- Learn and Engage
- Who We Are
Every Saturday at 9:30am
April 24: Achrei Mot/Kedoshim
May 1: Emor
May 8: Behar/Bechukotai
May 15: Bamidbar
May 22: Nasso
May 29: Beha’alotecha
June 5: Shelach
June 12: Korach
June 19: Chukat
June 26: Balak
Every Wednesday at noon
Join Rabbi Michael Pincus to explore a bit of Talmud together. Discover questions you never thought to ask and the beauty of rabbinic thinking.
No experience or homework required!
Leaning into Liturgy: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Fliegel
Tuesdays, May 4, May 18 & June 1 at noon (Virtual)
Do you sit through services and wonder what it is you’re really saying? Do you opt out of worship because the whole thing is so foreign? Do you struggle connecting ancient metaphors with your modern sensibility? Join Rabbi Fliegel for this three part series unpacking the meaning behind our Shabbat liturgy and finding the messages embedded within them that speak to you today. BYO lunch!
Short Story Coffee Break (First and third Thursdays at 11am; an Extra Cup if there is a 3rd Thursday in the month)
Join Learning Center Director Karen Beyard and a lively group of readers who discuss short stories by Jewish authors. When there is a fifth Thursday, we enjoy an “extra cup” of reading, conversation, and connection.
Currently, all programs are virtual unless otherwise noted. Go to cbict.org/calendar for Zoom codes.
Hava Nagila – Documentary Film Screening
Thursday, April 22 at 7pm
The award-winning documentary Hava Nagila explores the fascinating journey of a song that has transcended its origins to become known worldwide. Follow the story of this infectious party song from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the cul-de‐sacs of America in this hilarious and surprisingly deep film. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more, HAVA NAGILA takes viewers from Ukraine and Israel to the Catskills, Greenwich Village, Hollywood – and even Bollywood – using the song as a springboard to explore Jewish history and identity and to spotlight the cross-cultural connections that can only be achieved through music.
Click HERE to register.
A Virtual Historical Tour of Jewish Argentina
(Two-Part Series) with Claudia HercmanThursday, April 28 at 8pm and Thursday, May 5 at 8pm
Session 1: The Argentinian Jewish community is the 6th largest in the world. The first Jewish communities in Latin America were Sephardic. What happened to those Jews during the Inquisition? Why, if Latin America was part of the Spanish Empire, is the Jewish Community in Argentina 80% Ashkenazi and only 20% Sephardic today?
Click HERE to register.
Session 2: Before WWII many Jews came to Argentina. In a country of immigrants, it became a very important and strong community. What happened in Argentina during and after the Holocaust? Who was Perón; what was his policy towards the Jews? Did he really help the Nazis come to Argentina?
Claudia Hercman is an Argentinian tour guide and translator. She is also a sculptor and painter, and honors her four grandparents who emigrated from Poland to Argentina.
Click HERE to register.
Living on the Edge: Challenges of Life Along the Gaza Border
Sunday, May 2 at 10am
Join our special guest, Yedidya Harush, live from Israel to learn about the challenges and opportunities of life along the Gaza border. In 2005, families were evacuated from the Gush Katif communities during Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. And while a group of these families could have relocated to Be’er Sheva or another established city, they chose another option: they would build a community where literally nothing had stood before. Located in the Northwest Negev, Halutza was a barren desert when it was founded by 30 families, and has grown to 2,500 families. Join us to hear the amazing and inspirational story of these pioneers. This program is sponsored by the Southern New England Board of JNF, in partnership with CBI and other synagogues and organizations.
A Virtual Visit to the Tenement Museum
Thursday, May 13 at 7:30pm
The Tenement Museum was founded in 1988 by historians Ruth Abram and Anita Jacobson to commemorate the country’s immigration culture. This unassuming apartment building on the iconic Orchard Street is home to inspiring stories. These stories speak of the persistence of generations of immigrants who came to New York City starting in the 1800s to build their lives from scratch with limited resources. Our virtual tour will explore the Rogarshevsky family, a Jewish American family from Lithuania who lived on 97 Orchard Street in the 1910s. A Tenement Museum Educator will virtually guide us through their home, and discuss how the family balanced their traditions with working outside the home at garment factories across the city.
