Presented by The Dr. James Yashar & Judge Marjorie Yashar Fund at the Jewish Federation Foundation

Join us for a night of diverse learning opportunities, discussions, and interactive experiences that explore the many facets of Jewish culture.

Participants may select one class from each of the two sessions. Space is limited. Scroll down to save your seat!

Schedule of the Evening:
7:00pm Doors Open
7:25pm Havdallah
7:35pm Opening Remarks
7:45-8:35pm Session One
8:35-8:45pm Break & Refreshments
8:55-9:45pm Session Two
9:45-10:00pm Book Sale

SESSION ONE 7:45 - 8:35pm

1A. Torah on Aisle Six: Discovering Judaism at Stop & Shop and Trader Joe(seph)’s
When we talk about Jewish practice, we often presume we are talking about gatherings occurring at synagogues, or JCCs, or our homes – we don’t always think about Judaism as something that is lived at the grocery store. In this interactive session, explore what can be unlocked, and experienced, and taught, when we see the supermarket not only as a place to find “Jewish food,” but also as a site for Jewish learning, identity-building, and communal connection.
Led by Lex Rofeberg, Jewish educator and activist for Judaism Unbound

1B. For the Sake of the Argument: A Look at how we can Improve Civil Discourse through the Understanding of Makhloket
Together we will take an in-depth look at makhloket l’shem shamayim – disagreements for the sake of heaven. We will navigate inner challenges and societal discord through Jewish text and social emotional learning in order to build community, especially in areas where we may disagree.
Led by Rabbi Sarah Mack & Rachel Mersky Woda, Temple Beth-El

1C. Jews and Booze: Israeli Whiskey Tasting
A fun and interactive tour of Israel through a curated tasting of a variety of exclusive Israeli whiskies.
Led by Josh Mann from Jews and Booze and First Cut Barrel Co.

1D. Nutrition Trends and “Our Food”: Is it Safe or Unsafe?
In an interactive presentation, Dr. Irene merges current nutrition trends and Jewish food culture to help you recognize the key influences on your food choices. Her strategies help you set realistic goals, tame your inner brat, and nourish your body.
Led by Irene Berman-Levine, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Jewish Book Council author

1E. Meditative Session
Join Rabbi Barry Dolinger and Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer for an open-hearted evening of Jewish mystical/meditative practice and experience. The session will include education, instruction, practice, and possibly transcendence. It is geared toward spiritual seekers of any and all backgrounds.
Led by Rabbi Barry Dolinger & Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer, Congregation Beth Sholom

1F. How the Talmud Can Change Your Life: Surprisingly Modern Advice from a Very Old Book
The Talmud—an extraordinary work of Jewish ethics, law, and tradition—has compelled readers to grapple with how to live a good life. How should we cope with grief? What's the secret to a great marriage? What makes a good friend? The Talmud has answers to all and more. By sharing anecdotes, exploring the Talmud's history, and introducing some of its greatest, wisest, and wildest rabbis, Leibovitz delivers a passionate, humorous, and heartfelt exploration of how the Talmud’s wisdom reverberates for the modern age and how it can, indeed, change your life.
Led by Liel Liebovitz, Jewish Book Council author

1G. Charoset Around the World: The Diversity of a Passover Tradition
Join us as we explore this tasty Passover delicacy. We will examine the rabbinic commentaries on charoset's meaning and symbolism, and survey Sephardic and Ashkenazic recipes as they reflect the dietary culture of their region. Students are encouraged to share their favorite recipes, and perhaps a small sample for tasting.
Led by Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman, Temple Habonim

1H. A Covenant of Salt? How the Hebrew Bible Elevates Salt to an Unprecedented Level
Salt, an ancient additive for flavoring and preserving food, appears in the Tanakh as a symbol of enduring sanctity and strength. The term “Brit Melakh – A Covenant of Salt” emerges in the Torah, the Writings, and the Talmud. This presentation will examine the source materials that shed light on how our ancestors elevated salt to a Covenantal symbol.
Led by Cantor Dr. Brian Mayer, Temple Emanu-El

