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New Classes Beginning Winter 2017


Hartman Institute Discussion Series: Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Led by Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Wednesdays, 7:00 pm; January 11, February 8, March 8, April 5, May 10, and June 7

Kicks off with a special program: see below!

Through the study of Jewish narratives about Israel and the unpacking of the complex meanings of peace in Jewish tradition, participants are invited to explore the ideas and values that animate different attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how these values shape their own political understandings. Though a common political platform may not be attainable, this course strives to achieve a shared respect for our differences.

Each session includes text study and discussion, led by Rabbi Kurtz, and video lecture and interviews with leading Hartman scholars.

Tuition including Sourcebook: $110; $80 for NSS Beth El members. Click here to register.

Left vs Right: The Battle for Israel's Soul: A Post-Election Debate

January 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Jonathan S. Tobin, senior online editor and chief political blogger of Commentary Magazine, and J. J. Goldberg, editor-at-large of the Forward newspaper and former U.S. bureau chief of the The Jerusalem Report, will debate critical suppositions about the State of Israel. The debate will be moderated by our Rabbi Vernon Kurtz and Rabbi Wendi Geffen of North Shore Congregation Israel.

As Israel stands on the front line of a global conflict between Islamist terrorism and Western democracy, what can we expect from the new administration in Middle East policy? What should we demand? In our public engagement as citizens, how should we balance our international concerns - mostly our concern for Israel - with our domestic values? And what role if any should world opinion play in Israel's decision making? Can Israel afford to defy an international consensus especially with regard to West Bank settlements? These two influential journalists will consider these questions, among many important others.

Co-sponsored by North Suburban Synagogue Beth El and North Shore Congregation Israel

The program is free of charge and open to the community. RSVP is requested to Elise Kline, 847-432-8900 x210.

Jewish Parenting Havurah

Saturday, January 14 at 8:00 pm

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg will discuss her new book Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting. Appetizers, drinks, and great conversation at the home of Amy and Jonathan Yaffe. Moms, dads, singles, and couples welcome! Open to the community and free of charge. For more information, including location address and to RSVP, email Marcie Eskin or call her at 874-926-7903.

The Art of the Cantor

Taught by Hazzan Ben Tisser

Wednesdays, 8:00-9:15 pm; January 18 and 25; February 1, 15 and 22; March 1, 15 and 22

Rosenblatt, Hershman, Karniol, Oysher - who are these guys?! Join Hazzan Tisser as we explore more than a century of the American Cantorate and learn what shaped the Cantorate into what it is today. We will "meet" the great tenors and baritones, showmen and opera singers, men and even women, who brought this beautiful art form from Europe and watch its evolution to modern times.

This class requires a minimum donation of $36, made payable to Sisterhood Torah Fund. Click here to register.


Foundations of Hasidut and Mindfulness

Taught by Rabbis Jordan Bendat-Appell and Sam Feinsmith of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot

Mondays, 8:00-9:15 pm; February 27, March 6, 13, and 20

There can be many sources of inspiration for our spiritual lives. We may never have imagined that Hasidism could be one of them. This 4-part series will introduce you to some of the foundational texts, concepts, and creative readings of traditional Jewish text that feature prominently in the hasidic tradition of non-dual Judaism. These, in turn, will serve as foundations for tapping the riches of hasidic spirituality in a manner that is accessible and resonant with our lived experience as Jews in the twenty first century. Focusing on the attention of the hasidic masters to the spiritual significance of the human body, heart, mind, and spirit, our learning will serve as a framework for practicing mindfulness in a Jewish context.

$80 for the series; Pre-registration through the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot required by February 1, 2017.

Jewish-Muslim Relations Past and Present

Tuesdays, 7:45-9:15 pm

March 7, 14 and 21

Taught by Dr. Jacob Lassner, Philip M. & Ethel Klutznick Professor Emeritus of Jewish Civilization at Northwestern University and former director of Northwestern's Jewish Studies program.

In this three-part Spertus mini-course, Dr. Jacob Lassner brings his vast knowledge of the Near East to a topic that could not be more relevant. Dr. Lassner will trace the origins of Muslim attitudes toward Jews and Judaism, providing a nuanced and historically rooted view of Muslim tolerance and intolerance, and exploring whether there might be an Islamic solution to the Arab-Israel problem.

$60 (plus $3.99 registration fee) for the series for NSS Beth El members; Pre-registration through the Spertus Institute is required.


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