2020 Shavuot Programming

Read below for information about our 2020 Shavuot programming and then...

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Programming Schedule

See below for detailed descriptions of each session. Note that all sessions will take place pending sufficient attendance, as determined by advance registration.

Tikkun Leil Motzei-Shavuot

Saturday May 30, 2020

9:30–9:50 PM
Havdalah & “Tisch”

10:00–10:55 PM
“Wanting God to be near us… and wishing God would leave us alone” Keynote Lecture by Rabbi Shai Held

11:00–11:55 PM
Discussion Sessions

Retreat-Style Learning & Activities

Sunday May 31, 2020

10:00–10:30 AM
Shavuot Family Fun (Ages 0-5) with Alison Kapusta and Helaina Lehrer

10:30–11:30 AM
Yoga with Pam Skop

11:30 AM–12:00 PM
Rest & Refuel

12:00–12:55 PM

1:00–1:55 PM

2:00–2:55 PM

3:00–3:25 PM
Megilat Rut leyning

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Program Descriptions

Tikkun Leil Motzei-Shavuot

Saturday May 30, 2020

Havdalah & “Tisch”
Join us for a virtual havdalah and songs led by community members!

Keynote Lecture by R. Shai Held
“Wanting God to be near us… and wishing God would leave us alone: Exploring Psalm 139”
Sometimes people feel that God is closer to them than they are to themselves, that God is their very life; and sometimes people feel that God is too close, that God’s presence is just “too much.” Sometimes people go back and forth between these two senses; and sometimes they are torn by feeling both things at once. In this session, we will do a close literary reading of one of the richest, most complex, and most elusive texts in the Psalms, which is, arguably, a study in both ambivalence and ambiguity.

Discussion with Jessica Dell’Era
“When your honored parents are making you crazy: Family relations in tight spaces”
Sure, we're supposed to respect our parents and teach our children well--but are there limits? What if they're being unreasonable, or they’re totally wrong? What if we just CANNOT with them anymore? Come explore what Jewish tradition has to say about how we can all get along and where to draw our boundaries.

Discussion with Dana Kressel
“Speeches, Sins, and Snakes”
We will explore several instances in Torah when people verbally challenged God, and more interestingly, the roles that snakes played in those moments - either as active figures directly challenging a deity, or as symbols doing work on behalf of the divine. (This class will not cause nightmares!)

Discussion with Meir Schechter
“Eating Kosher in a non-Kosher restaurant”
Have you ever sat down in a non-kosher restaurant, but ordered a kosher meal? Do you believe that this is a modern phenomenon that demonstrates some degree of enlightenment? Would you believe that the Talmud discusses this? Would you believe the Talmud does not prohibit it? We will discuss a section of the Talmud and see what it might tell us about such a situation!

Retreat-Style Learning & Activities

Sunday May 31, 2020

Shavuot Family Fun (Ages 0-5) with Alison Kapusta and Helaina Lehrer
Families with children ages 5 and under are invited to join a festive, song-filled Shavuot celebration on Zoom! We'll sing, dance, and share stories together as a community. Come prepared with a fruit that you can "share," as we explore the tradition of bikkurim, bringing first fruits to the Temple on the holiday. Feel free to also bring your plush Torah, if you have one, or make your own by gluing two empty paper-towel rolls together and decorating them however you'd like. Looking forward to celebrating with you!

Yoga with Pam Skop
Join Pam, a trained yoga instructor, and get flowing in a yoga class!

Lecture with Dr. Andrea Wershof Schwartz
“Nekavim nekavim: A close reading of the Asher Yatzar ‘Bathroom Blessing’”
The Asher Yatzar blessing, traditionally recited upon exiting the bathroom, is full of rich language and metaphors that draw on biblical and rabbinic ideas about health, bodily functions and the Divine role in human illness. We will engage in a close reading of the Asher Yatzar blessing to explore ideas of health and healing during this time of uncertainty.

Kids Hangout, Ages 5–7 / 8–10 / 11+ Canceled
A chance for friends in each age group to see each other. Please note this is a social event, not formal programming.

Discussion with Hilana Ezekiel
“Socially Distanced Sinai”
Before the Israelites received the Torah they were told not to approach Mount Sinai. In this discussion we will examine how the physical distance might have been necessary, and how we can still feel spiritually close in times of distance.

Games led by Arielle Walzer
Relax and have fun playing a variety of laid back games, from trivia to word games to (mildly) competitive joke-making.

Discussion with Jeremy Tabick
“The Mishnah’s Response to Natural Disaster”
We’ll learn extracts from Mishnah Taanit and talk about Jewish responses to natural disasters—plagues, locusts, earthquakes etc.

Cheesecake with Rachel Goldfarb
Ingredients & Materials List
We can’t all eat cheesecake together at the retreat this year, but we can make our own! Rachel Goldfarb loves sharing desserts with the Kehilat Hadar community, and she’ll walk you through making cheesecake at home. Her recipe will allow you to make a big cheesecake for a crowd or a smaller one for just one or two people.

Megilat Rut Leyning
Hear community members read the four chapters of Megilat Rut.