Come and Learn2: A Greater Baltimore Virtual Shavuot Experience

Join the Baltimore Jewish community for a fun night of Jewish learning with 4Front Baltimore, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Bet Aviv, Beth Am Synagogue, Beth El Congregation, Beth Israel Congregation of Owings Mills, Bolton Street Synagogue, Chevrei Tzedek Congregation, Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Columbia Jewish Congregation, Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation, Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, Jewish Volunteer Connection, Jews United for Justice, Na’aleh: The Hub for Leadership Learning, Repair the World and Temple Isaiah and others.

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TimePartner OrganizationTitlePresenterDescriptionLink to View
6:45PM- 7:15PMMacks Center for Jewish EducationShavuot Story Time with PJ LibraryRachel PlotkinFor children: Bring your bedtime snack and come in your PJsJoin Session
7:30PMOpening SessionJoin Session
8:00PMBet AvivThe Voices of RuthRabbi Linda JosephWe will explore Jewish identity beginning with Ruth in the Bible and by analyzing the words of several famous “Ruths” contemplating their own Jewish connections.Join Session
8:00PMColumbia Jewish CongregationWhat Does Petition Prayer Mean to Progressive Jews?Rabbi Sonya StarrWe will be looking specifically at the Mourner’s Kaddish and the Mishaberek as case examples.Join Session
8:00PMBaltimore Hebrew CongregationThe Legacy of Leo BaeckRabbi Gus BuchdahlRabbi Leo Baeck wrote three books. The first dealt with Judaism’s essence. The second focused on its sacred mission. The third emphasized peoplehood. The trajectory is from the ideational to the experiential.Join Session
8:00PMRepair the WorldTikun Olam: The Rabbis, The Mystics and UsRabbi Jessy DressinWe talk about Tikun Olam a lot, but what is the foundation from which this common known Jewish idea emerges? In this session we will take a look at both rabbinic and kabbalist notions of Tikun Olam – repairing the world – why and when it is used and how those ideas might inform our understanding of its applications in our time.Join Session
8:00PMHinenu: The Baltimore Justice ShtieblImagining Jewish Life in Outer SpaceLily Glushakow-SmithWe will explore the mitzvot related to time, place, and separation in order to imagine life in outer space- on a space station, on planet Mars, or any alternative the group wishes to explore!Join Session
8:00PMJews United For JusticeBaltimore 101: City Government Crash Course for Citizens & AdvocatesGabriel Stuart-Sikowitz and Jen CheslockThis engaging session will give you the crash course you need to be a more knowledgeable citizen and effective advocate for social justice issues in Baltimore City. We will provide an overview of the budget process, city council, the mayor, and what areas are controlled by the State of Maryland. We’ll also discuss opportunities for advocacy at the city-level related to renter rights and defunding the police.Join Session
8:00PMBeth Israel CongregationWhat Defines our Personal and Communal Relationship with God? A Tale of Two Covenants: Love (Grace) and Law (Mitzvot)Rabbi Jay GoldsteinCan the two coexist? How might thinking about a God of love impact our Judaism?Join Session
8:00PMChizuk AmunoNaming GodRabbi Debi WechslerIn Jewish Tradition God has many names, each with its own unique meaning. We’ll explore why we need so many names and how naming God can help us develop a personal relationship with God.Join Session
9:00PMBolton Street SynagogueTo a Place That I Will Show You: Poems. Psalms and Not So Sacred Songs for the RoadCantor Karen WebberSome of us still live in the place where we grew up, but not many. This workshop explores a sense of place; where we’ve been, where we are going, and the blessing when we get there. The Omer takes us from the Passover table to Mt. Sinai. Where has your journey taken you, and what has been your playlist on the way?Join Session
9:00PMJewish Volunteer ConnectionThere Will Never Cease to Be Needy: What Does Our Tradition Say about our Responsibility to Each Other in the Ongoing Work of CreationAshley PressmanThis session will explore what our role is in the ongoing work of creation and how we partner with G-d to create a more just world as we explore concepts of justice, kindness, and equity.Join Session
9:00PMBeth El CongregationTransitionsRabbi Dana SarokenHow we mark them, why we need them, and what our ancestors and Jewish wisdom can teach us as we approach a new stretch of our journey.Join Session
9:00PMJCC of Greater BaltimoreGoing to the Place of Grief to Heal: A Conversation with Installation Artist Tal BeerySara ShalvaJoin Chief Arts Officer of the JCC Sara Shalva and Artist Tal Beery for a conversation about his recent installation at the Jewish Museum of Maryland called “In the Absence of a Proper Mourning.” In this session we will discuss grief, displacement and healing in the Book of Ruth, and in Beery’s installation which focuses on the Covid-19 Pandemic.Join Session
9:00PMBeth Am SynagogueLet’s Talk About IsraelRabbi Daniel Cotzin BurgThe violence between Israelis and Palestinians is on our minds as we enter the Shavuot holiday. I’ve retooled this session to create space for those who wish to share their thoughts and feelings in a distinctly Jewish context. All are welcome no matter your view of recent events, but come only if you are interested in listening as well as speaking. I will lay out ground rules at the beginning to ensure a fruitful and constructive atmosphere for dialogue. Join Session
