Now’s the time for Jewish Learning!

The building may be closed but Bet Torah is still open! We have many virtual opportunities for you to connect to learning and community. Here are some of our “socialize-at-a-distance” offerings (zoom links included below, password emailed separately. If you need it again or have other issues accessing our virtual events, email our Technology helpline.)

ONGOING WEEKLY ACTIVITIES

*****For the week of April 5, the 929 Study Group will meet on Thursday, April 8 rather than Wednesday. *****

Mon9:15 amMonday Morning Movement: Join Rabbi Sacks and Robin Wald for a morning practice with gentle movement and space for sharing. https://zoom.us/j/93075611640
Wed5:00 pmFilm Club: Watch the film on your own and then we gather together to discuss. Newcomers always welcome. Check Film Club Page for information on this week’s movie.https://zoom.us/j/97855377887
Wed8:00 pm929 Study Group: Bet Torah’s version of the international project to read a chapter of Tanakh each day. All are welcome. See below for more information.https://zoom.us/j/932825197
Thu5:00 pmHappy Hour Meditation: Join together with other Bet Torah members for contemplative practice and discussion. Bring your refreshment of choice.https://zoom.us/j/95769395791
Fri10-11:30 amWomen’s Torah Study: Come check out what you’ve been missing. Newcomers welcome. See below for more information.https://zoom.us/j/767261001
Sat8:45-9:30 amParashat HaShavua Study Group: Weekly Shabbat morning Torah study. Newcomers welcome. See below for more information.https://zoom.us/j/207920925

APRIL ACTIVITIES
Great Jewish Books Group: Thursday, April 15, 8:00 pm. Discussing “The New Jewish Canon” edited by Yehuda Kurtzer and Claire Sufrin with presentations by multiple congregants. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87412879604. Be in touch with Ed Feinberg for the password.

Sunday, April 18th at 10:30 am:
Turning Point? An Israeli-American Panel Discussion of the Israeli Supreme Court’s Recognition of Conservative and Reform Conversions in Israel. Join Bet Torah for a dynamic conversation about this recent decision, the role of Israeli politics, and possible implications for world Jewry, including Conservative Jews in America. Moderated by Rabbi Brusso and Rabbi Sacks, the expert panel will feature leading voices below from across the global Jewish community.


Tuesday, April 20th at 8:00 pm: Book Talk with Author Marlene Kern Fischer: “
Gained a Daughter But Nearly Lost My Mind: How I Planned a Backyard Wedding During a Pandemic.” https://bettorah-org.zoom.us/j/83971059164

 

Torah in the Trees: Thursday, April 29 – 10:00 am. Join Rabbi Sacks and other Bet Torah members for an easy hour-long walk and talk. Meet in the parking lot of Rockefeller State Park (125 Phelps Way in Pleasantville). Masks required. RSVP to Rabbi Sacks at rabbisacks@bettorah.org.


Mussar Va’ad Sessions (middah: loving-kindness / Chesed)


PAIRED LEARNING PROGRAM BEGINS MARCH 4
. See below for more information. Sign-up using this simple form.


JTS WESTCHESTER LEARNING SERIES 

  • Thursday, April 29, 7:30 pm: “Megillat Ruth and the Torah of Kindness” with Rabbi Jan Uhrbach

For more information and to register, go to https://inspired.jtsa.edu/event/journey-with-jts/e319410


MAY PREVIEW

May 16th – Tikkun Leyl Shavuot: Paired Learning Finale


May 20th – Great Jewish Books Club:
The book is “the Convert” by Stefan Hertmans and translated from the Dutch by David McKay. The presenter is Dr. Sam Markind.


Need to talk?

As always but especially during this stressful time, your rabbis are available to meet you for a virtual coffee or pastoral visit. Be in touch with Rabbi Brusso (rabbibrusso@bettorah.org) or Rabbi Sacks (rabbisacks@bettorah.org) to schedule a time to talk. And please let us know if there is someone in our community feeling isolated and in need of outreach.


Last updated April 5, 2021

More on Special Programs and Regular Offerings

PAIRED LEARNING PROGRAM –  2021 Dates below

Come Join Our Paired Learning Study Program

Connect with a friend or family member, near or far, by engaging in an exciting course of Jewish learning that you and your study partner choose. Perfect for on-line or outdoors study during these socially distanced times.

  • Kick-off Orientation: Thursday evening, March 4th @ 8 pm
  • Group Sharing and Celebration: Sunday, May 16th (Erev Shavuot)

10 weeks of study over 11 weeks

Topics – Each pair selects from one of the following courses (more selections are available at www.projectzug.org)

Cost – pay $36 to $180 per person, depending on what you feel you are able to. (Make checks payable to Bet Torah, with “Paired Learning” in the memo.)

LEARN MORE OR SIGN UP – Contact Rabbi Lisa Sacks to sign up or request further information. Sign up is easy: just let Rabbi Sacks know you want to participate and whether you want us to pair you with a study partner. Or fill out this simple form.

 Introducing Matan: Adult Jewish Learning

Give Yourself the GIFT of Jewish Learning – weekly classes begin Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 9:45 am

One of the foundations of Jewish tradition is a lifelong engagement in study. Regardless of your background – whether you studied as a child or not, whether you had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or not – the opportunity to advance in Jewish learning is for you!