1i. Chewing and Choices
The Torah lays out the basics of the kosher dietary system but is short on explanations and justifications. Lucky for us, over the years many scholars have offered a wide range of theories as to the goal of kashrut, along with its possible benefits to our bodies, souls, and societies.
Led by Rabbi Stephen Belsky, Congregation Jeshuat Israel at Touro Synagogue


SESSION TWO 8:55 - 9:45pm

2A. “Your Podcast Is My Synagogue” – Digital Judaism in 2023 and Beyond
Less than 10 years ago, people regularly argued that Jewish practice should never take place online – I know this because folks said it to me regularly, as I began to work for a digital Jewish non-profit! Today, hundreds of Jewish gatherings take place online every day, gathering people in a variety of formats, across time zones and continents. In this interactive session, we will focus on ways in which this new site (pun intended!) of Jewish life – the digital world – can serve efforts to engage with Torah, build community, and organize for a better future.
Led by Lex Rofeberg, Jewish educator and activist for Judaism Unbound

2B. For the Sake of the Argument: A Look at how we can Improve Civil Discourse through the Understanding of Makhloket
Together we will take an in-depth look at makhloket l’shem shamayim – disagreements for the sake of heaven. We will navigate inner challenges and societal discord through Jewish text and social emotional learning in order to build community, especially in areas where we may disagree.
Led by Rabbi Sarah Mack & Rachel Mersky Woda, Temple Beth-El

2C. Jews and Booze: Israeli Whiskey Tasting
A fun and interactive tour of Israel through a curated tasting of a variety of exclusive Israeli whiskies.
Led by Josh Mann from Jews and Booze and First Cut Barrel Co.

2D. Nutrition Trends and “Our Food”: Is it Safe or Unsafe?
In an interactive presentation, Dr. Irene merges current nutrition trends and Jewish food culture to help you recognize the key influences on your food choices. Her strategies help you set realistic goals, tame your inner brat, and nourish your body.
Led by Irene Berman-Levine, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Jewish Book Council author

2E. Meditative Session
Join Rabbi Barry Dolinger and Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer for an open-hearted evening of Jewish mystical/meditative practice and experience. The session will include education, instruction, practice, and possibly transcendence. It is geared toward spiritual seekers of any and all backgrounds.
Led by Rabbi Barry Dolinger & Rabbi Emily Goldberg Winer, Congregation Beth Sholom

2F. "What, Me Worry?" On "the Jewish Future" and the Age-Old Tradition of Worrying About It

In this workshop - whose title borrows the famous catch phrase of Mad Magazine's mischievous mascot, Alfred E. Neuman - we will celebrate the most persistent Jewish tradition, one that has lasted for millennia: worrying about "the Jewish future". We will do so by looking at various turning points in Jewish history, comparing them to our collective memory of those same events, and applying the methodology to the myriad worries we carry with us in the current moment. Finally, Rabbi Babchuck will share about some of his work in building "the Jewish future" (a phrase that he will deconstruct).
Led by Rabbi Elan Babchuck, Executive Vice President of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

2G. Parenting and Grandparenting the Rainbow
Join Jeff Bender for a session full of thought-provoking conversation and meaningful connection. The author of "Oh, I Just Didn't Know: Thoughtful Conversations for Grandparents and Grandchildren" and "Apparel Has No Gender: Thoughtful Commentary of a Dad Raising a Transgender Daughter" has been recognized for his insightful works that promote inclusion, acceptance, and positive change in our communities.
Led by Jeffery Bender, Jewish Book Council author

2H. Liberating Ourselves from Narrowness
A group discussion of the intentions and pitfalls of dietary restriction, and other ways to practice self-control.
Led by Abigail Anthony

2i. Soulful Connections: Unveiling the African Influence in Sephardic Jewish Culture
This session will explore the influences of the African Diaspora in respect to Modern Israeli Cuisine. It will be both a talk and tasting as Chef Avi will exhibit some of his latest recipes during this session.
Led by Avi Shemtov, chef, restaurateur, and American/Israeli


For more information, contact Samantha Kaufman or Elihay Skitel.