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Adult Ed: Lamentations

01/20/2021 12:06:33 PM


The Book of Lamentations

Summary of Lamentations

About Lamentations

Lamentations on Tisha B'Av

Other Jewish Poems of Lament

Link to a PDF about Lamentations and Gender

Tevye asking, "Eicha?"



Adult Ed: Ruth

01/13/2021 04:13:28 PM


The Book of Ruth

Summary of the Book of Ruth (but it's only four chapters!)

The Power of Names in the Book of Ruth

Brief analysis of the Book of Ruth


Adult Ed: Song of Songs

01/06/2021 03:29:01 PM


The Book of Song of Songs

Summary of Song of Songs (Disclaimer: I think Shmoop is a cute and fun site for easy summaries, but their Biblical summaries all take an "Old Testament" view rather than a "Hebrew Scripture" view. In general, be a little wary of any source that refers to this book as the Song of Solomon.)

My Jewish Learning - Song of Songs

Sefaria Text Study on Song of Songs


Book Club: January

01/06/2021 12:35:14 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club is reading Apeirogon by Colum McCann this month and trying to get back on track with our last Wednesday of the month meetings!

Join us at 10:30 am on January 27th via Zoom to discuss this book.

From Goodreads:

Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon--named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides--is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and...Read more...

Adult Ed: Jewish Mysticism

12/23/2020 11:50:35 AM


Bonus class with Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis! We will be looking at the texts themselves that we've been learning about.

In case you missed the class explaining what the Zohar is, check out this article.

If you're looking to get into mystical study of your own, this is the edition of Zohar you want.



Adult Ed: Jewish Mysticism

12/02/2020 12:31:51 PM


This month we will be having a guest teacher for Adult Ed!

Geoffrey Dennis is rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound, TX. He is a popular professor in Rabbinics at the University of North Texas, where he teaches Kabbalah, Biblical Literature, and the History of Messianism. He received his M.HL and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also has degrees in Education and Nursing. Prior to his...Read more...

December/January Book Club

12/02/2020 12:04:24 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club will be meeting January 6th at 10:30 am via Zoom to discuss The Garment Maker's Daughter by Hillary Adrienne Stern.

The Garment Maker's Daughter is a multigenerational saga of immigrant dreams and sweatshop realities, labor strikes and women's rights. It is the story of Lena Rothman, a shirtwaist-maker and active suffragette whose plans get derailed when she falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend, Jake...Read more...

Adult Ed: Job

11/25/2020 10:08:21 AM


The Book of Job (Full Text)

What is the Book of Job?

Introduction to Job through the Classical Rabbinic Lens

What is the Point of this Book?

Theodicy and Linguistic Structure of Job

What's the deal with Satan here?


Adult Ed: Proverbs

11/18/2020 10:25:53 AM


The Book of Proverbs

Claymation Interpretations of Selected Proverbs

What is Proverbs?

Google Drive of Some Academic Articles about Proverbs, Patriarchy, and Sexual Politics of Biblical Israel


Adult Ed: Psalms

11/11/2020 11:42:09 AM


Psalms is a collection of poetry. There's no narrative or decisive author, but we will look at the book of 150 poems as deeply as we can in one hour!

Since there isn't as much room for the sort of literary-historical look we often employ for understanding a whole book of TaNaKh in one hour, instead I suggest everyone bring a Psalm for us to discuss.

The Book of Psalms

What is Psalms?



November Book Club

10/28/2020 06:59:15 PM


Due to Thanksgiving and the length of our next book, there will not be a meeting for Book Club in November itself. We will meet December 2nd at 10:30 am over Zoom to discuss Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. The description of the book is:

  Now hailed as a "proto-feminist classic" (Vulture), Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk's powerful coming-of-age novel about an ambitious young woman pursuing her artistic dreams in...Read more...

Adult Ed: Chronicles

10/20/2020 03:08:14 PM


Join us on November 8th at 1 pm via Zoom for a discussion of Chronicles, and some comparing/contrasting between Chronicles and the tales they are are repeating from the other books of the Tanakh.

I Chronicles

II Chronicles

I Chronicles Summary

II Chronicles Summary

What is Chronicles?

Some Examples of Chronicles repeating or "fixing" stories from other parts of the Tanakh

Divine Justice...

Adult Ed: Fighting Against Antisemitism

10/14/2020 12:06:58 PM


Join us Sunday, October 18th on Zoom (reach out if you need the link) for a special presentation on antisemitism and what action we can take to promote safety for Jews and all minorities.

We recommend you bring paper and pen, or have a word processing app open during this presentation so that you can start your letters to your local papers or representatives with us during the call.

Resources to check out before or after the...

Book Club Updates

10/13/2020 05:12:13 PM


With the holidays taking away from almost every other programming, Book Club has continued on!

In September we read Deathless: the Complete, Uncensored, Heartbreaking, and Amazing Autobiography of Serach Bat Asher, the Oldest Woman in the World by Andrew Ramer.

Now we are reading The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, to be discussed via Zoom at 10:30 on October 28th.


Adult Ed: Jewish Views on the Afterlife

08/02/2020 10:54:57 AM


Join us via Zoom as we delve into some Jewish views on the afterlife!

Classes will run the first three Sundays in August, taught by guest lecturer Professor John Rybicki!

Email if you need the zoom link.

August Book Club

07/29/2020 12:12:13 PM


The Ner Shalom Book Club will be meeting via Zoom at 10:30 am on August 26th to discuss The Third Daughter by Talia Carner.

From Goodreads about the book:

The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy...Read more...

Adult Ed: Final Session on Reform Jewish Values!

