Drop your kids off at religious school, then come over to BJBE, grab some coffee and a bagel at the Beit Cafe, and sit down with congregants of all ages to learn something new about Judaism.
HEBREW UNION COLLEGE SCHOLARS’ SERIES
Hebrew Union College is the Reform Movement’s rabbinical seminary and flagship institution of Jewish learning. We are privileged to have the opportunity to study with three of HUC’s leading scholars on a variety of topics in which they are recognized experts. Our first two scholars will teach us via a live interactive video connection, streaming from Cincinnati directly to our chapel at BJBE.
A Reform Approach to Jewish Law
Instructor: Rabbi Mark Washofsky, Ph.D.
Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice and Chairman, CCAR Responsa Committee
Sunday, November 24, 2013
As the Reform Movement’s leading expert on Jewish Law (Halakhah), Rabbi Washofsky argues that Halakhah is, and must remain, integral to the practice and understanding of Reform Judaism, even as the principles of our Movement and the unique circumstances of our time call for a distinctly Reform approach to the halakhic tradition. He will discuss the core issues defining this approach, including sensitivity to contemporary morality and culture, on the one hand, and faithfulness to the traditions and norms that have given Judaism integrity throughout the ages, on the other. Rabbi Washofsky is the author ofJewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice, as well as numerous Jewish legal opinions (called responsa).
“He Was One of Us!” – American Jewry’s Relationship with Abraham Lincoln
Instructor: Rabbi Gary Zola, Ph.D., BJBE Scholar-in-Residence
Executive Director, Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and Professor of the American Jewish Experience
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Few are aware of the remarkable history linking American Jewry and President Lincoln. Dr. Zola will explain why many of Lincoln’s personal and professional characteristics that have caused American Jews to embrace the sixteenth president as a man who possessed a Jewish soul. Lincoln’s remarkable human qualities offer American Jewry an uplifting legacy to ponder. Dr. Zola is the author of the forthcoming bookWe Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, which will be released in 2014.
A Biblical Approach to Mental Health
Instructor: Kalman Kaplan, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine
Faculty Member, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning & Leadership
Sundays: January 12 and 19, 2014
Nearly 90 percent of all Americans will contend with at least one significant mental health problem during their lives. In this course, Professor Kaplan will explore bridges between religion/spirituality and mental health, and outline a biblical approach to psychotherapy. Professor Kaplan is the co-author ofA Psychology of Hope: A Biblical Response to Tragedy and Suicide, published in 1993.
Living Waters: A Field Trip to the Community Mikvah
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Beth Hillel Congregation B’nai Emunah
3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette
Instructor: Carol Schnitzler, MikvahShomeret
Immersion in the living waters of the mikvah is one of Judaism’s most ancient and most powerful rituals. People come to the mikvah for many different reasons, including the final step of conversion, brides and grooms before marriage, before holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach, before a trip to Israel, before or after surgery, upon completion of chemotherapy and to observe a yahrzeit. Mikvahshomeret(director) Carol Schnitzler will help us explore the spiritual meaning of this ritual and give us a tour of the mikvah, which is open to all Jews in the Chicagoland area.
The History of Anti-Semitism, From Antiquity to Today
Instructors: Rabbi Karyn Kedar, Rabbi Brian Stoller and Lonnie Nasatir, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Sundays, February 9, 16, 23 and March 2, 2014
In this course, we will explore some of the many forms anti-Semitism has taken throughout history, from the “Christ-killer” accusation that drove the Catholic Church’s persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages, to the Nazis’ racial anti-Jewish doctrines of the last century, to religious and political hatred of the State of Israel today. The class will culminate with a presentation by Lonnie Nasatir, Director of the ADL’s Chicago-Upper Midwest Region, on anti-Semitism in contemporary America and Europe.
Holy Listening: Spiritual Guidance for Tuning In to Your Life
Instructor: Ashley Plotnick, MSW, M.Ed., MAJS
Spiritual Direction Student, Yedidya Center for Jewish Spirituality and BJBE’s Hebrew School Principal and Assistant Education Director
Sunday, March 23, 2014
No iPad, iPod or iPhone... Just i. Who are we when we turn off the chatter in our days? Through the study ofmussarand traditional Jewish texts, Ashley Plotnick, who holds a master’s degree in Jewish Studies and is currently training to be a Jewish Spiritual Director, will help us examine how we can best stay present for ourselves and our relationships.
Music in the American Jewish Experience
Instructor: Cantor Jennifer Frost
Sundays: April 13, 20 and 27, 2014
Jews have played an integral role in the development of American music. Through this course, we will examine the history of the music and the people whose work has had a significant impact on American musical culture. This influence is reflected in the music of the Cantorate, vaudeville, and the Broadway musical theater as well as the music of today.