CSP 21st Annual One Month Scholar Series

 


CSP 21st Annual One Month Scholar Series

With Hadar Faculty live on Zoom from New York City, NY

January 4 – January 30, 2022

Honoring Deborah and Ed Heyman

This program is fully funded by a grant from
the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County

Download: Calendar of OMS 2022 Events

The Text Demands Interpretation
The Torah of Hadar

OPENING EVENT REGISTRATION LINK


CSP Partners: Beth Israel (San Diego, CA), Brotherhood Synagogue (Gramercy Park, NYC), Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Elkins Park, PA), Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, Shomrei Torah Synagogue (San Fernando Valley, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth David (Westminster, CA),Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Shalom (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Temple Emanuel (Newton, MA), The Boston Synagogue (Boston, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY), University Synagogue (Irvine, CA), Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA) & Walnut Street Synagogue (Chelsea, MA)


To learn about upcoming events this month, visit http://www.occsp.net. To view past CSP events, check out our YouTube channel as well as our podcast and enjoy many sessions at your leisure.

Join us for a compelling, one-month series of programs with the amazing faculty of Hadar. Adult learners across the globe are invited to participate in our live online sessions as we delve deeply into specific areas of Jewish text – from Talmudic narratives to Israeli women’s midrash, the Torah of music and the challenges of prayer. All levels of Jewish learning background are welcome.


Hadar empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed. Founded in 2006, Hadar (“splendor” in Hebrew) has grown dramatically in response to the demand for meaningful and relevant text-based Torah study. Hundreds of students have completed Hadar’s year-long and summer fellowship learning programs, and thousands have studied with Hadar at day-long seminars, multi-day learning intensives, virtual programming and more. Whether it’s by engaging listeners through their weekly podcasts, cultivating Jewish spiritual life through song at their Rising Song Institute, generating substantive age-appropriate content in their Children and Families department, or involving high school and college students in the Maimonides Moot Court Competition, Hadar provides a space for Jews of all stripes who want to deepen their connection to Jewish texts and tradition.

Deborah and Ed Heyman are great fans of CSP, and while not founders, have been CSP supporters and patrons since the first One Month Scholar. Deborah is a fiber artist, focusing on weaving, quilting, embroidery, and sewing. She designed and crafted the two ‘bein gavrah’ (torah covers) for Congregation B’nai Israel of Tustin (“CBI”), one for Shabbat services and one for the High Holidays. Her weavings have twice won Honorable Mention in the national Handweavers’ Guild of America conference competitions, and she publishes regularly in Handwoven magazine. Ed is retired from a career as an intelligence analyst and research methodologist for the US defense and intelligence communities. He has served on the boards of CBI, Jewish Federation of Orange County, ADL, and for 18 years at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School, five as President. Deborah and Ed practice philanthropy and are legacy donors to CSP, CBI, TVT, and the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County. Together, they are proud parents of three children, Tamar Kaufman Meusel (m. Casey), Jordana Heyman, Ben Heyman (m. Katie), and blessed (so far!) with two grandchildren.

Celebrating our 21st year, the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program shares the joy of Judaism, builds community, and celebrates our Jewish heritage with a rich adult education program and unique family experiences. Whether we are picking apples for Rosh Hashanah, celebrating Shabbat while camping in National Park, clapping along with Jewish Blues or Rock musicians, hosting a community-wide Shabbat Alive outdoors, learning with internationally known scholars, making life-long Jewish friends at family and adult retreats, or providing distance learning programs during a pandemic, CSP has programs to offer for all ages. We ignite passion for Judaism! CSP live-streams programs on our CSP Facebook site and shares recordings on our new CSP YouTube Channel (please visit and subscribe!). If you are interested in our I-tunes archive of over 200 programs, you can listen at this LINK. You can reach us on the web at http://www.occsp.net and by phone at (949) 682-4040.

