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Book Club: October

09/28/2022 11:53:16 AM

Sep28

Our Book Club will next meet on October 26th to discuss Nathan Englander's What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.

 

 

From Goodreads:

These eight new stories from the celebrated novelist and short-story writer Nathan Englander display a gifted...Read more...

Book Club: September

09/01/2022 02:53:40 PM

Sep1

Join us on us on the last Wednesday of every month for our zoom book club meeting.

This month we are reading The Girl in the Middle: Growing Up Between Black and White, Rich and Poor
by Anais Granofsky

https://images.shulcloud.com/613/uploads/thegirlinthemiddle.jpg

In this poignant and timely memoir--written with the searing power of Beautiful Struggle and Born a Crime--Degrassi Junior High star Anais Granofsky...Read more...

Book Club: August

08/17/2022 10:45:56 AM

Aug17

We will meet on August 31 at 10 AM on Zoom to discuss this month's read: Maggie Anton's The Choice.

                           

From Goodreads: A powerful love story with a purpose: to...Read more...

Book Club: July

06/30/2022 02:05:06 PM

Jun30

We will meet on July 27, 2002 at 10:30 a.m. through Zoom to discuss The Yiddish Gangster's Daughter's by Joan Lipinsky Cochran. Amazon.com's description of the book follows. Since separating from her philandering husband, Boca Raton writer Becks Ruchinsky has struggled to build a closer relationship with her quirky and contentious father, Tootsie, who lives in a retirement home. One evening, as she and her father are relaxing on the home’s...Read more...

Adult Ed: Talmud

06/19/2022 03:31:46 PM

Jun19

Our last two weeks in this course (6/26 and 7/3) we will jump to Masechet Yevamot and check in a bit on what most other Talmud-studiers around the world are reading this week.

Here's a little primer on what to expect from Yevamot as a whole, and here is the text of Yevamot 107-108 (what we will be reading the next two weeks) from the indispensable Sefaria.org.

Please Note that the July 3rd, the class will meet at 11 AM rather...Read more...

Adult Ed: Intro to Talmud

06/08/2022 10:15:22 PM

Jun8

This Sunday at 1 pm we are continuing our study of Talmud, this time diving into some text!

If you missed last week's class you can always go back and watch our recording, or check out the resources below:

Steinsaltz tells us "What is Talmud?"

My Jewish Learning breaks it down further

A Reform Perspective

Read more...

Book Club: June

06/02/2022 07:48:14 PM

Jun2

We will meet to discuss our next book on June 29, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom. The book is The Rabbi's Wife, The Bishop's Wife: A Historical Novel by David Jacobson and Chayuta Deutsch.  

 

According to Amazon.com, the book is about: The moving story of Joana Halevi – one brave woman who was...Read more...

Shavuot Tikkun: How do Reform Jews decide which Mitzvot to follow?

05/23/2022 05:12:29 PM

May23

On Leil Shavuot, we will discuss around the campfire the topics of Reform Judaism's relationship with mitzvot. Here are some links and talking points to prepare you for our communal discourse.

We often hear that there are "613 commandments." That's not quite true: https://www.thetorah.com/article/the-origins-and-use-of-the-613-mitzvot

There is perhaps no...Read more...

Book Club: May

05/04/2022 08:45:55 PM

May4

Our next meeting will be June 1 at 10:30 on Zoom to discuss the book, The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross.

 

What if there was a town that history missed?

 

For decades, the tiny Jewish shtetl of Kreskol existed in happy isolation, virtually untouched and unchanged. Spared by the Holocaust and the Cold War, its residents enjoyed remarkable peace. It missed out on cars, and electricity, and the internet, and indoor...Read more...

Book Club: April

04/06/2022 11:14:31 AM

Apr6

Our next book club meeting will be on May 4, 2022 via Zoom beginning at 10:30 a.m. We will be discussing Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. As compiled on amazon.com:     NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Jonathan Safran Foer's debut—"a funny, moving...deeply felt novel about the dangers of confronting the past and the redemption that comes with laughing at it, even when that seems all but impossible."...Read more...

