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Torah & Text Study [clear filter]
Saturday, January 13
 

7:15pm

You’re Invited: Taking a Place at the Table of Talmud
Join us as we explore the complexities of “who has a seat” at the Table of Talmud. Panelists will share their experiences of “sitting at the Table of Talmud.” Until recently, access to the “table” has been limited by accessibility to the text, the teachers, and the settings. In what ways is broader access positive? What does it offer to the “Table of Talmud”? In what ways does diversity of learners impact the world of study? How can you get a seat at the table?

Moderators
avatar for Beth Huppin

Beth Huppin

Beth Huppin has enjoyed teaching adults and children of all ages in both formal and informal settings. She currently is the director of Project Kavod/Dignity, the Jewish educational program of Jewish Family Service of Seattle. She was the recipient of a Covenant Award for excellence... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon is one of Israel’s leading figures spearheading efforts to revive Hebrew culture and a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity. In 1989 she co-established Beit Midrash Elul in Jerusalem. In 1996, in Tel Aviv, she founded ALMA, Home for Hebrew Culture. Ruth is the author... Read More →
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... Read More →
avatar for Rivy Kletenik

Rivy Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik, a Covenant Award winner, is in her twelfth year as Head of School of the Seattle Hebrew Academy. Rivy has taught several long-standing weekly classes for the community, including a women’s Talmud class now in its 24th year. Her column “What’s Your JQ... Read More →


Saturday January 13, 2018 7:15pm - 8:30pm
Mr. Rainier (North)

7:15pm

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis: Jewish Attitudes Ancient and Modern
We will examine traditional texts and modern responses to mind-altering substances, beginning with the anointing oils in the Torah to current halakhic and medical perspectives.

Presenters
avatar for James Mirel

James Mirel

Rabbi Mirel has served the community for over 40 years as rabbi and Jewish educator. He is a graduate of Reed College and the Hebrew Union College.


Saturday January 13, 2018 7:15pm - 8:30pm
Highlander (North)
 
Sunday, January 14
 

8:45am

Uppity Women of the Bible: The True Stories of Our Mothers
The Talmud states: "Were it not for the valor of the Israelite women, Israel would have never been redeemed." What if all those Bible stories we learned in Hebrew school only contained pieces of what the Torah actually teaches? And what if, because of those holes, vitally basic and profound ideas were missing? Are you curious? Come hear the whole and holy stories about the women of the Torah, the real movers and shapers of Israel's redemption and destiny every step of the way. Not a shrinking violet among them, the vision and righteousness embodied by our foremothers make them role models for the whole nation.

Presenters
avatar for Ruz Gulko

Ruz Gulko

Ruz has worked with many Jewish educational and religious institutions in greater Seattle since 1984, teaching Judaic studies, Hebrew, and leading prayer services, particularly at the Jewish Day School in Bellevue and at Herzl-Ner Tamid Congregation. Ruz also trains teachers, writes... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 8:45am - 10:00am
Aurora (South)

10:15am

Mindful Jewish Parenting
Bringing together Mussar (Jewish practical ethics) and modern-day parenting advice, we will learn together how to bring Judaism into our homes as we parent and raise our families. Jewish values are for every day, and the best way to teach them in the home is to model them through our parenting. From birth to teens, we are our children's greatest Jewish teachers. We will study the middot (Jewish virtues) of humility, patience, generosity, and simplicity. We will take a special look at the Jewish holidays and how we can bring Jewish values into our homes and parenting through the cycle of the Jewish year.

Presenters
YK

Yohanna Kinberg

Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg has been working, teaching, and learning Jewishly in the Seattle area since 2003. She served as one of the rabbis of Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue for 11 years and in 2014 moved north to serve as the senior rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville. Rabbi... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Cromwell (South)

10:15am

On the Road Again: Travel as Transformation in the Talmud
Today we live in an age where travel is commonplace and extremely convenient. However, in the Rabbinic world, travel was an adventure, an experience, and a potential conduit for transformation. In this session, we'll explore several stories from the Talmud that describe journeys the Rabbis took, the characters they met, and the lessons they learned in their travels—and what these lessons can teach us today! The session is open to all levels of experience with Talmud, and all texts will be both in the original and in translation.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Mr. Rainier (North)

10:15am

Levinas and the Talmud: Understanding the Concept of Infinite Obligation
According to the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, ‘‘Everything begins with the right of the other man and with my infinite obligation toward him." This "difficult condition" became the basis for his definition of Judaism in his writings. Levinas finds a concrete example of this fairly radical worldview in the Talmud. We'll explore the Talmudic text and how Levinas makes sense of it, and how this challenge for Judaism can serve as a deeply appealing view of our moral universe.

