A Scholars-In-Residence Weekend to Expand Your Insight Into
And Excitement About Judaism
November 3rd-5th, 2017, at Temple B'nai Chaim
- Friday 7:00 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat / Visions of Renewal. We'll welcome Shabbat with an uplifting prayer service of body, heart, mind and spirit. Blending tradition and modernity, music and poetry, silence and dance, we'll demonstrate some Renewal tools to enlivening our familiar liturgy. The d'var Torah, "Visions of Renewal," will offer a glimpse of what renewed Judaism might be and become, and how you can take part.
- Saturday 10:30 am - Torah Study. A special session on Parshat Vayera ... with brunch!
- Saturday 5:00-7:00 pm - Se'udat Shlishit, Poetry of Yearning, and Havdalah. We'll explore the poignant time of yearning that arises as Shabbat begins to wane with a se'udat shlishit, a "third meal" consisting of teachings about yearning and poetry of yearning. We'll "dine" on poetry, learning, and song, culminating in havdalah, the ritual that bridges Shabbat and week. (This event will be held at the Dubin-Klem house, 197 Signal Hill Road, Wilton.)
Please also bring a vegetarian dish / dessert to snack on after the Havdalah event and before Angelology!
- ..... Post-Havdalah - Angels Among Us: Jewish Approaches to Angelology. Many Jews believe in angels, and both culture and liturgy are full of them. We'll take a brief but intense dive into the Jewish story of angels and see what they show about Jewish text, history and spirituality. (Also at the Dubin-Klem house.)
- Sunday 9:30-10:15 am - Spirituality on the Go. We're all busy. Sometimes modern life asks us to make meaning, connection, and holiness in the time it takes to tweet. We'll explore spiritual practices that we can take with us into our multitasking lives.
- Sunday 10:30-11:15 am - Mitzvah and Mysticism (for parents and students - Grade 2 and up). Mitzvot (the doings of Jewish life, like light shabbat candles and placing mezuzot on doorposts) embed deep mystical and spiritual meanings. We'll explore hidden uncommon meanings to common mitzvot and how combining mitzvah and mysticism can power up spiritual life.
Since 2003 she has blogged as The Velveteen Rabbi, and in 2008, TIME named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the internet. Rachel is a regular contributor to Kol ALEPH, to the Reform Judaism Blog, and to The Wisdom Daily. Her work has also appeared in Lilith, The Texas Observer, The Jewish Daily Forward, and anthologies including The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, The Women's Seder Sourcebook, and God? Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate, among other places. Her downloadable Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach has been used around the world, and with R' Jeff Goldwasser in 2014 she released the machzor Days of Awe, now available in a revised edition. She has taught courses arising from the intersection of the literary life and the spiritual life at the ALEPH Kallah; at many congregations around New York and New England; and at Beyond Walls, a writing program for clergy of many faiths, at the Kenyon Institute. Rachel lives in Williamstown, MA with her son.
Rabbi David Evan Markus served from 2015-2017 as co-chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal with Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. He brings to his rabbinate extensive background in Judaics, governance and management. David earned ordination as mashpia (spiritual director) in January 2014 and as rabbi in January 2015, both from ALEPH.
In addition to his regular ALEPH seminary role, Rabbi David has taught at Yeshivat Maharat, OHALAH, Routes, Fordham University, Pace University, and Limmud. In secular life, Rabbi David presides as judicial referee in New York Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, as part of a parallel career in government that previously included service as special counsel to the Chief Judge of New York, senior counsel to the New York Senate, state deputy director of voter protection for a major presidential campaign, policy associate to environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and director of a healthcare advocacy nonprofit. Today Rabbi David is the only North American rabbi holding both an active pulpit and a full-time oath of office.
David earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, Master in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Bachelor of Arts from Williams College. He lives in New York.