Every Saturday, 10:30 am, following services
Torah study begins at 10:30am and go until 11:45ish. We look at both modern scholarship, traditional commentary, and considering how these ancient texts can help us explore our own spiritual lives, our values, and what it means to be human. No prior knowledge is needed!
Newcomers are warmly welcomed!
Changes in schedule will be noted on our home page.
On Thursday, May 28, join Burlington’s Ohavi Zedek Synagogue & Temple Sinai for Tikkun Leil Shavu’ot! Engage in this traditional Shavu’ot study and learning event from our clergy and members.
Each session comprises 2 consecutive 30-minute presentations. At the conclusion of the final session, about 9:45 pm, there will be a closing ritual and healing prayers lead by all the clergy.
Session 1 - 7:30 - 8:45 pm
How do we prepare both body and mind for an experience of revelation? Adam Bluestein will take participants through a series of yoga poses connected with the Shavuot themes of revelation and receiving. No prior yoga experience necessary.
Issues of Jewish identity are a recurring theme through the generations. Who is a Jew? Are Jews a “race”, a “people”, a religious group?” How closely are Jews from different parts of the Diaspora related? Is there evidence that all “Kohanim” descend from a few ancestral priests? Recent advances in population genetics have led many researchers to address these and other questions of Jewish identity at the level of DNA. This presentation was inspired by the book ”Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People”, by Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and researcher on the genetics of the Jewish people. We’ll look at some of the research summarized in this book, and some newer studies, to tackle these questions of Jewish identity.
Session 2 - 8:10 - 8:40
With a multitude of programs and endeavors supporting Jewish pluralism, we are truly coming together. But in some ways, we are more divided, especially between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox streams. How are together and apart?
We will explore three or four modern Hebrew poems by Zach, Ravikovich, Grossman, and Ben Ari that speak to our times through explorations of isolation, distancing, and faith. While we will focus on translations of the poems, we will also consider how the Hebrew brings layers of meaning and allusion to the poems. We will also listen to the poems that have been set to popular Israeli songs.
Session 3 - 8:45 - 9:15
Nat Lew, Bruce Chalmer and Cantor Steve explore the depth and breadth of Jewish music by presenting notable examples, from renaissance composer Salamone Rossi to contemporary Israeli popular composer Yonatan Razel.
We will examine one of the most famous stories in the Talmud, that of Rabbi Eliezer Hagadol and the disagreements over the tanur shel achnai. Although the topic may seem obscure, its resolution is one of the most powerful justifications for rabbinic interpretation of Torah. We will consider the story, its basis in Biblical text, and its echo in contemporary Judaism.
Session 4 - 9:15 - 9:40
What is the role of propaganda — is it ever appropriate or ethical to employ? Is there some fundamental difference between “good” and “bad” propaganda? We will view a six-minute video about Nazi propaganda, and then assess the work of an important Jewish artist, Arthur Szyk, who used his power as an illustrator to fight against the Nazis. Finally, we will briefly consider how propaganda is addressed in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Cantor Steve will lead a discussion on the way that gender binaries have played out during the Torah service, as well as the many possible adaptations in language to recognize the multiplicity of gender identities.
What is it?
Where does it come from?
What do we do about it?
A four-part class with Rabbi David Edleson.
Are you interested in learning more about the sources, causes and history of anti-Semitism, and better understand of some of the events happening around us?
In this class, we will explore anti-Semitism in the early writings of Christianity, in medieval literature, and in modern times. We will use Bari Weiss’ book How to Fight Anti-Semitism as our core text, and will also read from David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism, Kathleen Belew’s Bring the War Home, and early Zionist and civil rights writings on the subject. We will look at modern online forms of anti-Semitism, as well.
In the final session, we will focus on what actions we might take, and strategies we can employ in addressing the current rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.
Suggested donation: $18
May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
A 4-week online series hosted by Rabbi Tobie Weisman, and Rabbi David Edleson
Begins Sunday, April 26 at 11 am
Ever wondered how to approach talking about the BIG QUESTIONS with your children? Ever want to share idea and challenges with other parents raising kids in the Jewish tradition?
Rabbi David Edleson and Rabbi Tobie Weisman will be co-teaching a 4-week Parenting through a Jewish Lens class via Zoom.
Teaching will be based on a curriculum designed by Hebrew College in Boston. This will be a text-based discussion class from ancient and modern Jewish sources. Texts will be sent out in advance of each class. Each week will focus on a different topic:
- Sunday, April 26: Parenting for Resilience
- Sunday, May 3: Parenting for Responsibility
- Sunday, May 17: G!d Talk and Spirituality
- Sunday, May 24: Making Space for Self Expression
At a date in the near future, we will have an in-person meal together focusing on Hopes and Dreams for Our Children.
Curriculum developed by Boston’s Hebrew College. Additional support from:
Wednesday mornings, 11 am – noon*
Current book: Jews in China: A History of Struggle – Nicholas Zhang, N House Publishing (April, 2019)
Topic: Jewish History
Chinese Jews are the descendants of Han Chinese and Sephardic Jews who migrated to China thousands of years ago. They reside along the banks of Yellow River, in the cradle of a great civilization, but unknown to most people.
They boast a profound line of descent, from ancestors who fled Roman persecution during Han Dynasty to merchant forefathers who journeyed across Silk Road during Tang Dynasty, the Jews found a new home for themselves in China.
Throughout a long history of upheavals, these people of immense perseverance and resourcefulness congregated as much as possible to support each other in their new home. While eventually adopting Chinese customs as necessity for survival, they fought hard to maintained their Jewish way of life. After centuries of intermarriage and millenniums of assimilation, these children of Abraham and Sarah, sculpted by teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, emerged with an identity and culture that is uniquely their own, unseen anywhere in the world. This occurrence is exceptionally rare, and utterly significant.
From the Publisher: The author skillfully condenses centuries of historical information about four main groups of Jewish immigrants to China into this succinct, but comprehensive, chronicle. The Kaifeng Jews, who now look no different from their Chinese neighbors due to thousands of years of intermarriage and assimilation; the Baghdadi Jews, who came to Shanghai after the First Opium War and became fabulously wealthy through opium trade and real estate development; the Russian Jews, who left the Pale of Settlement for a better life in Harbin and prospered by supplying vast natural resources from Northeast China to Europe; and last but not least, the tens of thousands of German and Austrians Jews who escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and found refuge in Shanghai.
Please order your Paperback or Kindle edition in time for our April 22 meeting.
Order with Amazon Smile, and a portion of your purchase can be donated back to Temple Sinai! Learn more about Amazon Smile.
Our Wednesday morning Book/Jewish History Study Group will continue online via ZOOM through the COVID-19 shutdown. Watch the Home Page and Calendar for the links to join the online meeting.
Jewish Journeys: A film series from around the world
In partnership with Ohavi Zedek, UVM Hillel, and Jewish Communities of Vermont, Main Street Landing Film House (60 Lake Street, Burlington, above Skinny Pancake) presents three internationally acclaimed films, each on the third Sunday of the month.
This Sunday (1/19) –