Torahthon - Herzl



Torahthon - Herzl
A joint venture of
Share our past. Shape our future.
An evening of courses on diverse
Jewish subjects featuring an
esteemed faculty of clergy,
professors and experts.
The evening includes dinner and
light refreshments throughout
the night, a community Havdallah
service, a keynote address, a
Community Shuk with books,
jewelry and gifts for sale, and
co-sponsor information tables.
Registration is available online at
$36 for the full evening,
including dinner
$18 for courses only
(beginning at 6:50 PM)
All are welcome - financial
assistance available
upon request.
For questions, email
[email protected] or
call 206-232-8555 x207
For more information, including
the complete bios of our faculty,
NOVEMBER 7, 2015
5:35 PM - 11:30 PM
Arrive as soon as you can, stay as long as you like!
At Herzl-Ner Tamid
Back and bigger than ever!
A catered meal, warm Havdallah,
thought-provoking keynote address,
gifts for sale, intriguing courses
and much more!
Funding for Torahthon 2.0 is made possible by
a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of
Greater Seattle and historically by the Alfred &
Tillie Shemanski Foundation.
Register at
For more information visit
Co-Sponsors Include:
The Evening’s Schedule
Registration & Check-in
in the Feinberg Social Hall
Ongoing: 5:35 PM – 10:10 PM
Please note:
•Check-in is required for all participants, including those who have pre-registered.
Course formats are represented at the end of each description as: A for Activity-based (hands-on); D for Discussion; or L for Lecture.
Major themes are summarized at the end of each description as: Culture (for Cultural Judaism & Peoplehood); Doing Jewish (for “Doing Jewish”: Hands-on Learning Activities);
How to (for “How to” for Modern Jewish Practice); Issues (for Political & Ethical Issues); or Text (for Historical & Sacred Texts).
Session A: 6:50 PM – 7:50 PM
•You will receive a Torahthon 2.0
bracelet at check-in. Please wear it
throughout the evening and take it
home as a keepsake.
A1. BDS, Israel, and Us: The Delegitimization Campaign
(Nevet Basker, Broader View: Israel Resource Center)
What is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)
movement, and how is it different from legitimate
debate about Israeli policies? Who is behind it, and
what are their goals? How are anti-Israel players using
commercial boycotts, celebrities and performers, the
legal system, and academic associations to slander and
demonize Israel? Is the anti-Israel campaign anti-Zionist,
pro-Palestinian, or anti-Jewish—or some combination
of these three? How does it affect us, as American
Jews—and what are some potential strategies and
resources that can help us respond to these attacks on
Israel’s legitimacy? (L; Issues)
•If you wish to switch any courses, please tell us when you check-in.
•Posters will be available at the
check-in tables to help acquaint you with all room assignments.
in the Feinberg Social Hall
5:35 PM – 6:15 PM
Catered by On Safari Foods
A6. The Singing Cows of Kabbalat Shabbat (Rivy
Poupko Kletenik, Seattle Hebrew Academy) The class
will address how the prayers of Friday night are woven
together to form a particular approach to prayer, the
Temple and Shabbat. Be prepared -- a closer look
reveals quite a few surprises. (D; Text)
A7. What Makes a Value Jewish? (Deborah Massarano,
Livnot Chai) Participants will explore what exactly
makes a particular value Jewish. We will seek to answer
the following questions together: Are there any values
that are exclusively Jewish? How does a Jewish value
differ from a humanist/global value? (D; Issues)
A8. Put Your Oxygen Mask on First: Jewish Wisdom on
Self-Care When Caring for Others (Rabbi Aaron Meyer,
A2. Introduction to Jewish Meditation (Rabbi Olivier
Temple De Hirsch Sinai ) If you have flown often, you
BenHaim, Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue) Whether
will recognize the following: “In the event of a loss of
you are a beginner or an experienced meditator, join
cabin pressure…if you are traveling with someone who
Rabbi BenHaim in discovering the millennia old Jewish
requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then
meditation path. Rabbi BenHaim will briefly trace the
assist others.” The same advice applies when supporting
history of Jewish meditation and its different schools,
an aging parent, assisting an ailing partner or spouse, or
as well as explain some of the meditative techniques
addressing the active care needs of someone we love.
