- Learn and Engage
- Who We Are
Every Saturday at 9:30am
September 4: Nitzavim
September 11: Vayeilech
September 18: Ha’azinu
September 25: Sukkot
October 2: Breshit
October 9: Noach
October 16: Lech Lecha
October 23: Vayera
October 30: Chaye Sarah
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!
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.
Learn about Sukkot with Rabbi Michael Pincus
Sunday, September 19 at 10am IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL
Ever Wonder What Sukkot and Simchat Torah are all about? Lots of attention is given in our synagogue to the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. But there are two other major Jewish holidays this month that deserve your attention!
Sukkot invites us to question the point of it all. Are all my gifts insignificant? What does my life mean? What is giving my life meaning? How do I get a broader perspective of who I am? As we dwell in this temporary space we are invited to explore what is real and what isn’t. What do we bring and what stories do we tell? A week later Simchat Torah arrives and asks us, the text is the same – but are we different? What meanings will we uncover from this cycle of reading? What will be different this year from our last retelling. Join us for a conversation on everything you wanted to know about these holidays but haven’t gotten around to learning yet.
Sara Aharon on The Jews of Afghanistan: History, Culture,
and Muslim-Jewish Relations
Thursday, September 23 at 8pm
This Zoom program will explore the history of Afghanistan’s Jewish community, from its religious and social life to Muslim-Jewish relations. Spanning from the Jewish community’s origins to the development of its Jewish institutions, Sara Aharon will take us back to the story of a small Jewish community that lived in relative peace with its Sunni Muslim neighbors.
Sara Aharon is the author of From Kabul to Queens: The Jews of Afghanistan and Their Move to the United States, and the children’s fiction picture book, One Step at a Time! She studied Middle Eastern Studies and modern Jewish history at Brandeis University and New York University. She was named to The Jewish Week’s ’36 under 36’ honorees list of young leaders impacting the Jewish community.
Click here to register.
“Two Jews Walk Into A War” at Playhouse on Park
Sunday, September 26 at 2pm
Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford
In the play Two Jews Walk Into A War, Ishaq and Zeblyan are the last remaining Jews in Afghanistan. They share the only remaining synagogue that has not been destroyed by the Taliban. They share a mission to repopulate the Jewish community in Kabul. But they also hate each other. Can this Middle Eastern odd couple commit to one incredible act of faith to keep the diaspora alive without killing one other? A modern vaudeville full of shtick, sorrow, and survival.
Tickets are $18 each for CBI members and friends, thanks to a generous grant by the Tapper Charitable Foundation. They must be purchased by Sept. 13. Contact Michelle Meyer at 860-233-8215 to order tickets or order tickets here. Carpooling is available; email email@example.com.
Little White Lie — Discussion with Multi-Media Specialist Lacey Schwartz Delgado
Sunday, October 3 at 10am
Join us for a virtual conversation about race and Judaism with award-winning producer, writer, director and outreach specialist Lacy Schwartz Delgado. She uses the power of narratives to build community and impact change on personal, familial, institutional and societal levels. Her film “Little White Lie” explores her shifting racial identity and what it means to be Black and Jewish in America. Registrants will be given access to the film the week prior to the program, so be sure to register early!
Introduction to Judaism
Classes starting October 6 at 7pm
IN PERSON and VIRTUAL
“Introduction to Judaism” is the title and theme for an 18-session class offered by the Reform Rabbis of Greater Hartford for adults who would like to learn more about Judaism’s ideas and practices. Participants are invited to explore the Jewish perspective on spirituality, values and community.
The class is designed for all who are interested in learning more about Judaism whether they are born Jewish or not. Comfortable surroundings and an informal atmosphere will encourage free and lively discussions of Reform Judaism’s approach to living in our rapidly changing society. Skilled and experienced teachers will lead participants in discussing the ways that Judaism addresses issues in our personal and professional lives.
Space is limited and registration is required. Introduction to Judaism will be held at Congregation Beth Israel on Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm – 9:30 pm. The first part of the evening will be devoted to elementary prayer book Hebrew instruction. The second part of the evening will be spent learning about Jewish tradition, the Jewish way of life, a faith and a people.
For more information about this class, or to register, please call Wendy Berg at 860-233-8215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Author… Ronald H. Balson, Defending Britta Stein
Thursday, October 14 at 7:30pm
Presented in partnership with Congregation Torat El, Oakhurst, NJ
Chicago, 2018: Ole Henryks, a popular restaurateur, is set to be honored by the Danish/American Association for his many civic and charitable contributions. Frequently appearing on local TV, he is well known for his actions in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. Most consider him a hero.
Britta Stein, however, does not. The ninety-year-old Chicago woman levels public accusations against Henryks by spray-painting “Coward,” “Traitor,” “Collaborator,” and “War Criminal” on the walls of his restaurant. Mrs. Stein is ultimately taken into custody and charged with criminal defacement of property. Attorney Catherine Lockhart, though hesitant at first, agrees to take up Mrs. Stein’s defense. With the help of her investigator husband, Liam Taggart, Lockhart must reach back into wartime Denmark and locate evidence that proves Mrs. Stein’s innocence. Defending Britta Stein is critically-acclaimed author Ronald H. Balson’s thrilling take on a modern day courtroom
drama, and a masterful rendition of Denmark’s wartime heroics.
Poland – The Epicenter of the Ashkenazi World in 1939 –
A Virtual Historical Tour with Mike Hollander
Sunday, October 17 at 1pm
In 1939, this country was the epicenter of Ashkenazi Jewry. So many of our Jewish ideas and so much of culture comes from here, in where 10% of the pre-WWII population was Jewish. This virtual journey will go to Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, and will touch upon 3 central themes – 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland, the period of the Shoah from 1939-45, and the complicated post-WWII to the present period of resuscitation of Jewish life in Poland, as well as the strengthening of ties between Israel and Poland.
Click here to register for the program.
Who Will Write Our History? With Professor Sam Kassow, Trinity College
Thursday, November 4 at 8:30pm
In 1940, in the Jewish ghetto of Nazi-occupied Warsaw, the Polish historian Emanuel Ringelblum established a clandestine scholarly organization called the Oyneg Shabes to record the experiences of the ghetto’s inhabitants. For three years, members of the Oyneg Shabes worked in secret to chronicle the lives of hundereds of thousands as they suffered starvation, disease, and deportation by the Nazis. Shortly before the Warsaw ghetto was emptied and razed in 1943, the Oyneg Shabes buried thousands of documents from this massive archive in milk cans and tin boxes, ensuring that the voice and culture of a doomed people would outlast the efforts of their enemies to silence them. In 2018, Professor Kassow’s book was made into a film directed by Roberta Grossman. Program registrants will receive a link to view the film at their convenience in the two weeks period prior to the program, so be sure to register early! Samuel D. Kassow is the Charles Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and the author of several books.
Click here to register for the program.