CURRENT ONLINE EVENTS

OCCSP: Orange County Community Scholar Program

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    • Topic: East European Art in the Land of Israel
      Date/Time Monday August 10, 2020 10:00-11:00AM (PDT)
      Speaker: Shalom Sabar

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      Prior to the First Zionist Aliyah (1881-1903), the small and poor Jewish population of Palestine lived according to the norms of any traditional Jewish society in the Diaspora. The most dominant groups were Sephardi Jews, who immigrated from various parts of the Ottoman Empire, and the Ashkenazim who arrived from Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe. Each group brought to the Holy Land its own traditions, customs, rituals, language, food, costumes, and visual culture. However, the interactions between the communities and the local population, as well as life in the vicinity of the holy sites and ancient monuments influenced and modified these traditions. In the lecture, we will examine how the rich visual culture of the East European shtetls was continued on the one hand in the old city of Jerusalem, and on the other underwent most curious changes and adaptations to the local norms, influenced not only by Sephardi culture but even Muslim. The results of these interactions are fascinating and some of their characteristics, such as avoiding figurative imagery, have shaped the approach of the local Ultra-Orthodox to the visual to this day.Shalom Sabar is Professor of Jewish Art and Folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sabar is the last Jewish baby born and circumcised in the ages old neo-Aramaic speaking Kurdish-Jewish community of Zakho.
       
      He earned his PhD in Art History from UCLA (1987), writing on the illustrated marriage contracts of the Jews in Renaissance and Baroque Italy. His research joins together the disciplines of art history and folklore, highlighting issues pertaining to the folk nature of Jewish art and Jewish material culture, visual materials and objects associated with rituals in the life and year cycles, and the evidence these materials provide about the relationships between the Jewish minorities and the societies that hosted them in Christian Europe and the Islamic East. Among his books are: Ketubbah: Jewish Marriage Contracts of the Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum (1990); Mazal Tov: Illuminated Jewish Marriage Contracts from the Israel Museum Collection (1994); Jerusalem – Stone and Spirit: 3000 Years of History and Art (with Dan Bahat; 1997); The Life Cycle [of the Jews in the Lands of Islam; 2006], and The Sarajevo Haggadah: History and Art (2018). Sabar served as editor of Rimonim (a Hebrew periodical of Jewish art), co-editor of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, Pe’amim, and a multi-volume series dedicated to the Jewish communities in the lands of Islam (both published by Ben Zvi institute). He serves as a visiting professor and lectures widely in universities, museums, and public institutions in Israel, Europe and the US. In addition, he guides travelling seminars to Jewish sites in Europe, North Africa, India, and Central Asia. One of Prof. Sabar’s hobbies has been collecting a wide range of Jewish ephemera, which serve him and his students as an invaluable resource for study, research and teaching.

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    • Topic: Part 3/3: Great Contemporary Israeli writers, to include Savyon Liebrecht, Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua
      Date/Time Tuesday August 11, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Wendy Zierler
    • Topic: “The Bible’s Strangest Book”
      Date/Time: 7:30 – 8:30 PM PDT Wednesday August 12, 2020
      Speaker: Rabbi Ed Feinstein, live from the Valley, CA

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      CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA). Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

      Tucked at the end of the Biblical prophets is the Bible’s strangest and most startling book, the Book of Jonah. Jonah is a meditation on human responsibility, the nature of justice, and the mission of the Jewish people in the world.  All in four short chapters. And starring a giant fish.
       
      Rabbi Ed Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He serves on the faculty of the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University, the Wexner Heritage Program, the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and lectures widely across the United States.  He is the author of several books, including: Tough Questions Jews Ask – A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life, (Jewish Lights, 2003), was chosen for the American Library Association’s Top Ten Books on Religion for Young Readers and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.  Jews and Judaism in the Twenty-First Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant (Jewish Lights, 2007) was also a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, Capturing the Moon (Behrman House, 2008) retells the best of classic and modern Jewish folktales. Most recently, Chutzpah Imperative! – Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life that Matters (Jewish Lights, 2014), offers a new way to “do Judaism,” Rabbi urges us to recover this message of Jewish self-empowerment, or chutzpah, to reshape the world. 
       
      Rabbi Feinstein was raised in the back of his parents’ bakery on the frontiers of the West San Fernando Valley. He graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Judaism, Columbia University Teachers College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained a rabbi in 1981. Most recently, he received his Doctorate in Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York for his dissertation: Rabbi Harold Schulweis and the Reinvention of the American Rabbinate.
       
      In 1982, Rabbi Feinstein became the founding director of the Solomon Schechter Academy of Dallas, Texas, building the school’s enrollment from 40 to over 500 in eight years, and winning national recognition as center of educational excellence. In 1990, he assumed the position of executive director of Camp Ramah in California, the largest Jewish camp and conference center in the western United States. He came to Valley Beth Shalom in 1993 at the invitation of the renowned Rabbi Harold Schulweis, and succeeded Rabbi Schulweis as the congregation’s senior rabbi in 2005. 
       
      Rabbi Feinstein is a member of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, a member of the school board of the Milken Community Schools and an active member of AIPAC. A survivor of two bouts of colon cancer, he speaks frequently to cancer support groups all over Southern California. Rabbi Feinstein lives in the epicenter of the San Fernando Valley with his wife Rabbi Nina Bieber Feinstein. Nina was the second woman ordained by the Conservative Movement. The Feinsteins are blessed with three grown children. 
       