that were used through the ages. Participants will be
introduced to a simple contemporary Jewish meditation Together participants will study Jewish wisdom, texts,
practice, with time to try it, ask questions and follow up. and community for tips and insights to support us as we
support others in our already busy lives. (D; How to)
(A; Doing Jewish)
A9. Temptation, Sublimation and Sexual Fantasy in
A3. Spirituality of Awareness (Rabbi Will Berkovitz,
the Talmud (Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum, Herzl-Ner Tamid)
Jewish Family Service) Using discussion, experience and
A wife disguises herself as a prostitute to save her
Jewish text class participants will learn how to deepen our
spiritual lives by exploring how to see more fully. (D; How to) marriage. Resh Lakish is attracted to the handsome
Rabbi Yonatan whom he mistakes for a woman. A
husband tests his wife’s fidelity. Come enjoy these three
A4. Perpetrators, Victims, and Heroes: The Holocaust
spicy Talmudic tales and learn what they teach us about
through Five Artifacts (Ilana Cone Kennedy, Holocaust
human psychology and relationships. (D; Text)
Center for Humanity) Participants will have the
NOTE: Also offered during Session D: 10:20 PM opportunity to explore and examine five artifacts from
11:20 PM.
the Holocaust to uncover new stories and complexities
of the Holocaust and how this history relates to our
world today. (White gloves for handling the artifacts will A10. The Peace Process: Getting to a Two-State
Solution (Rachel Urman, AIPAC) Participants will
be provided.) (D; Culture)
discuss the history of the peace process, where we are
now and ways to move forward. Historical and political
A5. Shalom Bayit : Teaching Your Children about
context will be provided. Group participation is
Healthy Relationships (Irit Eliav Levin, Herzl-Ner
encouraged. (D; Issues)
Tamid) Relationships are a central part of our lives. How
do we give our child(ren) the tools they need to create
healthy, meaningful, and rewarding relationships? What
Jewish teachings and values can guide this process? In this
interactive class parents, grandparents and other adults who
deal with children and youth can explore these topics and
learn more about how to teach these values. (D; How to)
Welcome & Havdallah Service
in the Sanctuary - 6:20 PM – 6:30 PM
Led by Rabbis Jessica Yarkin, Micah
Ellenson, and Jay Rosenbaum
Keynote Address
in the Sanctuary - 6:30 PM – 6:45 PM
Rivy Poupko Kletenik Speaking on
“What Do We Talk About When We
Talk About Learning” – A Passionate
Approach to Torah Study
Course Sessions
in various locations
6:50 PM - 11:20 PM
Community Shuk
in the Feinberg Social Hall
Ongoing: 5:35 PM – 10:20 PM
A sale of Jewish books, gifts, and
jewelry by Island Books, HNT Judaica
Shop and One Loom Studio
Organization Information
in the Feinberg Social Hall
Ongoing: 5:35 PM – 11:20 PM
Information available representing our
co-sponsoring religious institutions,
agencies, and organizations
Session B: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
B1. Getting to Choose: Gender, Homosexuality, and
Marriage Equality (Nance Adler, Jewish Day School)
Using Rabbi Steven Greenberg’s book “Wresting
with God and Man,” traditional midrashim and
Torah text, participants will look at the stories of
creation from Genesis and see if they can help us
toward more modern views of gender equality,
homosexuality and marriage equality. (D; Issues)
B2. The Jewish Liberals’ Dilemma: Can One Be
Liberal and Nevertheless Support Israel? (Professor
Emeritus Paul Burstein, University of Washington)
For decades, those in Europe and the U.S. who
want to end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state have
promoted a simple syllogism: (1) The Palestinians
are a progressive cause; (2) I am a progressive:
(3) therefore I favor the Palestinians. This logic is
affecting more and more Americans who think
of themselves as progressive or liberal, including
church groups, unions, universities and their
students and professors, and more. Support for
Israel is declining in the left wing of the Democratic
Party. Many Jews see themselves as liberal and
as supporters of Israel; what are they to do when
pressured to choose? (D; Issues)
B3. Judaism on Trial: The Disputation at Barcelona,
1263 (Benjamin Diament, Herzl Ner-Tamid) Perhaps
the most dramatic event of medieval Jewish history
was the disputation at Barcelona, in which Rabbi
Moshe ben Nahman (Nahmanides) was forced to
debate a Jewish convert to Christianity, on questions
of belief and dogma in Judaism and Christianity.
