Shir Tikvah Lifelong Learning Programs for 5780 (2019-20)
Our Vision for Lifelong Learning
Shir Tikvah will be a welcoming, sacred Jewish community of learners of every age, ability, perspective, and background. Learners will engage in holy conversations about Torah, concepts of God, Judaism, Israel, and relevant issues of today's world in all their exhilarating, challenging, and profound forms. We will encounter innovative and flexible learning models in rhythm with Jewish holidays, lifecycle events, and Shabbat. Our learning will cultivate Jewish identity, build community and inspire us to live in harmony with our Jewish ethics.
Multi-Week Lifelong Learning Opportunities
What follows are multi-week courses during which participants experience both deep learning and developing meaningful relationships.
Please register in advance with your time and financial commitment; contact Alison Olig for questions about payment options.
Inside every Jew, the Rabbis teach, is a n’kudah tovah – a spark of holiness, goodness – a unique gift that no one else in the world has. The mystics explain that this is a spark of divine holiness, the chamber of our souls. What are those sparks inside us that animate Jewish life? How can our Jewish traditions nourish those sparks in our daily lives and work in the world?
Shir Tikvah’s Sparks series is designed for people of all backgrounds who want to dig deeply into Jewish heritage and contemporary relevance - whether you grew up Jewish or are exploring conversion. Each session has at-home reading to prepare in advance, so that when we meet we can go deeply into the topics and how they relate to our lives and world today.
2019-2020 Sparks of Jewish Time
Judaism marks times in ways that are linear and cyclical.
The next series of courses explores Jewish time through the annual holidays and the unique moments we ritualize over our lifetimes.
Ritual Sparks of a Jewish Life
Rabbi David Thomas
6:00-7:20 pm, Mondays November 4 - December 16 (7 sessions)
Rituals mark the most vulnerable moments of transition in a human life. Learn about the foundational Jewish life cycle rituals and how they’ve evolved over time. Topics include birth/baby-naming; b’nei-mitzvah, marriage, death and mourning.
Sparks of Shabbat
Shir Tikvah Clergy
Philosophy, theology, and how-to’s of Shabbat
January 6-February 2 (5 sessions)
Winter and Spring Holiday Sparks
Shir Tikvah Clergy
Learn the meanings and how-to’s of Jewish spring holidays through an environmental lens, including our relationship with the lands in which Jews live.
February 24, March 2 (Purim); March 23, March 30, April 6 (Passover and Omer); April 20 (Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance); April 27 (Modern Israeli Holidays); May 11, May 18 (Shavuot); 9 sessions
Beginning or Refreshing: Prayerbook Hebrew*
Beginning October 28, 2019, Mondays 7:30-8:45pm
Hebrew is the language with which we talk to God! If you are new to Hebrew, and/or interested in an adult b’nei-mitzvah, this class is for you.* Learn with b’nei mitzvah tutor and experienced teachers.
Fall/Winter 2019: Alef Isn’t Tough: Learning the Aleph-Bet
October 28 - February 10 (13 sessions; no class Dec 23, Dec 30, or Jan 20)
If you are new to Hebrew, and/or interested in a future adult b’nei-mitzvah, this class is for you. Learn to recognize letters and vowels, with their associated sounds.
$118 (Minimum 10 people)
Winter/Spring 2020: Alef Isn’t Enough
February 24 - May 18 (11 sessions, no class 3/9, April 13)
Alef Isn’t Enough is for those who are familiar with the Aleph-Bet and are looking for some support putting the letters together, practicing prayers, and learning some root words.
$118 (Minimum 10 people)
*If you know your letters and vowels, you may join in the winter or spring session or you may want to learn Hebrew at the college level on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Hineni
American Jewry’s Response to Slavery, Racism and Antiracism
Tamar Ghidalia & Jim Rubenstein
November 7, 14 and 21, 6:30-8:00pm
Four hundred years ago, on August 20, 1619 the first known ship carrying African natives to be sold as slaves in what would become the United States of America docked at the colony of Virginia. In this 3 session course we will learn together to understand, from a Jewish perspective, the history of American slavery and how we can address the racism it engendered today and in the future. The course will be moderated by Tamar Ghidalia and Jim Rubenstein, and other members of the Shir Tikvah Racial Justice Task Force.
