Scholar In Residence – Rabbi Michael Cohen

Rabbi Michael Cohen photo

Judaism and The Environment
January 31 – February 1, 2020

In anticipation of Tu B’Shvat

Join Temple Sinai and Rabbi Cohen as we celebrate Shabbat together and reflect and learn Judaism’s teaching about the environment, and our responsibilities to it.

  • KABBALAT SHABBAT, Jan 31, 6:30 pm – Join us for a song-filled service focused on the environment with Rabbi Cohen giving the d’var (sermon).
  • SHABBAT DINNER, Jan 31, 7:45 pm – After services, join us for Shabbat Dinner with Shabbat table songs and more teaching from Rabbi Cohen.
  • SHABBAT MORNING SERVICES (Shacharit) Feb 1, 9:30-10:30 – A spiritual chanted morning service with all the greatest ‘hits’ of Shabbat morning.
  • JUDAISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Feb 1, 10:30-Noon – Judaism is filled with deep and profound messages about our relationship to the environment; our shared home. In place of our usual Torah Study, we will explore with Rabbi Cohen many of those sources from our tradition, drawing on Rabbi Cohen’s extensive work with the Arava Institute in Israel. Bagels and donuts provided!
  • HAVDALAH AND DUAL NARRATIVE APPROACH TO CONFLICT. Feb 1 5-7 pm – The Balfour Declaration & Resolution 242: A Dual Narrative Approach. Resolution 242 and the Balfour Declaration are two seminal documents from the Arab-Israeli Conflict. In a conflict that seems overwhelming to understand these two documents provide a way to understand both sides when viewed through the Dual Narrative approach; or as Hillel said (Mishna Avot 2:4), “Do not judge another until you are in his place.”

RABBI MICHAEL COHEN graduated, with a B.A. in History, from the University of Vermont, and in 1990, he was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and become the first full-time rabbi of the Israel Congregation in Manchester Center, Vermont. Since 2000, he has divided his time between Vermont and Kibbutz Ketura, Israel, and has written extensively about the environment and the Middle East peace process in North American and Middle Eastern publications and is the author of Einstein’s Rabbi: A Tale of Science and the Soul. Rabbi Michael is a faculty member at Bennington’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action..

THE ARAVA INSTITUTE is an environmental and academic institution in the Middle East, dedicated to preparing future leaders from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and around the world to cooperatively solve the regional and global challenges of our time. The Institute advances cross-border environmental cooperation and cross-border environmental discourse, regardless of political conflict, in the Middle East.