Nahmanides later recorded a fascinating play-byplay recap of what was said and done at this debate.
Although Jews were forced to defend their religion
both before and after the disputation at Barcelona, this
event was unique in important ways. We will explore
the Nahmanides’ text and learn what makes this event
in Jewish history so dramatic. (L; Text)
B4. Making T’fillot Meaningful: Using Midrash,
Rabbinic Commentary, and Modern Day
Perspectives to Increase Personal Connection to
Jewish Prayer (Irit Eliav Levin, Herzl-Ner Tamid)
Prayer plays a deeply personal and meaningful role
in the lives of many Jews. For others, connection to
prayer can be a complex and challenging subject.
In this class, we will explore midrash, rabbinic
commentary, and modern perspectives to bring the
words of the Siddur to life. Participants will focus
on a few key prayers in Judaism as a jumping point
to developing a personal connection to the prayer
process. Come ready to look at familiar prayers in a
whole new light! (D; How to)
B5. Kavod HaBriyot: Sustaining Ourselves in a
Complex World (Talya Gillman, Carlson Leadership
& Public Service Center) In our complex, messy
world, it can be hard not to feel drained or
disheartened by the realities we encounter in the
news, in our neighborhoods and communities,
and sometimes, in our own relationships. Conflict
abounds as we continue to learn how to live
with one another amidst our differences. How
can we - as individuals and as a community productively navigate political, racial, religious
or even personality-based tensions? Through
text, storytelling and dialogue, we’ll explore how
practices of “kavod habriyot” - dignity - offer a
gateway towards strengthened relationships, and
the possibility of a kinder, more peaceful world.
(D; Issues)
B6. Is the Anti-Israel Campaign a Threat to the
Jewish Diaspora? (Rob Jacobs, StandWithUs) It’s
totally legitimate to criticize Israel, just as we can
criticize the policies and acts of any country. Class
discussion will focus on the following questions: Has
the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
campaign crossed the line? Is it a productive and
just way to affect Israeli policies? Is it a threat to
Israel? And, closer to home, is it a threat to the
Jewish diaspora community? (D; Issues)
Session B Continued...
Note the following course presenter has changed:
B7. Chassidus in the Twenty-First Century (Rabbi
Mendy Kornfeld, Congregation Shevet Achim) This
class will provide an overview of Chassidic insights
about G-d, the Torah, the soul, and relationships, and
how a two hundred year-old movement is relevant
and dynamic. (L; Culture)
B8. Gematria: Does One Plus One Always Equal
Two? (Eliyahu Krigel, Herzl-Ner Tamid) The system
that links Hebrew letters with numerical values
is called Gematria. Participants will learn about
Gematria’s key components and how the system
applies directly to our lives, helping us to uncover
how Torah and the Hebrew language are relevant
and meaningful. This course is for the novice and
expert Talmid Chakham (student of Torah) and
everyone in between. (D; Text)
B9. From Adam to Noah in Clay (Rabbi Sarah Rensin,
Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle) This
course uses clay to explore the overarching metaphor
that begins with the creation of Adam and is carried
through to the story of Noah and the flood.
