MakomDC – February

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‚ÄčHope & Despair – The Seeds of Loss Meet the Soil of Redemption
As the lyrics of Hatikvah sing, so too the Jewish soul whispers, “Our hope is not yet lost.”  Throughout a lifetime of loss – slavery, exile, expulsion, pogrom, Holocaust – the collective Jewish soul refuses to lose hope and to give in to despair. We as a people look toward the dawn of tomorrow while taking with us the meaning and experience of today. In a world that is topsy turvy – where it is hard sometimes to make sense out of the images, sights and sounds of despair – our tradition demands that we return to hope. In this month’s learning, we will examine the origins of hope and how our ancestors climbed out of the pit of despair to continue charting a course forward. 

MakomDC February Calendar

Stay tuned for a wide range of February learning and gathering opportunities in the Biran Beit Midrash!

"Open Beit Midrash" In The Biran Beit Midrash
February 7th Register
Is hope possible when despair surrounds us? Is despair an authentic Jewish response to trial and tragedy? In what ways do hope and despair animate and accentuate each other? In small group relational settings with Rabbis Holtzblatt and Alexander, we’ll question together, grapple together, and passionately talk through the uplifting and challenging ideas that our textual tradition presents on what it means to live Jewishly with Hope & Despair.


Scholar: Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen
February 14th Register
Creating a just city is dependent upon the choices we make on a daily basis. It is dependent upon the ways in which we order our cities-who we see and who we don’t; who we hear and who we don’t. In this session we will study a passage of the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud, a passage which deals with the details of daily life in the city but will open up a wider door on the practice of justice, and will bring us face to face with the stark question: Will you act like Pharaoh? Or will you act like God?Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, PhD is a Professor of Rabbinic Literature, innovative teacher, published author, and advocate.

*This event will be livestreamed:

The Text
February 21 Register
This newly created Makom Beit Midrash will be a chance for those with some Hebrew language familiarity and decoding skills to take a deep dive into primary texts, while also attending the timeless wisdom of rabbinic judaism. Explore transformative Jewish texts in their original Aramaic and Hebrew.

Becoming Acher – A Tragic Journey From Crisis to Despair to Sin
February 25 @ 1:00pm
Rabbi Andy Katz – Director of North American Engagement, Conservative Yeshiva
We will look at the Talmudic texts that tell the story of our tradition's paradigmatic heretic, Alisha ben Avuya, a great Sage and contemporary of Rabbi Akiva. And we will discuss the challenge of piety in this day and age, especially for progressive Jews.

 A community-builder, educator, and avid cook, Rabbi Andy Shapiro Katz moved to Beer Sheva in 2010 with his family to start a new intentional pluralistic religious community there called Kehilat Be'erot. Andy is an alumnus of Project Otzma, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Pardes Educators Programs and Kollel, receiving smicha in 2004 from Rabbis Daniel Landes and Aryeh Strikosky. While living in San Francisco from 2005-2010, Andy served as Assistant Head of School at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and was an active participant/leader of the Mission Minyan. 

In order to make these engaging and relevant learning options open to as many people as possible, we have decided to offer almost all of the programming at no charge, thanks to the generosity of many Adas members. At the same time, we still cannot possibly expect to cover all the costs associated with producing these important programs without additional support from you. When you register for an event, you will be presented with the option to offer a donation. Thanks in advance for your support.

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