Adult Ed: Zohar

03/25/2022 08:33:46 AM

Mar25

Sunday, March 27th, we are learning with and from Rabbi Justin Jaron Lewis (https://justinjaronlewis.wordpress.com/) as he guides us through a lesson about the Zohar - the most prominent book of Jewish mysticism.

Justin Jaron Lewis is a rabbi, Jewish Studies professor, and storyteller who loves the imagination and emotional richness of the Zohar. He is the author of Imagining Holiness: Classic Hasidic Tales in Modern Times and...Read more...

Jewish Baking

03/13/2022 09:47:21 AM

Mar13

The Origins of Challah

American Challah: A People's History

Purim Cookies: Are they Haman's ears, pockets, or hat?

History of Hamantaschen

Read more...

Adult Ed: Mikveh

03/04/2022 08:47:12 AM

Mar4

For One Class Only! 

3/6 1:00pm Everything you wanted to know about Mikvah but were afraid to ask

 Learn about the history, purpose, and modern potential of the mikveh with Rabbi Lizz! If there is interest in a follow up, and covid restrictions allow, we may take a "field trip" at a later date to the community (non-Orthodox) mikveh in DC. 

 

Source Sheets on Mikva'ot: 

The...Read more...

Book Club: March

02/28/2022 12:40:57 PM

Feb28

Our next book club meeting will be March 30, 2022. We will be discussing The Prison Minyon by Jonathan Stone. A description from amazon.com follows.   Welcome to America’s only Jewish prison . . . rugelach, blintzes, and a quest for vengeance from the highest tier of the US government

The scene is Otisville Prison, upstate New York. A crew of fraudsters, tax evaders, trigamists, and forgers discuss matters of right...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Humor

01/27/2022 11:01:13 AM

Jan27

Our fifth and final class on Jewish Humor will discuss contemporary Jewish comedy and where it looks like the future of American Jewish Comedy is headed.

Rachel Bloom is a musical theatre and literary nerd who embraces her Jewishness in a deep and very visible way with her songs such as Remember that We Suffered (with Patti LuPone and Tovah Feldshuh), The JAP Battle, and the JAP Battle Reprise.

Jessica Kirson, slightly older...Read more...

Book Club: February

01/27/2022 10:54:59 AM

Jan27

Our next Book Club meeting will be February 23rd at 10:30 am on Zoom to discuss A Remarkable Kindness.

From the Jewish Book Council:

Diana Bletter’s excel­lent writ­ing makes the char­ac­ters of A Remark­able Kind­ness come alive in this mov­ing sto­ry about com­mu­ni­ty, fam­i­ly, per­son­al growth, and dif­fi­cult loss in Israel. All liv­ing in an Israeli vil­lage close to the bor­der with...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Humor

01/21/2022 10:56:27 AM

Jan21

This week we are looking at 19-20th century Jewish comedy, particular in the United States of America. 

Jackie Mason brings Borscht Belt Humor all the way to the end of the 20th century

What happened to the Borscht Belt?

An Hour Long Video from the Forward about the "Rise of American Jewish Comedy"

Rabbi Lizz's Notes on Jewish Humor by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

A Parallel Story: Performing...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Humor

01/14/2022 02:05:03 PM

Jan14

This week we are looking at medieval and enlightenment-era humor. 

Examples of Medieval Sense of Humor

Jewish comedy in the medieval and early enlightenment periods were often fairly directed at the issues of antisemitism and assimilation. They tended to particularly poke fun at the idea of conversos ever truly believing in Christianity and at the attempts of the Christian-influenced humanists and deists of the...Read more...

Book Club: January

01/08/2022 02:16:20 PM

Jan8

On January 26th we will meet via Zoom at 10:30 am to discuss The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer. 

From the author's website: 

Chron­i­cal­ly-ill Rachel Ruben­stein-Gold­blatt is a “nice Jew­ish girl‚” with a secret: she loves Christ­mas. As the best-sell­ing author of over twen­ty Christ­mas romance nov­els, and four made-for-TV movie spin-offs, she’s kept her stel­lar career secret from her...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Humor

01/08/2022 02:02:25 PM

Jan8

In our second class, we will start at the beginning. What are the Biblical roots of Jewish comedy, and how did Jews invent sarcasm in the Talmud? 