The Importance of the Babylonian Exile with Jeff Rudikoff
Thursday, May 20 at 7pm
How did the Babylonian exile affect the evolution of Jewish religious practice? How are Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel involved in this story? Join CBI member Jeff Rudikoff for a discussion of this topic which has fascinated participants in CBI’s weekly Torah study.
Jeff Rudikoff is a retired radiologist and has been a member of Congregation Beth Israel for 30 years. Jeff became interested in Jewish history when he became a parent at age 25. He has spent 55 years trying to answer the question of how we, as a people, a small fraction of one percent of the world population, with no central location and no common spoken language, have survived for so many centuries. He has enjoyed the journey and is still searching for the answer.
The Beatles’ Jewish Connection
with Jonathan Lightman
Sunday, May 23 at 7pm (Virtual)
Get back to the sights and sounds of the 1960s as Jonathan Lightman takes us on a Magical Mystery Tour of the Jews that interacted with The Beatles! While you may know that their manager, Brian Epstein, was Jewish, the Fab Four’s connection to Jews ran much deeper. Enjoy the band you know, the music you love and meet the Jews who helped make it possible!
Jonathan has served as Chair of the JCRC, President and Gabbai Rishon of Mosaic Law, and Chair of the USCJ Shoshana Cardin Awards Committee. Sponsored by Brotherhood and Sisterhood
Rabbis, Rebels, and Supreme Court Justices: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America
Presented by Professor Joyce Antler, Brandeis University
Thursday, May 27 at 8pm
As activists and rebels, lawyers and judges, rabbis, writers and more, Jewish women influenced many of the key political events and social movements of our time—suffrage, peace, civil liberties, civil rights, labor rights, and women’s rights. Presenting the challenges and achievements of many of these remarkable women, the talk reveals the groundbreaking role of Jewish women in shaping our society.
Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. She is the author or editor of ten books. Antler is currently writing a history of radical feminism and Jewish identity.
Jewish Life in Morocco: An Intimate Introduction with Dr. Roy Mittelman
Thursday, June 3 at 8pm
Learn about the past, present and future of the Jewish community in Morocco based on Dr. Roy Mittelman’s forty years of traveling to, studying and teaching about the community.
Roy Mittelman is the director of the Jewish Studies Program at the City College of New York. Dr. Mittelman received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters and PhD in Religion from Temple University. Dr. Mittelman’s research focuses on Muslim-Jewish relations in Morocco.
Debbie Friedman as Liturgist, Composer and Musician presented by Professor Judah Cohen, Indiana University
Thursday, June 10 at 8pm
Understanding Debbie Friedman and her music means to understand the major liturgical and societal changes taking place in American Jewish life in the second half of the twentieth century. In this presentation, we will explore Debbie Friedman’s career in ways that have rarely been addressed before: as a commissioned synagogue composer-in-residence, a collaborator in new Jewish rituals, a polished musician, and a part of liturgical and educational reform efforts in the 1970s and 1980s. Along the way, we’ll see how some of her best-known songs came to be, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Judah M. Cohen is the Lou & Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture and Associate Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. His research addresses Jewish liturgical music, musical theater, popular music, and opera.
The West Bank: Stay or Go? with Dr. Victor Asal, University at Albany, State University of New York
Tuesday, June 22 at 7:30pm
For the last 50+ years Israel has faced an existential decision of staying in Judea and Samaria or leaving the West Bank. Israel has still not made a clear final decision on what it will do. This presentation focuses on the security side of this decision (although it touches on the normative aspects as well) from both sides of the argument both at the basic security and current security perspective and from the Israeli and the Palestinian perspective.
Victor Asal (pictured) is the director of the Center for Policy Research and a professor in the department of Political Science at the University at Albany SUNY. He is editor of the Journal of Political Science Education. He is a Research Associate of the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
How Did the Bible Become the Bible? Presented by Professor Marc Brettler, Duke University
Sunday, June 27 at 11am
Jews seem to never agree on anything, yet all Jews share the same Bible—the same biblical books, divided in the same fashion into three sections, in (more or less) the same order, and even the same words and vowels! We know from the Dead Sea Scroll and other evidence that this was not always the case. How and why did this unity develop?
Marc Brettler is the Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University. He has taught at Brandeis University, Yale University, Brown University, Wellesley College and Middlebury College. A graduate of Brandeis University, he has published and lectured widely on metaphor and the Bible, the nature of biblical historical texts, and gender issues and the Bible.