Lifelong Learning

Fall 2017 Offerings

The Lifelong Learning Committee has put together a relevant series of enjoyable and enriching programs. More details and dates to follow, so please look at the hall computer monitors at KI, check The Link, weekly E-Link and KI Facebook page. BRING A FRIEND!

Our mission is to: build community and understanding within the full spectrum of our congregational community through learning together.

Lunch ‘n LearnSage Advice: Pirkei Avot and Beyond   Taught by Rabbi Troster.

Pirkei Avot (Wisdom of the Sages) is one of the most interesting and inspiring works of traditional Jewish ethical literature written around 200 CE and part of Mishnah. Though originally formulate for students in the ancient rabbinical academies of Israel, Pirkei Avot became a key text for the millennium. This class will look closely at this text and discuss its relevance for our lives today using traditional and modern commentaries. Done in translation, no Hebrew knowledge necessary.  Bring a dairy/vegetarian lunch.  Wednesdays at 12:30-2:00.

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Thursday night lectures with Rabbi Troster are held from 7-8 pm

First class:

The David Story: King David was one of the most remarkable figures in Jewish history whose story in the Bible reads like a novel.  Come and read together the account of his life in the books of Samuel within the context of the time in which he lived.  All texts in translation. Dates: October 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 30

Second class

The Longest Hatred: Understanding the Origins and History of Anti-Semitism

Prejudice against or hatred of Jews—known as antisemitism or anti-Judaism—has plagued the world for more than 2,000 years. Following many centuries of persecution and exclusion, the Jewish minority in Europe achieved some rights after the Enlightenment. As Europe became more secular and Jews integrated into mainstream society, political forms of antisemitism emerged. Jews were targeted for their ideas and their role in society. All of these centuries of hatred were exploited by the Nazis during World War II, culminating in the Holocaust, the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews. In recent years, there has been an increase in antisemitism in the form of hate speech, violence, and denial and distortion of the Holocaust. This class will survey the beginnings of anti-Judaism in the ancient world, and its long history in the Western world. Dates December 7, 14, 21; January 4, 11, 25

Third Class:

The Archaeology of the Land of Israel: From the Origins of the Israelites to the Destruction of the Second Temple.

The land of Israel has been the home of peoples of different cultures and beliefs for some one and a half million years. This course will survey the rich and fascinating archaeological heritage of the land that is the birthplace of the Bible, and the cradle of the three monotheistic religions. Pictorial presentations will show ancient artifacts which reveal a close look to the lifestyle, beliefs, and worldview of the peoples of Ancient Israel from ordinary people to kings and monarchs. Dates: February 1, 8, 15; March 1, 8, 15

Fourth Class

A Jewish Reading of the New Testament

Although many Jews know the basic details of the life of Jesus, most have never read the New Testament. And yet the personalities of the New Testament–Jesus and Paul, Peter and James, Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene–were Jews, living in a culture steeped in Jewish history, beliefs, and practices. There is now an edition of the New Testament that addresses its Jewish background and the culture from which it developed: The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler. This course will use this text to look at the New Testament in its original context and historical period. This course will begin by looking at the narrative sections of the New Testament: the four Gospels and the Book of Acts. No previous knowledge of the New Testament is needed to take this class and all texts will be studied in translation. Dates: March 22, 29, April 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.

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Friday night Discussion Series: Following Shabbat Services, participate in an exciting lecture series led by Rabbi Troster or an accomplished guest speaker. Oct. 6 & Dec. 1, 2017.  2018 dates are Jan. 12 & March 8, Topics to be announced.

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Hebrew for adults: Scott Kawalek will teach this 7 week Aleph Bet program to aid in following the prayer book. Everyone is invited, whether you have no Hebrew knowledge or it has been many years since you took Hebrew and wish to re-learn. Weds  during Religious School 5-6 pm Cost is $50 please contact Scott at 610-430-7620 or KIkadima@verizon.net f you are interested.  Deadline to register is October 11.