Rabbi Lizz's Outline of Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

Text Study of Biblical Laughs

Humor as an Act of Faith

Talmudic Comedy

Elijah Invented Sarcasm

Why Jews Laugh at Themselves

Alan King's Great Jewish Joke Book

Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Humor

12/27/2021 11:12:40 AM

Dec27

Each Sunday afternoon in January, we will be meeting on Zoom to discuss the history, purpose, and stylings of Jewish Humor. Reach out to ekibbitz@nershalomva.org or rabbi@nershalomva.org for the zoom links. 

Steve Allen called American comedy "a Jewish cottage industry", and attempts to define Jewish humor have come up short. Still we will try! Prepare for our first class by checking out some of these links:

My Jewish...Read more...

Book Club: December

12/01/2021 11:39:51 AM

Dec1

We are now reading The Last Rose of Shanghai. We will meet on Zoom at 10:30 AM on December 29th to discuss.

From Goodreads:

In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music...
Read more...

Book Club: November

10/27/2021 11:45:42 AM

Oct27

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the November book will actually be discussed on December 1st. We will still meet at 10:30 am on zoom.

This month we are reading The Last Kings of Shanghai by Jonathan Kaufman. From Goodreads:

The Sassoons and the Kadoories--two Jewish families from Baghdad--had long been successful in business, politics, and society. They kept up their intrigues and opium smuggling while helping to rescue...Read more...

Adult Ed: Apocrypha 

10/24/2021 04:06:32 PM

Oct24

For our final class on this unit (10/31) we will be reading Ben Sira/Sirach/Ecclesiasticus

Ecclesiasticus, written by Ben Sirach (בן סירא)

Also known as Ecclesiasticus or Ben Sira, Sirach was written around 200 BCE in Hebrew by Ben Sira. The work was then translated into Greek by his grandson who added a prologue for...Read more...

Adult Ed: Apocrypha 

10/17/2021 04:21:14 PM

Oct17

On 10/24 we will discuss The Life of Adam and Eve: 

Life of Adam and Eve (ספר אדם וחוה)

Expands on the life of Adam and Eve after the expulsion from Eden, including Eve’s perspective. All known manuscripts date to well after the 2nd Temple period, and different versions have been found in several languages, none of them Hebrew or...Read more...

Adult Ed: Apocrypha

10/10/2021 03:58:57 PM

Oct10

For next time (10/17/21) we will be discussing the Book of Tobit.

Book of Tobit (ספר טוביה)

Adult Ed: Apocrypha

10/10/2021 02:36:47 PM

Oct10

Apocrypha from Sefaria

“Apocrypha” refers to biblical-style books from the Second Temple period that were not included in the canonization of Tanakh, including historical works, didactic wisdom literature, and apocalyptic texts, among others. Traditional Jewish approaches to these works have varied throughout the ages, but they are generally viewed as helpful sources of information and literature without much religious significance....Read more...

Adult Ed: Apocrypha

10/09/2021 08:47:16 PM

Oct9

Below is the list of all the texts considered to be Jewish Apocrypha. That is, they are ancient writings believed to have been written by and for Jews, but for various reasons were not canonized into our Tanakh.

Each title links to their Wikipedia article. For Rabbi Lizz's summaries and links to someplace you can read the text online (where such links could be found), go to this Google Doc.

  In the Torah

Adult Ed: Apocrypha

09/30/2021 12:26:54 PM

Sep30

The entire process of canonization is murky. Scholars are simply unsure how certain books ultimately became authoritative and others did not. In these 5 one-hour sessions we will explore some theories on how canonization came to be and what was left out.

A Rough Timeline of Biblical Writing and Canonization

Apocrypha are books outside the Hebrew Bible canon, not considered divinely inspired but regarded as worthy of study by...Read more...

Book Club: October

09/29/2021 11:39:41 AM

Sep29

Our Book Club meets at 10:30 am on Zoom the last Wednesday of each month. This month we are reading The Family Man by Elinor Lipman.


The Amazon summary says:


A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife upends Henry Archer's well-ordered life - and brings him back into contact with the child he adored: Thalia, now 29, an aspiring actress. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the...Read more...

Fri, September 30 2022 5 Tishrei 5783