07/19/2020 02:19:44 PM


For the last several weeks, we have been studying Reform Jewish values, through the responsa, formal statements, and platforms of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and through the book, A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path. This Sunday (7/26) will be our final session on this topic. If you have been reading the book along with us, the following essays are recommended as starting points for our discussion on...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path

07/15/2020 10:40:47 AM


For our "community" section of A Life of Meaning, I recommend reading the following essays: Tradition! Transition! by Rabbi Lisa Edwards Millennials: Building the Future of Reform Judaism by Evan Traylor Sacred Aging by Rabbi Richard F. Address, DMin As always, if you can read the whole section, or want to go back and read essays you missed in previous sections, please do! We can at least still all start with these three common ground...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path

07/08/2020 06:29:00 PM


This week's topic is "Living the Texts". You do not have to have done the reading to join us, but if you do have the book A Life Of Meaning, we are strongly encouraging reading the following essays:

Our Tree of Life by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman Why Reform Jews Should Study Talmud by Rabbi Dvora Weisberg, PhD Reform Liturgy: Then and Now by Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD

If you are so inclined, you should also feel empowered to read the whole...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Judaism's Sacred Path

07/01/2020 02:54:05 PM


After a week off, we are continuing again this Sunday with our study of Reform Jewish values.

This week's topic is "Connecting to the Divine" and we will be discussing where traditional ritual fits into Reform Jewish life. Those who purchased the book, A Life of Meaning, were encouraged to read at least the following chapters:

The Power and Pitfalls of Personal Religious Autonomy The Jewish Path Ceremony vs. Ritual

For...

July Book Club

06/24/2020 02:45:29 PM


Our next meeting will be July 29 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the book Flower Toward the Sun by Marcia Rudin. The description of the book follows.   In 1905, Rebecca leaves her Jewish shtetl in the Ukraine to join her fiancé, Samuel, in Milwaukee. Ingrid leaves her orphanage in Norway to become the Picture Bride of Lars, a widowed Norwegian farmer in North Dakota. But as Rebecca and Ingrid are processed together at Ellis Island,...Read more...

Adult Ed: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path

06/10/2020 02:21:54 PM


We are moving on to a new, but related topic from our look at "Reform Halakha". Using A Life of Meaning by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan as our guide, we will spend the next six weeks looking at the following topics through the modern/progressive Reform Jewish lens:

Knowing God Choosing Covenant Connecting to the Divine Living the Texts Building Community Dignity of the Other


This week, as we begin our conversations...

Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender and Sexuality

06/03/2020 02:35:24 PM


A General Question of Marriage after Gender Affirming Sugery (1978)

A Question About Sex/Gender/Sexuality in Marriage (ca. 1980)

Circumcision for Trans Converts (ca. 2009)

Conversion and Marriage with Genderbending Individuals (1990)

Gender Transitions within an Existing Marriage (ca. 2015)

Current CCAR Resolution (2015)


June Book Club

06/03/2020 02:31:28 PM


If you enjoyed our Shavuot People of the Book event last week, you will love the Ner Shalom Book Club! This month's pick is The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. We are meeting by Zoom to discuss on June 24th at 10:30 am. Message us for the zoom link or other information about Ner Shalom programming!…/sh…/703.The_Plot_Against_America


Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender and Sexuality

05/25/2020 05:12:26 PM


Gay Marriages/Families:

Can a Reform Rabbi Officiate (1985)

Can both moms participate in their son's Bar Mitzvah (1986)

Evolution of Reform Acceptance, and where Civil Law factors (2014)

Jewish LGBTQ Communities:

Gay Synagogues (ca.1972)

Gay Converts (1982)

Contemporary CCAR Resolutions (2015):

Reform Judaism Celebrates 25 Years of Gay Rabbis (now 30!)

CCAR Opposed...

May Book Club

05/19/2020 04:35:40 PM


Our next meeting will be Wednesday May 27 at 10:30 am. via Zoom to discuss our book, The Book of V: A Novel by Anna Solomon. A description of the book from Amazon is: Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife...Read more...

Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender

05/19/2020 04:34:48 PM


Before we move on to Responsa on LGBT inclusion, there were some questions about the Responsa Committee more generally.

Here are the two most recent Responsa on the CCAR website (COVID-19 themed) - they list the names of the current committee members at the end, including the current chair (a woman):

Virtual Minyan during a Pandemic

Brit Milah during COVID-19

For Comparison: Rabbinic Assembly (Conservative)...

Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender

05/13/2020 01:28:47 PM


Can Jewish men wear earrings?

Can women wear pants to Shul?



Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender

05/06/2020 02:49:37 PM


Pregnancy and Reproductive Health:

Is Birth Control Permitted? (1927)

On Artificial Insemination and Emergency C-Sections (ca. late 1940's)

When is Abortion Permitted? (1985)


On Breast-Feeding (ca. 1950's)

Accepting Jews of Patrilineal Descent (1983)


Jewish Commitment Ceremonies Outside of Marriage (1979)

Agunot (1988)

Regulating Uteruses...

Adult Ed: Reform Responsa on Gender

04/28/2020 12:53:04 PM


Reponsa on Educating Jewish Girls:

Religious Misogyny is a Western Invention and Not True to Judaism's Semetic Roots, But We're Going to Uphold it Anyway

The Reform Movement Returns to the Practice of the Bar Mitzvah and Discusses Whether to Include Bat Mitzvah Ceremonies as Well

Reform Attitudes On Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Do Girls Really Mature Earlier than Boys?

Women in Ritual Practice:

Wearing...

Tue, January 26 2021 13 Shevat 5781