple periods are well-known in Jewish history, but the search for Israel in more ancient times is more challenging. The class looked at opinions and texts that relate to Ancient Israel.
WHO WERE THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK'S JEWISH COMPOSERS?
The class covered some well known composers, and others that are not so well known. Singing along to some of their tunes rounded out the class.
Adult Programs Elsewhere
For the most up-to-date information on programs, including films, check the Web sites below:
Public Programs at the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life (Rutgers University)
The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (Bridgewater)