9:00PMChevrei TzedekThe Spoon-Knife And Other Rabbinic Depictions of Life’s PrecarityRabbi Rory KatzHow do we make sense of life’s unpredictability? Come see how the ancient rabbis used a spoon-knife and other surprising images to face this eternal question.Join Session
9:00PMTemple IsaiahDriven By Love or Fear?Rachel Petroff KesslerWe will explore midrashim related to the giving of Torah and reflect on what these sources can teach us about our own relationship with God and TorahJoin Session
9:00PMThe Associated and Na’aleh: The Hub for Leadership Learningזמן מתן תורתינו “The Time our Torah was Given”Dr. Susanna GarfeinAccording to Jewish tradition, Shavuot celebrates the day the Decalogue (aka the 10 Commandments) was revealed at Sinai, yet the biblical text preserves more than one version. This session will explore these versions and what their existence means for our interpretation of sacred text.Join Session
9:00PMTemple Adas ShalomRadical Inclusion: The Book of Ruth as Paradigm for Contemporary Jewish LifeRabbi John FrankenThe extent to which Jews have been inward or outward has varied significantly over the generations. Come and learn how the story of Ruth the Moabite cracked open Jewish society to the world.Join Session
10:00PMBet AvivLight is ReturningHazzan Stephanie WeishaarA musical examination of light in Torah and in our lives today. Whether it is the arrival at Sinai or the prospect of hugging your sister once again, songs about light inspire and explore our inner and outer journeys.Join Session
10:00PMBaltimore Hebrew CongregationPandemic PoetryRabbi Elissa Sachs-KohenExploring poetry that has been meaningful to me and my community during the last challenging year.Join Session
10:00PMHinenu: The Baltimore Justice ShtieblThe Believers: Contemporary Insights On Sabbatai TseviMark GunneryThis workshop tells the story of Sabbatai Tsevi and the 350 year history of Sabbatanism, the movement he sparked. We’ll explore why he gained so many followers so quickly, how they interpreted his conversion, how Sabbatianism and debates around it shaped Jewish, Turkish, and European history, and why conspiracy theories about Sabbatians still thrive today.Join Session
10:00PMJews United For JusticeAnnapolis 101: State Government Crash Course for Citizens & AdvocatesSam Novey and Matan ZeimerThis engaging session will give you the crash course you need to be a more knowledgeable citizen and effective advocate for social justice issues in Maryland. We will provide an overview of the legislative process, the relationship between the House of Delegates and Senate, and relationship between the General Assembly and the Governor. We will also discuss JUFJ’s recent wins in Annapolis and what comes next in our various statewide campaigns as we continue to build our collective power to advance racial, economic, and social justice with our partners.Join Session
10:00PMBeth Israel CongregationSuperhero 101Rabbi Ariel PlattWe need more Superheroes in our world! Create your own Superhero from the lessons we learn from Pirkei Avot.Join Session
10:00PMChizuk Amuno CongregationLevirate MarriageRabbi Joshua GruenbergAt the heart of the story of Ruth is this archaic law. What is it, what are its origins, and does it hold any significance today?Join Session
10:00PMJewish Teen Funder CollectiveTorah As MetaphorRabbi Dena ShafferIn Rabbinic literature, the Torah is always being compared to “this” or “that.”  In this session we’ll honor the giving of Torah on Shavuot by exploring some of the more famous metaphors that the Rabbis used to describe sacred text and even have the chance to craft our own. Join Session
11:00PMJewish Volunteer ConnectionWe Are All Responsible for Each Other: The Symbolism of MasksErica BloomThis session will explore communal responsibility and individual protection through the symbolism of mask wearing during the pandemic.Join Session
11:00PMHar Sinai – Oheb Shalom CongregationWho Was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai?Floyd HermanThe recent tragedy at Mt. Meron in Israel happened when 100,000 people gathered near the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Who was he? Why is he venerated by so many? Spend an hour exploring this important rabbi.Join Session
11:00PMBeth El CongregationSearching for the God of MosesRabbi Steve SchwartzThere are two primary words used for God in the Torah: Adonai, and Elohim. In rabbinic thought the different names denote different qualities and characteristics that God possesses. This learning session will explore which God Moses expected to meet when he ascended to the top of Mt. Sinai, and which God he actually encountered there.Join Session
11:00PMTemple IsaiahThe Shavuot Game!Rabbi Daniel PlotkinTest and expand your knowledge of our too often forgotten holiday and the events surrounding the giving of the Torah. Will be done in game format using Kahoot. The winner is exempt from any blintz calories consumed during the holiday.Join Session
11:00PMBeth Am SynagogueThe Akdamut: The Unexpected History of a Shavuot SoundtrackRabbi Tyler DratchSome might be familiar with the Akdamut, the Aramaic poem that is recited in many synagogues on the morning of Shavuot, but how do Mt. Sinai, the Crusades, and a Yiddish fairy tale all come to shape this majestic psalm? We will examine the text, its winding history, and think about how the images of the Akdamut might bring meaning to our lives on Shavuot today.Join Session