(A; Doing Jewish)
B10. The Seven Wonders of Jewish History (Rabbi
Mark Spiro, LivingJudaism) The Jewish people have
broken all the rules of history, but what’s even more
remarkable is that the strange course of Jewish
history was predicted long before the events took
place. Could the prophets of old have predicted such
an unusual series of events and circumstances by
natural means, or does the Torah’s description of the
Jewish people’s future indicate that its author sits
at the very controls of history itself? This class will
explore seven unique trends in Jewish history, and
the prophecies that foretold them. (L; Text)
Session C: 9:10 PM – 10:10 PM
C1. What We Talk About When We Talk About
Tichels (Emily K. Alhadeff, Jewish in Seattle
magazine) Scarves, snoods, tichels, wigs, hats — why
do religious women cover (or not cover) their heads?
In one hour, participants will careen through sources,
historical and sociological influences, geographic
factors and contemporary debates and discussions
around the history and practices of “kisui rosh.” How
do hair coverings affect identity, confidence, politics?
Why is hair such a big deal? What, exactly, do we talk
about when we talk about tichels? (L; Culture)
C2. The Sacred Art of Tochecha : Calling People In
vs. Calling People Out (Rabbi David Basior, Kadima
Reconstructionist Community) The class will look at a
mix of ancient and contemporary texts from various
sources of wisdom - from neurology to the Rambam
to the Black Lives Matter activists - to delve into
interpersonal human communication on tense issues
we find hard to talk about. All are welcome with any
amount of previous Jewish study. (D; Issues)
C3. Subduing the Yetzer Harah (The Evil Inclination)
(Rabbi Micah Ellenson, Temple De Hirsch Sinai) Other
religions might tell you to banish your evil inclination,
while Judaism tells you to subdue it. Why? And more
importantly, how? This class will look at the history
of the Yetzer Harah (the evil inclination) and Yetzer
Hatov (the good inclination) in Judaism and how
better understanding these two parts of our psyche
can help us build a road map for a balanced soul and
meaningful existence. (D; How to)
C4. 10 Best Ideas of Judaism and 10 New Ideas
for Judaism to Consider (Rabbi Dov Gartenberg,
Panim Hadashot-The Heart of Shabbat) Judaism of
the 21st century will not survive if it insulates itself
from this rapidly changing world. Rabbi Gartenberg
will look at the big picture, identifying Judaism’s
best contributions to our culture and exploring
the powerful ideas that are challenging traditional
Judaism in our times. (L; Text)
Note the following course has changed:
C5. 20 Years After the Rabin Assassination. What is
and What Might Have Been? (Barbara Lahav,
J Street) Full course description coming soon.
C6. Music: The Light and Joy of Our People (Cantor
Bradlee Kurland, Herzl-Ner Tamid) Come put your
vocal cords to work in this fun, interactive session of
song! Cantor Kurland will lead the group in singing
Israeli to Chassidic, Yiddish to Sephardic prayer songs
and nigunim. Come join! (A; Doing Jewish)
in the Torah. Prepare to be inspired and perhaps
even surprised to discover that some things about
Joseph (and his coat!) may not be what you have
always thought they were. We’ll delve into sibling
relationships and see what we can learn to share
with our own families from this great biblical family.
Text will be presented in both Hebrew and English, so
no prior knowledge is necessary. (D; Text)
C8. Nuclear Physics for Everyone: Understanding
the Iran Deal (Michael Tischler, Herzl-Ner Tamid)
For the past couple of years, the Jewish community
worldwide has been closely following the
negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal, as a nuclear
Iran is an existential threat to the State of Israel.
Some technical details of the deal can be hard to
follow – e.g., uranium enrichment, heavy-water
reactors, and centrifuges. This class, intended for a
general audience, explains these complex concepts.
(L; Issues)
C7. Joseph: How Amazing Was His Coat, Really?