Presenters
avatar for Marc Cohen

Marc Cohen

Marc A. Cohen is an Associate Professor at Seattle University with a shared appointment in the Department of Management and the Department of Philosophy. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and, prior to joining Seattle University, worked in the... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 10:15am - 11:30am
Aurora (South)

11:45am

Torah against Patriarchy: Men Confronting Toxic Masculinity in Jewish Culture
The Jewish community is not immune to misogyny or gender violence, made clear by accounts of the conduct of Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, and others, and last year by sexist and racist emails sent out by a Chicago AEPi chapter. The hard work of tikkun olam requires us, especially men, to recognize this oppression against women and hold each other accountable. But how? This session will explore the impact of toxic norms of masculinity in our Jewish spaces, along with texts and video stories about sexist dynamics in American Jewish culture and steps to change. How have Torah, anti-Semitism, assimilation, Zionism, and historical trauma shaped the present? Where can tradition point us to a better world? Primarily directed toward discussion among men, but all welcome

Presenters
avatar for Jeremy Wood

Jeremy Wood

Jeremy is an attorney and law clerk on the Washington Court of Appeals. Before law school, he taught English and coexistence to youth living in Israel, and served as an Avodah Corps member, where he advocated for the care of youth living with HIV. There he provided sexual health education... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm
Alumni (South)

11:45am

Calling Each Other In
In our liberal, individualized dominant society, giving and receiving feedback can seem daunting. Learn some of what Jewish tradition has elevated in the practice of tochecha—the art and obligation of providing each other with critical feedback. We will look at sacred texts from Jewish tradition as well as some non-Jewish contemporary conversations on the topic before studying a case study in the world of racial justice activism. No prior knowledge is necessary, simply a desire to be more connected to Jewish teachings and a willingness to try to apply these teachings to issues in society today.

Presenters
avatar for David Basior

David Basior

Rabbi David Basior serves as rabbi and education director at Kadima Reconstructionist Community, a 40-year-old progressive Jewish community meeting in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood. David has worked with and for a variety of Seattle’s Jewish communities—Hillel, Jconnect, and... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm
McAleer (South)

11:45am

Jocks and Nerds, Priests and Rabbis: Characterizations of Jewish Leadership
We'll be studying classical Jewish texts that imagine the character traits, skills, and knowledge of priests and rabbis. Through our learning, we will explore how the sages of the Talmud imagine and construct their own power, and think about what their model can teach us about Jewish leadership today. Learners of all backgrounds welcome!

Presenters
avatar for Paula Rose

Paula Rose

Paula Rose serves as the assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle's North End. She was ordained in 2017 by the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she also received a master's degree in Talmud. She loves much of her rabbinic work, especially teaching Talmud to learners... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm
Ballinger (South)

1:15pm

Bridging Cultures: The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng
What can an almost-extinct Jewish community teach contemporary Jews? Often cited as a cautionary tale about the dangers of assimilation, in fact, the Kaifeng Jewish community has survived for over 1000 years by blending Jewish and Chinese cultures, just as Jews have done in every age and place. Come and explore their history, and learn about the community in its heyday and the current crackdown against them. More significantly, we will discuss what we post-Holocaust Jews can learn from their ideas about G-d and Torah, and the question of what constitutes Jewish identity.

Presenters
avatar for Anson Laytner

Anson Laytner

Rabbi Anson Laytner retired from his position as program manager of the Interreligious Initiative at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry in 2015. He also was adjunct faculty with SU’s Department of Theology and Ministry. Prior to this he worked with a variety... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Cromwell (South)

1:15pm

Midrash 101
You hear it all the time; “a Midrash teaches...” What are these Midrashim? Where did they come from? In this text study we will consider the different types of Midrash, history, and consider some approaches to the study of Midrash. And, of course, study Midrash!

