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“For Jews, education is not just what we know. It’s who we are.”
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Jewish learning isn’t about accumulating facts and figures; it’s not about mastering the content of Jewish wisdom. It’s about learning to live it. 

While Jewish intellectual thought is rich and deep, the purpose of immersing ourselves in it is to be transformed by it in the way we choose to live our lives, as Jews and as human beings. Towards that end, learning at Sha’ar challenges the mind and rouses the soul and is designed to lead towards active engagement with the world around us.

Sha’ar’s wide array of educational offerings engage with texts ancient and modern, with Jewish voices and those from different traditions, and invite robust and respectful discussion honoring the manifold views that enrich our communities.

Sha’ar Wednesday Night Limmud Programs 2020

7:00  - 8:30 PM EST

Faith Beyond the Pandemic

Exploring the Personal and Spiritual Consequences of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has raised complex and critical questions about life as we know it. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world dying suddenly brought our mortality into bold relief. Sheltering in place for months on end forced us to recalibrate our needs and priorities. A tiny, invisible virus that brought the entire world to its knees reignited the debate about God. What will life be like for us as individuals and as a society, as Jews and as human beings, beyond the pandemic? What choices are before us? Come together for some openhearted conversation about the questions this time has raised for you. Framed by deep learning and skillfully facilitated, these discussions will help us begin to understand how we have been, and how we ought to be, changed by this dramatic global event. 

Background Readings:

The Future of Jewish Communal Life, by Andres Spokoiny, Tablet Magazine

A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World., by Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine. 

  • Sept 23: Mortality: A Personal Unetane Tokef
  • Sept 30: Sukkot: Building the Fragile Scaffolding of our Lives
  • October 7: Ushpizin (gathering guests in the Sukkah): Should God be on the List?

All sessions will run from 7pm-8:30pm EST.

All will be online, and are free of charge and open to everyone. Donations are always appreciated.

Register here.

Justice Beit Midrash: To Learn and to Act

What is the nature of justice? How do we define what is just? Where do our notions of and commitments to justice derive from? What is the connection between justice as a value and justice as action? How do we prioritize our time and efforts regarding social justice work?

Every Wednesday evening Sha’ar will gather to explore texts and teachings -- ancient and modern, Jewish and general -- that will engage us in these questions and in the moral and ethical foundation for our activism. In the traditional style of a Beit Midrash (House of Study), we’ll combine wrestling with sources together with guided teachings focused on a range of societal issues: civic responsibility, race, immigration, healthcare, income inequality, climate, and more. Each unit will be capped by a visit with a leading activist or advocacy organization to build the bridge between learning and doing, and to catalyze the transformational impact of our study.

Series begins Wednesday October 14. 

All sessions will run from 7-8:30pm EST
Until otherwise noted, all sessions will be online, free of charge, and open to everyone.

Donations are always appreciated.

Register here.

Fri, October 23 2020 5 Cheshvan 5781