Community Scholar Program participates in the communitywide Create a Jewish Legacy initiative, in partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Contact CSP at (949) 682-4040 to explore the many ways you can leave a legacy to CSP.

Inspire future generations with your generosity by creating a Jewish legacy today!


JANUARY EVENTS

Tuesday January 4, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Opening Session
What to Do When You Don’t Know:
Talmudic Stories of Rabbinic Ignorance {Rabbi Elie Kaunfer}

 
Wednesday January 5, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Wednesday Evening Series
The Torah of Music
{Part 1 – Introduction to The Torah of Music, with Joey Weisenberg}

 
Thursday January 6, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Thursday Afternoon Series:
Part 1 – Praying Anew: Unlocking Meaning in the Words of the Siddur
{Rabbi Elie Kaunfer}

 
Sunday January 9, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Sunday Evening Series
Pride and Privilege: How Do We Sensitively Navigate and Appreciate Having More Than Others?
{Dena Weiss}

 
Tuesday January 11, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Tuesday Afternoon Series
Part 1 – Dirshuni: A Taste of Israeli Women’s Midrash
{Rabbi Avi Killip}

 
Wednesday January 12, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Wednesday Evening Series
The Torah of Music
{Part 2 – From Psalm to Song: Uncovering the Hidden Melodies of Our Texts, with Joey Weisenberg}

 
Thursday January 13, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Thursday Afternoon Series
Part 2 – Praying Anew: Unlocking Meaning in the Words of the Siddur
{Rabbi Elie Kaunfer}

 
Thursday January 13, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
CSP Patron/Legacy Event
God in the Midst of Grief: Connecting to the Divine in Times of Loss
{Rabbi Tali Adler}

CSP Patrons/Legacy

 
Sunday January 16, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Sunday Evening Series
Autonomy, Community, and Everything in Between
{Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg}

 
Tuesday January 18, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Tuesday Afternoon Series
Part 2 – Dirshuni: A Taste of Israeli Women’s Midrash
{Rabbi Avi Killip}

 
Wednesday January 19, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Wednesday Evening Series
The Torah of Music
{Part 3 – Singing through the Sea, Lamenting at the River: Song Narratives in Tanakh, with Deborah Sacks Mintz}

 
Thursday January 20, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Thursday Afternoon Series
Part 3 – Praying Anew: Unlocking Meaning in the Words of the Siddur
{Rabbi Elie Kaunfer}

 
Thursday January 20, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM CSP Patron/Legacy Event
Can We Separate (Torah) Artists From Their Art?
{Rabbi Ethan Tucker}

CSP Patrons/Legacy

 
Sunday January 23, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM Sunday Evening Series
Speaking Up: The Audacity of Prayer
{Rabbi Aviva Richman}

 
Tuesday January 25, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM Tuesday Afternoon Series
Part 3 – Dirshuni: A Taste of Israeli Women’s Midrash
{Rabbi Avi Killip}

 
Wednesday January 26, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Wednesday Evening Series
The Torah of Music
{Part 4 – Music as Midrash: A Collaborative Workshop, with Deborah Sacks Mintz}

 
Thursday January 27, 2022
12:30-1:30 PM
Thursday Afternoon Series
Part 4 – Praying Anew: Unlocking Meaning in the Words of the Siddur
{Rabbi Elie Kaunfer}

 
Sunday January 30, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM
Closing Session
Finding God in Nature and Torah: Exploring Psalm 19
{Rabbi Shai Held}

 


Opening Session:

Tuesday January 4th at 12:30 PM PST/3:30 PM EST
What to Do When You Don’t Know:
Talmudic Stories of Rabbinic Ignorance

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
Despite our best efforts, life is filled with situations in which we are supposed to know what to do…but don’t. Perhaps surprisingly, our sages were not immune to this reality and often had to confront their own ignorance. What should we do in this scenario? More broadly, what can we learn from ignorance? This class explores four Talmudic narratives in which our sages didn’t have the answers in order to shed light on these questions.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). He also received semikha from his long-time teacher, Rav Daniel Landes. Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart. Click to watch a short video of Elie as scholar- in-residence at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.