Presenters
avatar for Rivy Kletenik

Rivy Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik, a Covenant Award winner, is in her twelfth year as Head of School of the Seattle Hebrew Academy. Rivy has taught several long-standing weekly classes for the community, including a women’s Talmud class now in its 24th year. Her column “What’s Your JQ... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Mr. Rainier (North)

1:15pm

Opening the Gates of Study: A Talmud Shiur for Everyone
The early rabbis were engaged in a radical project to entirely reimagine the Jewish world as they knew it. Part of that meant opening text study and interpretation to the entire Jewish world. Come explore their world and follow in their footsteps by learning a Talmudic text—in the original Hebrew and Aramaic! You will learn with a chevruta (study partner) and walk away as part of this new reopening of text study. Please note: You must know the aleph bet to participate in this session. Reading comprehension of Hebrew is not required. All materials will be provided.The early rabbis were engaged in a radical project to entirely reimagine the Jewish world as they knew it. Part of that meant opening text study and interpretation to the entire Jewish world. Come explore their world and follow in their footsteps by learning a Talmudic text—in the original Hebrew and Aramaic! You will learn with a chavrutah (study partner) and walk away as part of this new reopening of text study. Please note: You must know the aleph bet to participate in this session. Reading comprehension of Hebrew is not required. All materials will be provided.

Presenters
IC

Isaac Cowhey

Isaac Cowhey teaches the Gaymara class at Kadima, which offers queer-centric Talmud study in the original Hebrew and Aramaic for all students, even beginners. Isaac's main interests are rabbinic approaches to power structures, reworking tradition in the wake of destruction, and wordplay... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Hamlin (South)

1:15pm

Expressing the Parsha through Art
Text and art—they have gone hand in hand for centuries. David Moss, an American-born, Jerusalem artist tells stories of the Hebrew Bible through art. Using color and shape, Moss brings alive stories like "The Akeida"—the binding of Isaac—without using words, and offers a new perspective on understanding the text. We'll examine this story and how David Moss brings it to life, and think about how we might apply this technique to other texts. This class promises to provide a new lens for studying Torah, noticing patterns, language choices, and movement between biblical characters. Designed for both longtime and new students of Torah.

Presenters
avatar for Jill Borodin

Jill Borodin

Rabbi, Congregation Beth Shalom
Jill Borodin is the senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom in the north end of Seattle. She has been in Seattle since 2005 and is a native of Toronto, Canada and loves text study, art, creativity and being outdoors. Jill Borodin is passionate about the issue of immigration and the... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 1:15pm - 2:30pm
McAleer (South)

2:45pm

Transgender in Jewish Law and Ritual
What does Jewish law have to say about being transgender? What is the proper blessing before taking one's hormones? Is there a special ritual for going to the mikveh when one is transitioning gender? This session will discuss the history of transgender ritual and halacha (law), and explore some of the innovations being made by transgender Jews to adapt ancient customs for our needs.

Presenters
avatar for Emily Kapor-Mater

Emily Kapor-Mater

Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater is a transgender rabbi, author, and activist. Her rabbinic work celebrates the margins of Judaism and the marginalized people who inhabit those spaces. She is the founder of the Transgender Halacha Project, focused on celebrating and affirming trans identities... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Hamlin (South)

2:45pm

Jews, America, and Politics—Examined through Primary Sources: Sometimes Inspiring, Sometimes Revolting, but Always Intertwined
For generations, our Jewish voice has been deeply intertwined with America’s politics and development—and built into the fabric of this country. We've stood as a moral voice, influencing presidents and the powerful, or we've fought to survive, pushing back against waves of bigotry and xenophobia. Our discussion will examine numerous important sources, some familiar, some that might shock. These foundational documents may even inspire us with the challenges of today’s political landscape. In a time when our politics are tested and strained, dive into American Jewish history and its incredible wealth of wisdom—and together learn from our past to enrich our future.

Presenters
avatar for Jason Levine

Jason Levine

Rabbi Jason Levine serves as the associate rabbi at Temple Beth Am in North Seattle. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally from the Midwest, he studied neurobiology and behavior and Near Eastern studies at Cornell University before working in both... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Alumni (South)

2:45pm

Music and Midrash
Music has been one of the most effective conveyors of meaning and feeling throughout the history of human civilization. Engaging melodies bound to inspiring texts have transmitted transcendent values for generations. And text-based music within a worship context has elevated intellectual, emotional, and spiritual experiences for Jews and the synagogue. Join Rabbi Daniel Weiner and Cantorial Soloist Chava Mirel for an exploration of liturgical and contemporary songs that secure sacred stories for a needy future.

