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Wisdom Around the World

Year Long Series Starting January 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Wisdom from Around the World -
Directly into Your Living Room

There are so many teachers scattered throughout the world from whom we might learn wisdom, inspiration and Torah imagined as broadly as possible. In our new virtual existence, these teachers are as close as our screens. For the next year, BHC will bring thinkers from the corners of the globe to teach us about life, Judaism, and the world.

Look for updates on future teachers and discussions here and on our Monday and Briefly emails.

Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Rebroadcast at 7:30 pm


January 21
Michael Palmer – Monsey, New York
“Eric Mendelsohn: Synagogue Architect with a Vision”

Michael Palmer is a photographer whose work has explored the architectural legacy and relevance of the German Jewish exodus from Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Palmer’s most recent work focuses on the buildings of the noted German Jewish architect Eric Mendelsohn, including Mendelsohn’s breakthrough Einstein Tower near Berlin, synagogues in Saint Louis, Cleveland, Saint Paul and Grand Rapids, as well as his buildings in Israel.


January 28
Muki Jankelowitz – Modi'in, Israel
“Graffiti in Southern Tel Aviv: An Insight into Israeli Society”

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa where he was very involved in the local Jewish community, Muki made Aliyah in 1987, served in the Israeli army as a combat medic. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Wits and a Master’s Degree in Biblical Archeology from UNISA.


February 4
Amy Jill Levine – Nashville, Tennessee 
"Agreeing to Disagree: How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently"

University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies, and  Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Graduate Department of Religion, and Department of Jewish Studies; she is also Affiliated Professor, Woolf Institute, Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge UK. In Spring 2019 she was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. She is also an author of many books for both adults and children.


February 11
Rabbi Donald Goor – Jerusalem, Israel
“Reform Jews & Our connection to Israel”

Rabbi Donald Goor, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Judea Tarzana, California, currently serves as Rabbinic Liaison at Daat Travel/ARZA World in Jerusalem and as campus rabbi at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Jerusalem. Rabbi Goor grew up in San Diego, California, graduated the University of California at Berkeley. In 1987, he was ordained at the HUC-JIR in New York. He is the Editor of the groundbreaking Life Cycle manual, L'chol Z'man v'Eit: For Sacred Moments, published by CCAR Press in 2015.


February 18
Cantor Lizzie Shammash – Philadelphia, PA
“Parshat Terumah”

Cantor Elizabeth Shammash joined Adath Israel’s clergy team in July 2020. She received cantorial ordination and a Master of Sacred Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007 and served as Cantor of Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell, PA from 2007 to 2020. She enjoys sharing her passion for Judaism with congregants of all ages, connecting them to our rich liturgical and cultural traditions using music of diverse genres.


February 25
Rabbi Naamah Kelman – Jerusalem
“Vashti and Esther: Our Early Feminists?”

Rabbi Naamah Kelman is a descendent of 10 generations of Rabbis, becoming the first woman ordained in Israel in 1992, by the Hebrew Union College, where she serves as Dean.
Born and bred in New York City, she made Aliyah in 1976, where she has been involved, active, committed to establishing Progressive (Reform) Judaism as a vibrant possibility for Israelis who are searching for something that is neither Orthodox or Secular.


March 4
Rebecca Sykes – Jerusalem

Anytime Rebecca strayed from blazing a path as an artist living a Jewish life, a few weeks at camp set things back on fire. Jewish summer camp feels like home...the kind of home where you build creativity and connection while eating tater tots. Her love of experiential education led to projects with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the iCenter, Brandeis University, University of Chicago, and the Jewish Education Project. Rebecca explores middot (soul traits): learning how the development of the soul affects the development of daily life. She offers dynamic workshops rooted in yoga, theater, and text-study that build experience in values-based learning. She lives in Jerusalem where she teaches yoga, works as an actor, and knows where the best hummus is. Come visit.


March 11
Rabbi Anthony Fratello – Boynton Beach, FL
“Jewish Medical Ethics”

Rabbi Anthony Fratello is a 1994 graduate of Pomona College and was ordained at the Cincinnati Campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999. Since 2000, he has been the rabbi of Temple Shaarei Shalom, a 560-family congregation in Boynton Beach, FL. He has served as a board and executive board member of numerous community agencies and is a highly sought and well-regarded speaker, teacher, and lecturer.


March 18
Karla Goldman – Ann Arbor, MI

Karla Goldman's research focuses on the history of the American Jewish experience with special attention to the history of American Jewish communities and the evolving roles and contributions of American Jewish women. She directs the University of Michigan Jewish Communal Leadership Program..


March 25
Ronen Altman Kaydar – Germany
“Jewish Women in Berlin”

Ronen Altman Kaydar was born in Tel Aviv, grew up near Haifa and in the U. S., and living in Germany for the past ten years. He is also a writer and a translator; I've published a novel and a poem collection in Hebrew and translated numerous literary works, film scripts and Lonely Planet guidebooks. I've written guides to Austria, the Black Forest area of Germany, and, of course, Berlin.
I have a Master's in History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas from the University of Tel Aviv and have taught mathematics, history and creative writing before becoming a tour guide in 2010.


April 1
Jonathan Slater – NYC
“Having Faith- But in What?”

Jonathan co-directs the Clergy Leadership Program, teaches on multiple programs and retreats, and works closely with the Board of Directors. He was ordained by JTS and served congregations in northern California for over twenty years. He was also a participant in the first IJS rabbinic cohort. Jonathan enjoys living in the NYC suburbs, teaching meditation at the JCC in Manhattan, and visiting with his seven grandchildren around the country.


April 8
David Mendelsson –
“Sacred Time and Sacred Space Jerusalem Mount”

Details coming soon.


April 15
Evan Kent – Jerusalem, Israel
“Music for Yom HaAtzmaut”

In July 2013, Evan moved from Los Angeles to Jerusalem where he currently lives with his husband Rabbi Donald Goor . Evan received his ordination as a cantor and his Master’s in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College in New York and served Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles as its cantor for 25 years. Evan also received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York.


April 22
Sue Levi Elwell –
“In Celebration of Earth Day”

Details coming soon.


April 29
Marc Dollinger – San Francisco, CA
“Jews and Civil Rights Movement”

Dr. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University.
He has served as research fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College, where he coordinated the program in Jewish Studies.


May 6
Ellen Masud-Karmiel – Israel
“Reiki in Israel”

Details coming soon.


May 13
Ariel Kleiner – São Paulo, Brazil
“Optimism and Judaism”

I am passionate about helping people and organizations to view from different perspectives, to be able to go from where you are to where you want to be.


May 20
Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appel – Camp Ramah in Canada or Deereville, Illinois

Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell is a Program Director and teacher of Jewish mindfulness for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Jordan was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2008, after which he served as a congregational rabbi and began interning with the Institute. Prior to pursuing his rabbinical studies, Jordan studied Conservation Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, spent several months at Zen centers in California and France, led spiritually engaged Jewish backpacking trips, worked at a number of Jewish summer camps and studied Jewish text at yeshivot in Jerusalem. Jordan is a founder of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness in Chicago, now a part of Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning.


May 27
Neal Gold –
“Jerusalem of Gold”

Neal Gold teaches and writes about Jewish texts, Israel, and intersections between Jewish life and the contemporary world. He is also a student, recently completing an MA in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.
Neal is a lecturer for Me'ah through Hebrew College, courses of study that empower adults to understand Judaism on a deeper level.  He is  the Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, and the President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. He has served as the national Director of Program & Content for ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. For over 18 years he led congregations in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He received smicha from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and graduated Colgate University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion.


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