Tuesday Lunch Series

3 sessions at 12:30 PM PST/3:30 PM EST, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25
Dirshuni: A Taste of Israeli Women’s Midrash
Rabbi Avi Killip
Tamar Biala, editor of the modern midrashic work, Dirshuni, has written breathtakingly beautiful midrashim that function as commentaries on the Torah, Israeli society, feminism, and so much more. This series will explore three of her midrashim. You can join for any or all. No Hebrew background is needed. We will be studying in English translation.

Session 1:
The Kiss of Death: Reflection on Miriam
This session will explore Tamar Biala’s midrash about the death of Miriam. The midrash invites us to explore themes of isolation, illness, death, and holiness. Let’s read this midrash together and unpack what it has to offer us in this moment.

Session 2:
From the Flood to the Rainbow
When Destruction leads us into Covenant The first crisis and covenant are inextricably linked. Through studying a Midrash from Tamar Biala, we will examine the biblical flood narrative to discover multiple models of coping after catastrophe, and how disaster changes our relationship to God.

Session 3:
For Love is as Fierce as Death: Modern Women’s Midrash as a Tool for Reading our Most Difficult Texts
The #metoo movement offered an unprecedented wave of written and oral testimony from women about their painful experiences of sexual assault and harassment. We cannot deny that our Torah also contains many similarly troubling and hurtful narratives. How should we approach these hard moments in our canon? Can midrash serve as a tool to engage with our harshest texts? In this class, we will study a modern midrash from the book Dirshuni that offers one approach to hearing, and maybe even healing from our most difficult texts. Together, we will ask how this approach may offer us guidance as we bear witness to so much pain in our world.

Rabbi Avi Killip is the Executive Vice President at Hadar. A graduate of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, Avi also holds Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Brandeis University. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and a Schusterman Fellowship. Avi teaches as part of Hadar’s Faculty and is host of the Responsa Radio podcast. Avi lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband and three young children.


Wednesday Evening Series

4 sessions at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST, 1/5, 1/12, 1/19, 1/26
The Torah of Music
Joey Weisenberg (1/5 and 1/12) and Deborah Sacks Mintz (1/19 and 1/26)
Music has the power to express the soul’s deepest prayers, to bridge divides between disparate people and strengthen communal ties, to translate ancient narrative into modern reality. In this series, Joey Weisenberg and Deborah Sacks Mintz will uncover the essential role of song across Jewish history, offering a sweeping view of traditional sources and revealing pathways to infuse song into our own lives.

Session 1:
Introduction to The Torah of Music, with Joey Weisenberg
Imagine all the books from the traditional Jewish library are opened to pages containing their most musical passages. Drawing from his award-winning anthology, The Torah of Music, Joey Weisenberg leads a millenia-spanning tour of songful wisdom, offering a glimpse of the rich musical dreamscape of the ancient sages and telling the story of music’s essential role in the spiritual practice of Jewish life today and throughout history.

Session 2:
From Psalm to Song: Uncovering the Hidden Melodies of Our Texts, with Joey Weisenberg
Ancient Jewish prayer-songs and poetry, such as the Psalms, are often rollercoaster-like expressions of the human soul that vary as widely in their thematic consistency as they do in their poetic structures. This class will explore how we can draw out coherent ideas from the Psalms and other ancient texts and fit them into contemporary musical meters and song structures.

Session 3:
Singing through the Sea, Lamenting at the River: Song Narratives in Tanakh, with Deborah Sacks Mintz
How has music expressed both power and joy, and suffering and loss, throughout the Jewish people’s narrative? Where do we see our own experiences embedded within these stories? In this text-based class, we’ll explore two key Biblical narratives centering the outpouring of song.