Presenters
avatar for Chava Mirel

Chava Mirel

Seattle-based Chava Mirel is a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who combines rich, luxurious vocals with deep pocket rhythms to bring a new sound to Jewish music. With themes of gratitude, self-acceptance, balance and responsibility for each other, Chava’s songs bring... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Weiner

Daniel Weiner

Senior Rabbi Daniel Weiner believes passionately in building Judaism for the 21st century and in healing the world through social justice. Temple De Hirsch Sinai has grown to more than 5000 members and 1600 families in two campuses in Seattle and Bellevue since he took charge in 2001... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Spartan (North)

2:45pm

Midrashic Explorations of the First Murder
We will explore the first family’s murderous sibling rivalry, Why did Cain kill Abel? Who’s to blame? His parents, Adam and Eve? G-d? Following a close reading of the narrative, we will then turn to midrashim employed by Nechama Leibowitz in her Studies in Breshit. We'll move on to highlight how the authors of the Midrash, our Sages, were themselves astute close readers of Tanakh, to communicate their profound insights into one of the major themes of the entire book of Genesis: brotherly conflict. Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers. We'll consider the closing narrative of Breshit, how Yehuda’s heroism provides an antidote to the poison of fratricide.

Presenters
avatar for Rob Toren

Rob Toren

Rabbi Rob Toren served as the Samis Foundation’s first Chief Grants Officer when he moved to Seattle in 1997 and then as Executive Director since 2010. The Samis Foundation was begun by Sam Israel to continue his philanthropic legacy and concentrates its philanthropy in the areas... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Horizon (South)

2:45pm

The Torah Is So Great—Even the Angels Want It!
The Talmud tells us that when Moses went up to receive the Torah, the Angels did not want to give it up! What follows is an epic battle of wits between Moses and the Angels. We will examine this story and attempt to gain an understanding of how the Talmud sees the role of the Human in the world and in leadership.

Presenters
avatar for Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa serves as the director of education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Yaffa received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a law degree from Bar-Ilan University. Rabbah Epstein has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and liturgy at Pardes... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Highlander (North)

2:45pm

Tanya on One Foot
Do you have conflicting desires and emotions? How can you determine what you really want out of life? Come explore the wisdom of the Kabbalah. It is waiting to help you overcome barriers to self-fulfillment. Through the lens of the Tanya, a book written by the first Chabad Rebbe in 1796, we will dig deep into the human psyche. This is no ordinary self-help lecture; it will provide you with the perspective to understand who you are and what you can become. No previous Jewish experience or knowledge is needed—come chart a new course for a life filled with purpose, all in 75 minutes. Can’t beat that, can you?

Presenters
avatar for Shnai Levitin

Shnai Levitin

Shnai Levitin was born and raised in Seattle and left for Yeshiva at age 14. After spending some time studying in Detroit, New York, and Israel, he then received his rabbinic ordination in Israel. He moved back to Seattle three years ago with his wife and children to establish Chabad... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Aurora (South)

4:15pm

Hagbah, an Uplifting and Hands-On Experience: Are You Hagbah-Curious?
Did you know that most Torahs weigh only 15–25 lb—despite the common belief that the mitzvah of Hagbah can be performed only by the same 5 guys in their community? Leave this session able to: 1) handle a Torah scroll confidently and successfully; 2) understand the mitzvah’s history, customs, and spiritual meaning; and 3) answer, “Hineini…I am here,” when your Gabbai next asks, “Is there anybody who can do Hagbah?” All welcome, regardless of age or body strength. "You only need to be strong to do it wrong," so come enjoy the learning and lifting, and inspire yourselves and your congregations

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Markowitz

Daniel Markowitz

Daniel grew up in Berkeley, CA, and attended a Modern Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel. He was a Jewish educator through his college years at Stanford and was a member of CAJE. He is currently a member of Congregation Beth Shalom, where he and Alan Rodan have implemented... Read More →
avatar for Alan Rodan

Alan Rodan

Alan grew up in Seattle and attended Seattle Hebrew Academy. He has been a member of Congregation Beth Shalom for over 25 years and has been involved in many aspects, including Adult Ed, Torah study, and morning minyan.


Sunday January 14, 2018 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Alumni (South)

4:15pm

Talmudic Stories: Love
The Talmud does not use the word "love" to describe romantic relationships, and yet we can find a lot of that love when reading stories of the Rabbis and their wives.

Presenters
avatar for Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon is one of Israel’s leading figures spearheading efforts to revive Hebrew culture and a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity. In 1989 she co-established Beit Midrash Elul in Jerusalem. In 1996, in Tel Aviv, she founded ALMA, Home for Hebrew Culture. Ruth is the author... Read More →


Sunday January 14, 2018 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Mr. Rainier (North)