The Shabbat Shalem program is an in-town Shabbaton held several times per year, aimed at Jewish educational growth and community building. It offers a complete Shabbat experience, including communal learning and meal, activities for children and joyful Shabbat celebration. Following Friday night services, the Kabalat Shabbat dinner draws up to 80 people for a communal meal before people re-gather in the sanctuary for learning. The Scholar in Residence presides over a combination lecture/torah study session. Classes reconvene the next day, following Saturday morning services. Exposure to such a variety of amazing torah scholars has ignited and deepened the passion for learning in our community. It can transform the way that people become lifelong learners.
Rabbi Mishael Zion
Sundays, March 13 (7:30PM), April 10 at CBI
“In those Days – in Our Times”: Purim and Passover in Israeli and American Culture
Join Haggadah writer and Esther commentator (and CBI member!) Mishael Zion into a cultural exploration into the texts, ideas and customs of Purim and Passover. Using art and poetry, modern debates and tips for families – we’ll see how these holidays were reinterpreted by Jews seeking to understand their contemporary realities through these ancient texts and rituals, from Ancient Persia and Egypt to modern Tel Aviv and California.
R. Mishael Zion is spending the year in Berkeley with his wife, Elana, a neuroscientist, and their four daughters. He is a big fan of Jewish Holidays, writing a Hebrew commentary on Megilat Esther, and together with his father, Noam Zion, writing A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices. Mishael is a co-founder of the Klausner Community, a partnership minyan in Jerusalem. He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in New York. Mishael serves as Faculty in Residence of the Shalom Hartman Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the Director of the Mandel Leadership Institute’s Program for Leadership in Israeli Jewish Culture.
Dr. Orit Malka
Sunday, March 20 // 7:30 PM // at CBI
Neighbor Stories in the Talmud and (what they tell us about) the Formation of Talmudic Text
How does proximity to a stranger affect oneself? What does it mean to be a neighbor? We will read together four stories from the Talmud Bavli dealing with neighbors and their mutual effect. Through these stories, we will also gain familiarity with the strategies of composition and editing used by the author(s) of the Babylonian Talmudic stories.
Dr. Orit Malka is a researcher of Talmud and Jewish law. She is visiting the Bay with her family this year as Postdoc in Stanford, and next year she will join the Faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the political aspects of Talmudic Halacha, and the study of early Jewish law as a key to understanding important legal-political trends of antiquity.
Daniel Matt: Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation
in conjunction with his book’s publication in the Jewish Lives Series, Yale University Press
Sunday, April 3, 2022 // 11AM-12:30PM // Hosted by New Lehrhaus Zoom
How did the figure of Elijah change over time, from a zealous prophet into an immortal, compassionate being who revisits earth to rescue and enlighten—perhaps the most popular figure in Jewish folklore? How was he reimagined by each generation? We will explore Elijah’s development from the Bible to Rabbinic Judaism, Kabbalah, and Jewish ritual, culminating in the Hasidic notion that within each of us lies hidden a beḥinat Eliyyahu (an aspect of Elijah). Register here.
Daniel Matt is the author of The Essential Kabbalah and God and the Big Bang. His nine-volume annotated translation of the Zohar—The Zohar: Pritzker Edition—has been called “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.”
Sunday, April 3, 2022 // 8:30PM PST // via CBI Zoom
Moving Toward Pesach: The Stories we Tell our Children and Ourselves
Passover is the ultimate holiday in storytelling. During this uncertain time of pandemic, anxiety and war, let’s become more aware of the stories we tell ourselves and our children and how they hold the possibility of moving us away from narrow to more expansive places. In preparation for our festival of freedom, the workshop will be at once reflective and joyous and will generate practical ideas for your Passover seder.
Dasee Berkowitz is a sought-after educator and facilitator and founder of Ayeka’s Becoming a Soulful Parent program. Her groundbreaking approach to education has been enthusiastically received by scores of Jewish community centers and synagogues since the program launched in 2015. Dasee has lectured internationally, served as Scholar-in-Residence for Jewish federations, and trained facilitators at educational agencies across North America. She is a frequent contributor to Haaretz, The Forward, Jewish Telegraph Agency, Times of Israel and other publications with articles on parenting as a spiritual practice and making family life meaningful during Jewish holidays. Her podcast, “Inspired Parenting”, a joint project by Ayeka and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, debuted in Fall 2018.Dasee lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.
Dr. Deena Aranoff
Tuesdays, April 26, May 10, May 17 // TBD // via CBI Zoom
Mother’s Milk: Child Rearing, the Household, and the Making of Jewish Culture
April 26: Household and Halakhah: the formation of halakhah in the household context (in conversation with M. Victoria Sutton)
May 10: The maternal divine: finding elements of maternal qualities of hashem in the Torah (in conversation with Racheli Perl)
May 17: Mother’s Milk: acquisition of postures, affect and sensibilities in the context of maternal care (in conversation with Dr. Frayda Gonshor Cohen)
The home is commonly recognized as the center of Jewish life. What we eat, how we keep time, with whom we gather—all these elements acquire an acute ritual status when lived in concert with traditional forms. This series will examine a series of rabbinic and medieval texts as they shed light on the importance of household life and maternal care in the making of Jewish culture. Among the themes that we will explore are the primacy of childrearing in the acquisition of the repertoire of attitudes and behaviors that mark the child as Jewish; the household as a point of origin for halakhah; and the Torah as it reveals the primacy of maternal care in its renderings of divine faithfulness and care.
Deena Aranoff is Faculty Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She teaches rabbinic literature, medieval patterns of Jewish thought, and the broader question of continuity and change in Jewish history. Her recent publications engage with the subject of childcare, maternity and the making of Jewish culture.
Dr. Masua Sagiv
Tuesday, May 24 at CBI
“We the People?” Jewish Peoplehood in Israeli Law
Israeli law – from the law of return to the nation state law – presents diverse meanings to being Jewish: religious, national, individualistic, and collective. What are the multiple interpretations of Jewishness in Israeli law, and what are their implications for Jewish peoplehood?
Dr. Masua Sagiv is Scholar in Residence of the Shalom Hartman Institute based in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Koret Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies at U.C. Berkeley. She was most recently the Academic Director of the Menomadin Center for Jewish and Democratic Law at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law and an adjunct lecturer at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law. Her research areas focus on the intersection between law, religion, gender and state. She also works on the issues of law and social change and Jewish peoplehood.