      An engaging lecturer and storyteller, Rabbi Feinstein unites the ancient Jewish love of ideas with the warmth of Jewish humor.

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    • Using Works of Art to Grapple with the Story of German Jewry’s Encounter with the Modern World
      Date/Time: 12:30-1:30 PM PDT Wednesday August 12, 2020
      Speaker: Featuring Liz Diament, live from Silver Spring, MD

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      CSP Partners: Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA). Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY) & Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA)

      This lecture will focus on works of art by the artist Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882) who explores the German Jewish community’s dilemma in their struggle to maintain a Jewish identity while being challenged by assimilation and nationalism during the nineteenth century. As the first Jewish academically trained artist, and as an observant Jew, Oppenheim was in a unique position to observe and reflect on these challenges firsthand. Through an examination of Oppenheim’s genre scenes, portraits and religious stories we will uncover the complexity of Jewish life under Emancipation. Through careful observation, interpretation and discussion around works of art we will gain a fuller understanding of Jewish life in nineteenth century Germany.

      Liz Diament is a senior educator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC where she has managed and developed the docent education program for almost eighteen years. In addition, she manages the school tour and general public tour program. At the Gallery she is passionate about her work with teachers, helping them integrate art and critical thinking into the curriculum. A proud native of London, England, Liz graduated from Manchester University with an honors degree in Art History and a Masters’ Degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York. As a leader in the field of experiential museum education, Liz creates nationally acclaimed professional development workshops for teachers, both in person and on-line. She enjoys conducting interactive workshops exploring how Jewish texts, history and ideas can be interpreted and understood through the prism of works of art.

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    • Topic: Jewish Readings of Modern Movies and TV Part 2 of 4: James Bond: Shaken and Stirred
      Date/Time: Thursday August 13, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Rafi Zarum

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      Shaken and Stirred – A Jewish Reading of James BondDirector Sam Mendes’s 007 is more personal than all previous Bonds: we have an origin story, identity crises and a plethora of biblical imagery. From the real-life Jew who inspired Fleming’s Bond to the latest movie in the franchise, this presentation uncovers the disturbing Jewish themes of the spy of spies.

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    • Topic: The Dead Sea Scrolls: New Perspectives on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity Part 2 of 3: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism
      Date/Time: Sunday August 16, 2020 12:00-1:00PM (PDT)
      Speaker: LH Schiffman

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      The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of JudaismThe Dead Sea Scrolls have recast our view of Judaism in the Second Temple period. We will emphasize the ways in which the Scrolls teach us not only about a small sectarian group, identified by most scholars as the Essenes, but also about the wider constellation of groups and ideologies that existed before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. We will explain how this period contributed to the ongoing development of Jewish law and theology.

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    • Topic: Israeli Art under Quarantine
      Date/Time: Monday August 17, 2020 10:00-11:00AM (PDT)
      Speaker: Shirel Horovitz
    • Topic: Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library
      Date/Time: Tuesday August 18, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Josh Teplitsky
    • Topic: Jewish Readings of Modern Movies and TV Part 3 of 4: Transparent: What Makes Ritual Meaningful?
      Date/Time: Thursday August 20, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Rafi Zarum

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      Transparent – What Makes Ritual and Faith Meaningful?The award-winning Transparent comedy-drama from Amazon Studios revolves around a Los Angeles Jewish family following the discovery that the father is transgender. In the final season they visit Israel, with hilarious and shocking results. This thoughtful show addresses challenging modern issues such as fluid sexuality, religious faith, meaningful ritual, family loyalty, and even Israel’s security barrier. In this session we will analyze a number of key clips from the show’s four seasons in order to reflect on our own Jewish journeys and how we can make our faith more meaningful.

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    • Topic: The Dead Sea Scrolls: New Perspectives on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity Part 2 of 3: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament
      Date/Time: Sunday August 23, 2020 12:00-1:00 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: LH Schiffman

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      The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New TestamentIn the early days of Dead Sea Scrolls research all kinds of sensationalist statements were made about the connection of the Scrolls to the earliest Christians. We will explain how the Scrolls allow us to understand the variegated nature of the Judaism that served as the background for the rise of Christianity and the New Testament. We will see that the Scrolls clarify certain aspects of Christianity, despite the fact that they were all composed before the rise of the earliest Christian communities.

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    • Topic: Ishay Ribo: Music to One’s Ear and Heart
      Date/Time: Tuesday August 25, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Shalom Orzach
    • Topic: Land Art/Earthworks
      Date/Time: Wed August 26, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Tobi Kahn
    • Jewish Readings of Modern Movies and TV Part 4 of 4: Stranger Things – The Upside-down and the Sitra Achra
      Date/Time: Thursday August 27, 2020 12:30-1:30 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Rafi Zarum

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      Stranger Things – The Upside-down and the Sitra AchraWith copious references to 80s music, cinema and culture, Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ is a horror-genred nostalgia-fest that speaks to adults and teens alike. But its religious undertones are under-appreciated. Shadowy fiends, demonic possession and the Other Side (Sitra Achra) feature in the Talmud, Zohar and kabbalistic works. That’s a code red….

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    • Topic: Symphony No 1: JUDAICA (Days of Awe)
      Date/Time: Sunday August 30, 2020 12:00-1:00 PM (PDT)
      Speaker: Steve Rothstein

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