Session 4:
Music as Midrash: A Collaborative Workshop, with Deborah Sacks Mintz
How does the modality of music itself unearth new layers in text? We’ll explore the ways music shifts, sharpens, and complicates our relationship to the sources explored in this series and beyond, collaboratively creating new melodies and telling new stories of our own.

Joey Weisenberg is the founder and co-director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute. He is a mandolinist, guitarist, singer, and percussionist who has performed and recorded in a wide variety of musical styles. Joey has worked as the Music Director at Brooklyn’s oldest synagogue, the Kane Street Synagogue, and visits shuls and communities around the world as a musician-in-residence, in which he teaches his popular ‘Spontaneous Jewish Choir” workshops. He is the author of Building Singing Communities (2011) and award-winning The Torah of Music (2017), both published by the Hadar Institute. His CDs of original music, “Joey’s Nigunim Volumes I-VI” are available here, and his instructional videos “Table Top Rhythms for Jewish Singing” can be found online.

Deborah Sacks Mintz is the Community Singing Consultant of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, serving as a resource to communities across North America and beyond who seek to deepen their practice of empowered song and connective prayer. A ba’al tefila and educator, Deborah has served innovative institutions around the country, including Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, the Brandeis Collegiate Institute in Los Angeles, and B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan. In addition to composing new Jewish music, Deborah can be found regularly performing and recording with a wide range of musicians, including as a featured vocalist and harmony singer in Joey Weisenberg’s Hadar Ensemble. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Deborah is pursuing rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Learn more about Deborah’s work at http://www.deborahsacksmintz.com.


Thursday Lunch Series

4 sessions at 12:30 PM PST/3:30 PM EST, 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27
Praying Anew: Unlocking Meaning in the Words of the Siddur
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

The Jewish prayerbook is a collage of texts that reflect our deepest emotions, longings and experiences. But sometimes it takes some work to unlock this meaning. Together we will interpret the texts of our prayers, uncovering new insights and learning a method of understanding the prayerbook in a new way.

Session 1:
New Ways to Understand the Siddur: The Literary Method of Interpretation
Explore the literary approach to Jewish liturgy using the case study of the first paragraph of the Amidah. Our prayers quote or reference biblical sources all the time. By comparing the text of the prayer to the sources it draws from, you can unlock new meanings for the prayer book. Why do we say “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to say “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”? Why do we call God “great, mighty, and awesome”? Why not more adjectives? Why those? What do they mean?

Session 2:
Resurrection Revisited: A Closer Look at the Blessing of Giving Life to the Dead
In this session, we will open up the second blessing of the Amidah – said in all formal Jewish prayer services – to explore different possibilities of meaning. Which biblical and midrashic texts stand behind this blessing, and how can they open up our field of vision around this controversial prayer?

Session 3:
The Mourners Kaddish: A New Interpretation
Join me as we explore the essence of the kaddish, perhaps the most misunderstood prayer in Judaism. We will move on an interpretive journey that has implications for all prayers we say. Along the way we will encounter the power of the Kaddish, a poignant depiction of God’s relationship with us, and what people can offer the Divine.

Session 4:
The Non-Cognitive Aspects of Prayer
What are the parts of the prayer experience which are not encapsulated by the words of the siddur/prayerbook? In what ways are the words designed to conjure up an experience which isn’t contained within the plain meanings of the words? How does the volume of prayer change the experience? Join me on a journey beyond the words of the siddur and into a more holistic prayer experience.

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). He also received semikha from his long-time teacher, Rav Daniel Landes. Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart. Click to watch a short video of Elie as scholar- in-residence at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.