Matan will bring together adults from the Bet Torah community in a multi-faceted course of learning, exploration and synagogue skill-building, which will culminate at Shavuot services next year (June, 2022) when we celebrate your journey with the broader Bet Torah community. Topics will include:

  • Prayer and liturgy
  • Hebrew bible and rabbinic literature
  • History and theology
  • Lifecyle and holidays
  • Jewish law and practical living
  • Contemporary issues including Israel and the variety within the Jewish world

By the end of the program students will:

  • Enhance their experience of and comfort with services
  • Be exposed to the many elements of Jewish life and tradition on a level appropriate for adults
  • Feel confident in pursuing further studies both within the Bet Torah community and in the wider Jewish world

The teaching schedule will rotate between the clergy with Rabbis Brusso and Sacks focusing on Jewish studies and Cantor Ezring focusing on prayer and Torah skills. The only prerequisites are a desire to learn and basic Hebrew reading skills.

Our course will begin with the first class on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 9:45 am and will meet weekly thereafter with breaks for holidays and the summer.

Interested in learning more or signing up? Contact Rabbi Sacks at rabbisacks@bettorah.org.

BEGINNING HEBREW

Thursdays at 10 am  –  Have you always thought about learning Hebrew? Do you wish you could follow along with the prayers, or wish you could help your kids as they prepare for their B’nei Mitzvah, or hope to read the signs when you go to Israel? Well now’s the time learn! Nili Ionascu offers a weekday beginning Hebrew. If you have any doubts about how much fun and how easy it is to learn, just ask her very enthusiastic students from last year’s class! Interested? Contact Nili at nionascu@bettorah.org.

FRIDAY MORNING WOMEN’S TORAH STUDY GROUP

Fridays 10:00-11:30 am    Share a morning of study and exploration of the weekly parashah, from the woman’s perspective! Learn how to incorporate the teaching from the Torah into your everyday life. No experience necessary, the only requirement is an eagerness to learn and discover the treasures of Torah. Participants may take turns leading the discussion and providing a light breakfast for the group. New participants are always welcome and encouraged to join in.

SATURDAY MORNING PARASHAH DISCUSSION

Each Shabbat at 9:00 AM a group of Bet Torah congregants gets together to discuss that week’s Torah portion before services. Members of the group take turns each week leading what is always a lively and informative discussion. A wide range of Torah knowledge is on display as every participant brings their own perspective and insight to the conversation. Coffee and cake help lubricate the exchange of ideas. No one knows too much or too little to participate. Please join us for this fast half hour of Torah conversation. We meet in the small conference room and look forward to having you share your thoughts and ideas with us. Saturdays at 9:00 am 

SMALL GROUPS

Bet Torah’s ongoing small group initiative is an effort to help people get to know each other better, to explore a challenging topic in a small group, and to deepen people’s connection to the Jewish tradition. In keeping with our theme for this year, these groups of approximately 15 people will share thoughts and ideas about Concepts in Jewish Thoughts such as revelation, God, the afterlife and more. The groups include people with a wide variety of backgrounds and Jewish knowledge and are facilitated by Rabbi Sacks. If you would like to join a group, or start a group and think you might be able to gather some other interested folks, please email rabbisacks@bettorah.org.

GREAT JEWISH BOOKS CLUB

Why are there so many Jewish opticians? Jews like to read. We are, after all, the people of the Book. Since the 2nd century CE, at least, Jews have been voracious readers – outnumbering much of the world in literacy. So what could be more natural for a thinking synagogue, like Bet Torah, than to have a club devoted exclusively to books of Jewish significance. The Great Jewish Book Club, is devoted to important works that have Jewish Content or Jewish Authors or subjects significant to Judaism. Our selections are as varied as Bintel Briefs (Letters to the Forvarts) and Judah Ha Levy. Each time we meet we select the next book and appoint someone to lead the discussion. I can’t predict what is coming but I can tell you what read in the years past: What Went Wrong, Lewis; Ornament of the World, Menocal; Salafism in Lebanon, Rabil; NY Times Magazine – Middle East, Anderson; Mamelah Knows Best, Ingall; Acts of Faith, Patel; Disobedience , Aldeman; Night, Weisel; Genius of Judaism, Levy; A Horse Walked into a Bar, GrossmanNot all were masterpieces, – some were serious works, some novels, some light and fluffy. But all contributed to our understanding of who we are . Join us. You can select which books you want to participate with and how much you want to do so. We meet Thursday nights every month or so. We start at 8pm and rarely are here after 9:30. You choose what books you want to read and your level of participation. You will gain an expanded mind. You lose nothing but ignorance. To join send your email address to Edgfeinberg@gmail.com. There is no cost and no obligation.

929.ORG ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAM AND SHABBAT DISCUSSION

Please join us during Kiddush each Shabbat, as we gather in the social hall, enjoy dessert, and chat about a few chapters from Tanakh, the Jewish Bible.  We are following an on-line program called 929.org (named for the 929 chapters in Tanakh), which provides the weekly text as well as helpful essays and podcasts.  The chapters are not long, and the short commentaries come from a variety of perspectives, some more traditional, some less so.  Choose what you find interesting and bring it to the group to discuss.  Whether you have read all, some, or none of the chapters we will be studying together, and whether or not you have read or listened to the commentaries, please join us for lively and friendly conversation.  All are welcome.

BET TORAH IN THE CITY – Temporarily suspended

Bet Torah in the City returns for its fourth season! Get to know your fellow Bet Torah commuters as we share lunch and opinions over Jewish texts in midtown offices. Rabbis Brusso and Sacks will alternate facilitating the conversations each month. Let us know if you are interested—even if you think you might be able to attend only one or a few of the dates.

Schedule:   6 Wednesdays from 12:00-1:30 pm   Dates: TBD

KADDISH STUDY GROUP – Temporarily suspended (Tuesdays, 8:00 pm)

Studying together is a traditional way to honor the memory of those who have died. Especially targeted to those who have experienced a recent loss, every month we study a chapter from Pirkei Avot together with traditional and contemporary commentaries. Zoom link: https://bettorah-org.zoom.us/j/99343436612