Amee Sherer, Hillel at the University of Washington)
This class will explore some of the great moments
Night-Owl Session D: 10:20 PM – 11:20 PM
D1. Did Darth Vader Repent? (Rabbi Micah Ellenson,
Temple De Hirsch Sinai) Teshuvah and returning from
the dark side: Class participants will discuss whether
it is truly possible to repent. What can Darth Vader
teach us about Jewish repentance? (D; Issues)
D2. Jewish Topics & Texts that Would Make Your
Bubbie Blush: Shaking Judaism Up for a Younger
Generation (Rabbi Jason Levine, Temple Beth Am)
Has Judaism gotten too “white bread?” Everything
seemed so clean and simple in Religious School. Yet
pot, tattoos, cults, sexual positions - Judaism speaks
about them all, is subversive and the sages debate
some pretty absurd, risqué, and counter-cultural
topics. Are we ready to take big risks for our Jewish
future and mix things up? Can a new generation of
Jews shake up Jewish leadership and community?
Prepare to make your bubbie blush as participants
discuss texts that rarely make it around the seder
table. (D; Culture)
D3. I am a Stranger and a Resident Amongst You: A
Modern Approach to Chayei Sarah (Danniell Nadiv,
Stroum Jewish Community Center) This class offers a
text study of the Torah portion Chayei Sarah and an
in-depth discussion about the verse “I am a stranger
and a resident amongst you.” (Genesis 23:4) and how
it relates to modern society. (D; Culture)
D4. Five Solid (Jewish) Reasons There Must be a
GOD! (Rabbi Emeritus James Mirel, Temple B’nai
Torah) Rabbi Mirel will present an original Jewish
theology “proving” the reality and necessity of God,
based on 21st century science and philosophy. Then
the class will be opened up for discussion.
(D; Issues)
D6. Is your Rabbi a Wizard? (Rabbi Jessica Yarkin,
Herzl-Ner Tamid) Modern Judaism does not
subscribe to the occult, the existence of demons,
or to the power of magical objects, but not so in
the past! Jews used to incorporate into their Jewish
practice thaumaturgical objects – charms, amulets
and incantations – that had supernatural properties.
The Talmud describes multiple incidents of sorcery
performed by rabbis, begging the question: Is magic
Jewish? Is magic real? Find out more in this class!
Hopefully, Rabbi Yarkin won’t transform you into a
newt. (L; Text)
D5. Temptation, Sublimation and Sexual Fantasy in
the Talmud (Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum, Herzl-Ner Tamid)
A wife disguises herself as a prostitute to save her
marriage. Resh Lakish is attracted to the handsome
Rabbi Yonatan whom he mistakes for a woman. A
husband tests his wife’s fidelity. Come enjoy these
three spicy Talmudic tales and learn what they teach
us about human psychology and relationships.
(D; Text) NOTE: Also offered during Session A: 6:50 PM –
7:50 PM.
Gathering Point in the Feinberg Social Hall
• Schmooze with your presenters and fellow participants
• Browse the Community Shuk for books and gifts for all ages
(remember, Chanukah starts December 6!)
• Visit the co-sponsor information tables
• Enjoy tasty refreshments
Lots to Buy at Our Community Shuk
Jewish Books from
Island Books
Seattle, WA
Permit No. 1445
Island Books has been serving the Mercer
Island community and the greater Seattle
area for over 40 years. Their experienced
staff is happy to help you find you a good
read or locate hard to find titles and out of
print books.
Jewelry by
One Loom Studio
One Loom Studio's jewelry is created by
artist and designer Jessica Farber. Her
studio uses recycled sterling silver in the
creation of nature inspired jewelry
just for you.
Gifts from the
HNT Judaica Shop
Proceeds from the Judaica Shop fund
camperships and more. Buy Judaica, ritual
items, jewelry and gifts and give twice! We have
what you need to “do” Jewish.
NOVEMBER 7, 2015
Herzl - Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation
Affiliated with The United Synagogue of America
P.O. Box 574, Mercer Island, WA 98040
206-232-8555 • Fax: 206-232-0283
[email protected] •
5:35 PM - 11:30 PM
Arrive as soon as you can, stay as long as you like!
At Herzl-Ner Tamid
Back and Bigger Than Ever!

Similar documents