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Nosh ‘n Twist‐ led by Glenn Paskow -Shabbat mornings Dates to be announced soon.

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Global Day of Jewish Learning:     Jewish Inspired Beauty and Art presented by Rabbi Sigal Brier

How does beauty inspire awe? What is your relationship to Jewish expression of beauty and art? Come explore with us the relationship between beauty, art and spirituality in Jewish history. We will discuss and study texts and art to glean better understanding of the rich variety of influences, controversy and expressions of art in Judaism.

Rabbi Sigal Brier of Kesher Shalom in Abington PA, is a spiritual mentor, inspirational teacher, and artist, with training in religion, psychology, music, art, yoga, and meditation. Rabbi Sigal teaches internationally, facilitating experiences of transformation for individuals and groups from all walks of life, in diverse settings. She has presented at TED, and was featured on CBS Sunday Morning news and NPR: National Public Radio. Rabbisigal.org

   Nov. 12  10:30 am-12:30 pm 

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Movie Night: “Casablanca” followed by discussion with Rabbi Troster “We Will Always have Casablanca” Oct. 22  7 pm

Casablanca was first released in 1942, just two weeks after the city of Casablanca itself surrendered to American troops led by General Patton. Featuring a pitch-perfect screenplay, a classic soundtrack, and unforgettable performances by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and a deep supporting cast, Casablanca was hailed in the New York Times as “a picture that makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” The film won Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay, and would go on to enjoy more revival screenings than any other movie in history. Rabbi Troster will introduce the film and then give a presentation afterwards that will particularly focus on the central role refugees from Hitler’s Europe played in the production (nearly all of the actors and actresses cast in Casablanca were immigrants). Discussion will follow.

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” Movie on Nov. 5  7:15 pm followed by discussion with Rabbi Troster and Book Club.

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Genealogy Club will be guided by Stew Feinberg‐ please contact Stew at stewfein@gmail.com

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Interested in acting?  A class is being put together to do dramatic readings of Jewish themed plays and stories using a script (no memorizing) by KI member Mona Bloom.  Contact Mona at talkmoe@aol.com

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PREVIEW OF SPRING 2018

Scholar in Residence Weekend with Rabbi Rick Sherwin  Feb. 3-4

Artist’s Beit Midrash

Calling all painters, weavers, sculptors, potters, needle point makers, glass makers, photographers and other artists: The Artist’s Beit Midrash, is where Torah study meets art. This group will spend 6 sessions studying and discussing Jewish texts on a topic decided by the group: stories of Creation, Noah, Sinai, Moses, Aaron and Miriam, or the meaning of water in Judaism and then will on their own create their own artistic interpretations of this material. The resulting artwork will be displayed to the on the first day of Shavuot, May 20, 2018. Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Dates:  In 2018:  February 7, 21; March 7, 21; April 4; May 9.

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Lecture-Pop Music, Kaballah, and Chagall, what do they all have in common? Jonathan Friedman, director of the Holocaust and Genocide Master’s Program at WC University, will enlighten us.  March 14, 2018 7:30 pm

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Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Kravitz  “Hebrew Prayer Language-Breaking the Hebrew Barrier

Many have expressed a barrier to connecting with Hebrew prayer because o f a lack of understanding of the Hebrew in a Jewish Prayer Service.  This course will focus on cracking that barrier through a series of focused Hebrew language study with the goal of opening the path to meaningful davening (praying) in Hebrew.  This is for those who have begining Hebrew reading skills (knowing the Aleph/Bet.)     Jan.-May 2018 Tuesdays 12:30-1:30 pm

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Field Trip-Join the Chester County Hebrew High School and Religious School 7th grade for a trip to NYC’s Lower East Side   April 22

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Please contact Ruth Schick (schick.ruth@gmail.com)  or Glenn Paskow  (glenn.paskow@verizon.net) for more information or the Kesher Israel office at shalom@kesher-israel.org to sign up for any of the above events.