Sunday Series 1

1/9 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Pride and Privilege: How Do We Sensitively Navigate and Appreciate Having More Than Others?
Dena Weiss

One of the enduring truths of human society is that the pie of privilege is not equally distributed. Some of us have economic privilege, some of us racial privilege, some of us social capital, some of us happy partnerships and families, and some of us all of the above and more. We should, of course, feel grateful for what we have, and hopefully we do. But on the other hand, the unequal distribution of privilege often makes us and other people uncomfortable, resentful, or worse. The Covid-19 era has intensified many of these disparities and social media has made it ever easier to put our good fortune on display or experience the pain of watching others succeed where we have not. In this class, we’ll explore some Torah-guided approaches to thinking about and navigating enduring inequality sanely and sensitively.

Dena Weiss is Rosh Beit Midrash and Senior Faculty at Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash and Hasidut. Dena earned a BA in Religious Studies from New York University and an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Mima’amakim journal of Jewish religious art.


Sunday Series 2

1/16 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Autonomy, Community, and Everything in Between: Halakhic Sources on Aiding Others in Transgression (“Lifnei Iver”)
Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg

What is my responsibility to avoid participating in other people’s misdeeds? May I sell cigarettes to an addicted smoker? What, if any, culpability do I have for purchasing products made with unethical business practices? And how are these questions affected by our attitudes towards autonomy and community? In this class, we will trace the history of the halakhic concept “lifnei iver,” which deals with if, when, and how a person is allowed to participate in someone else’s violation. Beginning with the Bible and continuing into the 21st century, we will trace a wide range of differing legal views and seek to understand they line up with our own values and concerns.

Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg is faculty at Hadar. He received rabbinic ordination both from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and from his teacher, Rav Elisha Ancselovits. He also holds a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Micha’el has served as associate professor of rabbinics at Hebrew College, and as the rabbi of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center in Washington Heights. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2018), and with Rabbi Ethan Tucker, he is the co-author of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (Ktav, 2017).


Sunday Series 3

1/23 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Speaking Up: The Audacity of Prayer
Rabbi Aviva Richman

How do we cultivate the ability to speak up when the moment demands? What leads to positive and constructive outcomes from speaking up? We’ll take a close look at the biblical character Chana, who is known as being the model for our “silent amidah,” but actually is an incredible model for the power of speaking up. Through Talmud and Midrash, we’ll draw lessons for our own interpersonal practice and prayer and explore the relationship between the two.

Rabbi Aviva Richman is a Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars’ Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She completed a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.

Patron Only event, Thursday at 1/13 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
God in the Midst of Grief: Connecting to the Divine in Times of Loss
Rabbi Tali Adler

Experiences of tragedy have one thing in common: They force us to grapple with questions of loss, grief, and how to live in a world that contains so much of both. How do we live with God in the midst of grief? What does it look like to exit active grieving without surrendering our sense of loss?

Rabbi Tali Adler, a musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat, received her undergraduate degree from Stern College, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, during her time at Yeshivat Maharat, Tali served as the clergy intern at Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim and Harvard Hillel. Tali has studied in a number of Jewish institutions, including Drisha and Midreshet Harova.

Patron Only event, Thursday 1/20 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Can We Separate (Torah) Artists From Their Art?
Rabbi Ethan Tucker

What do we do when a person with extraordinary gifts and talents lacks virtue and good character? Can we excuse personal foibles in order to access a person’s great wisdom or effective leadership skills? What ought to be our considerations and standards in this regard?

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. He is the author, along with Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017). Ethan serves as a trustee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Closing Session, Sunday January 30th at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Finding God in Nature and Torah: Exploring Psalm 19
Rabbi Shai Held

Do we find God in the beauty and majesty of the natural world or in the power and delight of Torah? Do we discover a different kind of God in each place? What is the book of Psalms’ attitude towards nature worship? In this session, we’ll do an extremely close literary and theological reading of Psalm 19 (“The heavens declare the glory of God”), part of Pesukei DeZimra for Shabbat and Yom Tov, and ask how it works with and subverts ideas about God from the ancient Near East.

Rabbi Shai Held–theologian, scholar, and educator–is President and Dean at Hadar. He has taught both theology and Halakhah at the Jewish Theological Seminary and also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Rabbi Held has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held’s first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.