TAUBER SPARK! – Ignite Your Jewish Learning
Allow yourself to dive into our tradition and SPARK your imagination. We want EVERYONE to take part in this innovative community-wide Jewish learning experience. Let your heart be moved by Torah; be open to a transformative and mind opening experience. Join your friends, rabbis and guest teachers for three nights of SPARK, a powerful Jewish learning offering of Congregation Emanu-El. Our evening will begin with schmooze time for participants to mingle and nosh together, followed by one hour engaged in of one of four hot topic SPARK study sessions with rabbis and leading guest educators.The evening will be followed by a community-wide keynote address or seminar with special scholars/speakers.
TAUBER SPARK 2019 – March 12, 19, 26 from 6:45 – 9:15 pm!
$45 for non-members and $36 for members
Jewish Masculinity in the #MeToo Era with Rabbi Joshua Ladon
Reckoning seriously with questions of power and gender inequality requires us to investigate and re-imagine notions of masculinity. In this class, we will study traditional Jewish texts in new ways. We will focus on key questions about power, vulnerability, and equality. We will aim to take seriously what a full and textured Jewish understanding of masculinity can mean and how our texts may lead us to think and act differently.
Rabbi Joshua Ladon is West Coast Director of Education for Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where he oversees educational and programmatic activity in the San Francisco Bay area. Joshua received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Jewish Thought at Tel Aviv University. He received rabbinic ordination from the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is currently a Doctoral student in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
How Jewish Feminists Transformed Judaism… and American Culture with Rabbi Jane Litman.
All four non-Orthodox denominations (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal) are now headed by women. This would have been unimaginable forty years ago, and thought unlikely even ten years ago. Over the course of one generation, Jewish life and practice have changed dramatically to include women’s voices and perceptions, allowing for more creative and flexible Jewish observance for both men and women. At the same time, Jewish women have brought a unique vision of empowerment to American culture as a whole. Jewish values such as education, free speech, tolerance, and hard work have produced Jewish women Supreme Court Justices, politicians, writers, filmmakers, artists and intellectuals whose ideas have inspired mainstream society.
Rabbi Jane Litman directs the Jewish Roundtable at the Pacific School of Religion. Prior to this position, she was the Senior Congregational Consultant of the Reconstructionist Movement advising over one hundred congregations in North America. She has been on the faculty of American Jewish University, California State University Northridge, and Loyola Marymount University. Rabbi Litman is the Rabbinic co-chair of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and on the executive committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. She was the Rabbi of gay outreach congregations Kol Simcha and Sha’ar Zahav, and is an authority on moral education for diverse families, consulting with numerous Jewish institutions, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the National Council of Churches on the subject. Widely published in the fields of Jewish women’s history, gender theory, and contemporary theology, Rabbi Litman edited the award winning Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Scripture in Contemporary Life with Rabbi Debra Orenstein. Rabbi Litman enjoys gardening, river rafting, and Japanese art. She lives in Berkeley with her partner, Stewart Schwartz.
Things They Never Taught You In Hebrew School: The Practice of Mussar with Rabbi Beth Singer
Rabbi Beth Singer will offer an introduction to the concept of Mussar, an old and evolving Jewish practice that involves working on specific soul traits in order to be a better person in the world. This course will cover a brief history of Mussar and we will learn how to practice a few traits such as developing humility, generosity and equanimity. The third session will be taught by a special guest teacher.
Rabbi Beth Singer is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi at Congregation Emanu-El. Ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she also earned her undergraduate degree from Pomona College. Before coming to Emanu-El in August 2013, Rabbi Singer served as Temple Beth Am’s Co-Senior rabbi in Seattle for sixteen years.
Keynote speakers will include:
March 12 – Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, PhD, Good News from Israel: Medical Achievements and Daily Miracles at Rabin Medical Center, Israel’s Premier Hospital
Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, Ph.D. reveals how Israel’s Rabin Medical Center, founded in 1936, has become a beacon light in the Middle East and beyond, as a global leader in healthcare with the leading cancer center, women’s hospital, ER and trauma center, a vast research center and the Rabin Medical Exchange Doctors program that has brought 100 doctors to the USA in recent years to study and observe, including at Stanford Medical Center and USF Medical School. Rabin Medical Center is a model of peaceful coexistence: it treats a million patients annually and a third of its patients and staff of 4,500 are Israeli Arabs.
Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, Ph.D. is the full-time executive director of American Friends of Rabin Medical Center, a NY based national nonprofit raising funds and awareness for Israel’s premier hospital, the Rabin Medical Center in Greater Tel Aviv. See: www.afrmc.orgwww.afrmc.org
Rabbi Plaut also leads NYC’s Metropolitan Synagogue and is a prolific author and photographer. He led communities in Martha’s Vineyard and Connecticut. and as MIT’s Jewish Chaplain. His most recent book, A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish, (Rutgers University, October 2012) (www.akosherchristmas.org), is the first book to be written on Jews and Christmas. Rabbi Plaut is currently writing a book on civil rights in Great Neck, Long Island circa 1961 and his father Rabbi Walter Plaut’s Freedom Ride. Being an acclaimed American photographer of Jewish life in the diaspora, Rabbi Plaut’s ten photography exhibitions and photographs, ranging from Central Asia to the Balkans, the American South to Jewish merchants and markets the world over, are in private collections and have been displayed at major museums and galleries across the United States, Europe and Israel. See his web site: www.plautphoto.com
March 19 – Prof. Marc Dollinger, PhD, Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance In The 1960s. Professor Dollinger’s most recent book, takes a new and different look at Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement, showing how American Jews leveraged the Black Power movement to increase Jewish ethnic and religious identity in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Join us as we explore never-before-seen historical documents that reveal a story that’s been hidden from view for over half a century. With so much contemporary interest in Black Lives Matter and larger questions of race and justice, we’ll explore a fascinating and surprising Jewish past.
Dr. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. Professor Dollinger is the author of four scholarly books in American Jewish history, most recently Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing The Alliance in the 1960s. His next project traces his own experience fighting campus anti-Semitism at both right-wing and left-wing universities. Dr. Dollinger is a past president of both the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and Brandeis Hillel Day School. Dr. Dollinger serves as academic vice president of Lehrhaus Judaica as well as a trustee of URJ Camp Newman. He sits on the California advisory committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, was named 2008 Volunteer of the Year by the SF Jewish Community Federation, and was awarded the San Francisco JCRC’s 2015 Courageous Leader award. Just for fun, Professor Dollinger helped actress Helen Hunt learn about her Jewish roots on the prime-time NBC show, “Who Do You Think You Are?”
March 26 – Gunda Trepp, Shaping Your Destiny: How a Rabbi Leo Trepp Turned An Atrocity Into A Force of Life
Gunda Trepp is a trained attorney and journalist. She has written for major German publications and broadcast on a variety of topics including economics, politics, cultural affairs and, most personally, issues facing the Jewish world. Gunda is the author and editor of five non-fiction books. She is currently working on two new books. Gunda has lectured on the consequences of the Shoah and the rise of new anti-Semitism as well as about Jewish ethics and culture.
TAUBER SPARK 2018 OFFERINGS WERE:
Mussar – Transform Yourself Through Jewish Wisdom, taught by Greg Marcus, Ph.D.
70 Faces of Israel: Exploring Israel Through Popular Culture, taught by Ilan Vitemberg
The Lessons of Joseph, taught by Sue Reinhold, Ph.D.
Taube Scholar and Emanu-El’s Senior Rabbi Emeritus, Stephen Pearce
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, the author of Waking Lions
Lynne Quittell, MD, Director, North American Office, Ben-Gurion University Medical School for International Health; Pediatric Pulmonologist, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
SPARK 2017 OFFERINGS WERE:
The Good Old Days: Buying and Selling American Jewish Nostalgia with Prof. Rachel B. Gross
Ethical Fitness with Rachel Brodie
Judaisms: A Twenty-First -Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities with Aaron Hahn Tapper, PhD
Together, With Love, We can Change The World: Talmud Study as a Counter-Cultural Rebellion with Rabbi Jason Rodich
2017 Seminar Speakers
Tad Taube and Shana Penn sharing details of the Museum of the History of Polish Jewry
Prof. Marc Dollinger in conversation with Ilana Kaufman, from the JCRC discussing Jews and Race: The Changing Color of American Jewry
Emanu-El Scholar, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner discussing “’God was in this Place and I, i did not Know.’” A very close reading of Genesis 28:16.
This program is part of the Madeleine Haas Russell Institute of Jewish Learning.
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