Shlemut: Jewish visions for living authentically and with purpose
Mondays November 11 & 25, December 9 & 16, 6:30 - 8:15 pm (plus a Sunday workshop on December 1, time TBD by participants)
With so many things competing for our attention (some worthy and some not), many of us need extra support for returning to our own centers and remembering what matters. In this workshop, we will explore some of Judaism’s best tools and teachings for resilience. Specific practices include: spiritual qualities to cultivate for wellbeing; exploring the wisdom in our prayers; hitbodedut - calling out to God; silence; time in nature; creative expression; journaling; and more
Engage: Exploring Jewish Values in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process and Conflict
Sundays 9:30am-11am, Nov 10, 17, 24, & Dec 8 & 15
In I-Engage, confirmation students and parents together will explore some of the salient issues and core values facing the Israel-Palestine peace process. Have questions? Want to talk about complicated issues in a non-judgmental way? Join us! Taught by Rabbi Latz.
$72; or included for Confirmation students and families.
The Inner Light of Hanukkah: A Celebration of Practice & Learning
December 8, 12:30-2:00pm, Shir Tikvah Sanctuary
Jewish mindfulness and contemplative practices are powerful tools for experiencing a deeper and more meaningful connection to daily life and to Judaism. For two decades, IJS (The Institute for Jewish Spirituality) has taught Jewish spiritual practices -- including mindfulness meditation, text study, prayer, and singing -- that engage the head, heart, body, and soul.
Join us on Sunday, December 8, 2019 for 90 minutes of revitalizing practice prepare for the festival of Hanukkah and celebrate IJS’s 20th anniversary. Using online video technology, we will join together with participants across the country (& around the world!).
Free of charge; donations welcome! No registration necessary
Jewish Medical Ethics: A 21st Century Discussion
Melton Course, co-sponsored by Hineni
Taught by Rabbi Lynn Liberman, Board-Certified Chaplain
Mondays, 7:00-8:30pm; January 13-April 13 (ten sessions)
Within the field of ethics, one of the most challenging frontiers is medical ethics. While contemporary medical knowledge preserves life, modern advances have raised moral and ethical dilemmas related to the sanctity and dignity of life—issues whose scope was unimaginable a generation ago. Written by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD, Jewish Medical Ethics explores Jewish approaches to a number of 21st century ethical issues, including human cloning, surrogate motherhood, genetic identity, assisted suicide, and genetic manipulation. CEU’s available.
$250; Register at www.events.org/MeltonTwinCities
Rabbi David Thomas
Co-sponsored with Hineni
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00 pm March 4 - April 1
Rabbi Thomas has collected dozens of wonderfully subversive, multi-vocal folktales from the Talmud mined from the work of Yonah Fraenkel and others. These tales cover a wide range of universal human questions which the rabbis felt safest embedding in stories, rather than in halachic (legal) discourse. Texts are in English and Hebrew and the teaching is interactive and discussion based. Topics include: Free-will vs. Predetermination, Miracles: Can’t live with em, Can’t live without em, Confronting mortality, and more.
$72; register here
Ongoing Lifelong Learning Opportunities
Torah Study: An Exodus Journey
2nd & 4th Fridays of the month 12:15pm-1:30pm
Word by word, phrase by phrase, each month we explore approximately 12-14 verses of Torah. Join us as we complete our journey through the book of Exodus. To be added to the email reminder list contact Gayle Zoffer. All are welcome to participate.
Shabbat Morning Torah Study with Rabbi David Thomas
Second Saturday of the month, 9:00-10:15 am, resuming Fall 2019