11:00PMChevrei TzedekMeeting at the MountainJennifer ZunikoffWe are told that each of us stood at Sinai, receiving the Torah alongside our ancestors and our descendants. Storytelling Coach Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff will guide us as we “remember” what we experienced and who we met at Mt. Sinai.Join Session
11:00PMBolton Street SynagogueFriends and Rivals: A Talmudic Lesson on the Power of Our Words and ActionsRabbi Andy GordonRabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish were best of friends, yet at times bitter rabbinic rivals. As we explore this Talmudic text, we will recognize the power of friendship and the deep divide that our words and actions can have on our relationship to each other.Join Session
11:00PMHinenu: The Baltimore Justice ShtieblSweat, Tears, and the Sea: Crying Works!Rabbi Ariana Katz“I’m crying…cuz I love you.” The past year has given so many of us a lesson in what crying really is. Let’s study what Jewish tradition says about tears and weeping, its transformative power and vulnerability. (Pre-work that is not required but certainly encouraged: listen to your favorite pop songs about weeping. See Lizzo above, also Frankie Valli, etc.)Join Session
12:00AMBet AvivPaper Cut JudaicaRabbi Linda JosephPaper cutting is a traditional Jewish folk art form with a special connection to Shavuot. We explore some history, some styles, and then learn how to make a traditional Shavuot papercut. Have available for class: paper (printing paper, magazine, newspaper, gift paper, craft paper- whatever you have got!), scissors and a glue stick.Join Session
12:00AMBeth Am SynagogueJudaism’s Humbler HolidaysRabbi Kelley GludtSo you think you know all about the Jewish holidays? What about Sigd? Every hear of Mimouna? When was the last time you celebrated Hag HaBanot or Birkat Hachama? Come and learn all about these fascinating and inspiring lesser-known Jewish celebrations.Join Session
12:00AMBaltimore Hebrew CongregationEncountering Often-Encountered PsalmsRabbi Andrew BuschSome of the 150 Biblical Psalms show up more frequently, such as in services or funerals. We will explore some of these Psalms, with an eye towards what they might mean to us.Join Session
12:00AM4FrontInnovating for Social ChangeDiana SolomonJoin 4Front’s former Director of Innovation to talk about the connection between our Jewish responsibility to help others and the rising field of social innovation through text study, discussion and an interactive activity.Join Session
1:00AMHar Sinai – Oheb Shalom CongregationOur Partnership with God: Is the Ten Commandments Our Ketubah?Rabbi Jennifer WeinerBeing in Partnership with God: Is the Ten Commandments Our Ketubah?
A text study of the Aseret HaDibrot also known as the Ten Commandments leading into creating micrography of one one of commandments (learner’s choice)
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1:00AMTemple IsaiahBorrowed Joy and Stolen Torah: Rebbe Nachman on Pirkei AvotRabbi Craig AxlerExplore the deep spiritual insights of Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlov on the ethical and judical teachings of our ancient Rabbis in Pirke Avot.Join Session
2:00AMBeth El CongregationEat Pray Ahava: Food and the TorahCantor Melanie BlattFrom forbidden fruit to falling rations, come take a look at where food and Torah intersect.Join Session
2:00AMJewish Volunteer ConnectionFinding Our Way: Understanding Teams through Sports and Jewish TraditionAshley PressmanThe session will combine text sources from Jewish tradition and the leadership book The Carolina Way to discuss team-building and the need for community in challenging times.Join Session
3:00AMNa’aleh: The Hub for Leadership LearningBuilding our World with Love: A Text Study and Artmaking Reflection SessionJulie WohlDuring this session we will study a psalm together and use simple art materials to respond to the message and meaning of the text. Participants should have something to draw with and something to draw on. Suggestions include: markers, oil pastels, watercolor paint, or crayons. Paper can be computer or construction paper. If using paint, mixed media or watercolor paper is advised. No previous artistic or text study experience necessary.Join Session
3:00AMHinenu: The Baltimore Justice ShtieblNothing About Us Without Us: The Exodus as a Journey to Disability JusticeTyler VileThe liberation of the people who would become B’nei Yisrael, the Jewish people, depended on an exhausted cattle farmer who was “slow of speech and tongue.” Moses, our disabled ancestor, couldn’t do it all by himself. He needed help, and to some degree, we all do. This text study will blend Torah and contemporary writings from disabled activists to look at the story of the Exodus through the lens of accessibility, mutual aid, and intimate vulnerability.Join Session
4:00AMNa’aleh: The Hub for Leadership LearningThe Mystical Art of BlessingDr. Bill Robinson
We will explore the mystical power of reciting the traditional Jewish formula for blessings, based on Rabbi Marcia Prager’s beautiful insights.  We will meditatively welcome the emerging dawn.
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5:00AMHar Sinai – Oheb Shalom CongregationReform TefillahRabbi Jennifer WeinerJoin Session
5:00AMChevrei TzedekConservative TefillahRabbi Rory KatzJoin Session