Monday, November 10, 2014

Global Day of Jewish Learning

The Jewish World Learns: Congregation Albert School of Jewish Studies will be joining over 500 communities worldwide in 40 countries on 6 continents for the Global Day of Jewish Learning.

The Global Day of Jewish Learning brings the Jewish people together once a year to celebrate our shared Jewish texts through community based learning. The guiding values of the Global Day of Jewish Learning are: fostering Jewish unity, empowering individuals through increased Jewish knowledge, and creating meaningful shared experiences.

The Global Day of Jewish Learning's 2014 theme is

Heroes, Villains, Saints and Fools:
The People in the Book

Each curricular unit will explore a biblical character and use a variety of Jewish texts. Biblical characters provide an accessible entry point to Jewish texts for the beginners in your community and represent a deep well of wisdom for all.

What do the heroes and villains of our stories have to teach us about ourselves, today? Focusing on biblical characters will allow you to explore topics like human nature, family dynamics, and leadership.

Here in Albuquerque we'll have three classes:

Rabbi Min Kantrowitz
Abraham: Journey into the Unknown
We meet Abraham as he embarks on a journey. The command “go forth” presents him with numerous challenges and opportunities. What does it mean to go forth? Why is the destination unknown? This session explores what Abraham’s journey reveals about his character and how it inspires us to stride boldly into the unknown. 
Eve: Separation and Wholeness in the Garden of Eden
Explore the creation of human beings through the story of Eve and how she came about through an act of splitting. This session will look at how the first people became independent, separate beings with conflicting desires, and the resulting quest for wholeness.
Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld
Balaam: To Bless or To Curse
Balaam is known as a villain – a prophet hired to curse the Children of Israel in the desert. There is more to his story, however, and the complexity leads us to significant questions about power, ability and how we choose to act. In this session we explore Balaam’s motivations and prophetic ability to understand how one can use – or misuse – one’s talents. 
Abq Jew strongly encourages you, the Jewish Community of Greater Albuquerque, to

Support Your Local Rabbis

But if you suffer from the Paseo / I-25 Interchange Project, illness (refuah shleyma!), a general inability to get your act together, or even None of the Above -----

You can still participate in the Global Day of Jewish Learning through

24 x 24 is a series of about 24 People in the Book topics presented by around 24 noted Jewish scholars, educators, rabbis, and miscellaneous interesting people at various times over a 24-hour period.

This year's lineup includes, but is by no means limited to, such distinguished personalities as:
  • Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, a teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author who has been hailed by Time magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar”  - and the founder of the Global Day of Jewish Learning.
  • MK Dr Ruth Calderon, one of Israel’s leading figures spearheading efforts to revive Hebrew Culture and a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity (see There Is A Future). 
  • Arthur Kurzweil, a writer, teacher, and magician.
  • Sarah Lefton, the founding Director of G-dcast, a Jewish new media studio the press calls “the Schoolhouse Rock for Jews"(see G-dcast on Parshat Ki Teitzei, et al).
  • Salvador Litvak, who blogs as the Accidental Talmudist!
  • Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, the Senior Educator off the San Francisco Bay Area's renowned Lehrhaus Judaica.
As he explained this year’s theme, Rabbi Steinsaltz said,
The men and women of the Scriptures are more than mere life portraits: they continue to live and function long after their deaths in this world.  
These are not ordinary historical figures but archetypes; as such, their lives are carried on and continue not only in literature and philosophy but in the lives of their descendants throughout the generations.

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