Rabbi Matt’s cycle of Tuesday night learning resumes on Tuesday, January 21. On Tuesday nights from 8-9 p.m., explore a variety of topics within Judaism. Once a month Rabbi Matt will feature a specific aspect of social justice that will include studying the textual sources for that topic. The complete schedule is below and all classes are taught at Hillel, usually in the first floor library:
February 18 – No Class – Israel Soldier Stories at 7 p.m.
February 25 – Purim
March 4-18 – No Class
March 25 – Sickness and Death in the Jewish Tradition
April 1 – The Exodus and the Passover Story
April 8 – Know Your Passover Seder
April 15 – No Class
April 22 – Spring and Summer: Why June isn’t a Popular Wedding Month for Jews – Everything Between Passover and Tisha b’Av
April 29 – Social Justice – Our Planet and the Environment
What does Judaism have to say about sex? Where can we find stories of love in the Bible and the Talmud? Doctoral student Ruth Tsuria will be teaching a class titled “Love and Sex in the Jewish Tradition” every Friday afternoon before Shabbat services at Hillel, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., throughout spring semester 2014. The class is free for students and begins on Friday, January 17, 2014.
The course will begin focusing on the relationship between Adam and Eve, move into the family relationships of Avraham and Sarah and their descendants, and will explore concepts of the mikveh and stories of love in the Talmud. Each class will include open discussion of how Jewish values on love and sex differ from the culture around us. Attendance at each session is not required but you won’t want to miss a single class! Ruth has studied religion in Jerusalem and Copenhagen and is working on her doctorate in the Texas A&M Department of Communication, focusing on digital religion.
The pre-trip nerves had begun. I was thinking of all the unfamiliar people I would meet and places I would see. It was almost kind of frightening. But, the day was here and there was no turning back now; I was Israel-bound!
So for the next 40 hours, I would travel through Los Angeles and London before finally reaching my destination. It was an interesting and long 40 hours of traveling – especially when you’re with 30 new people you’ve just met.
Once we landed safe and sound in the Holy Land, we hopped on what would end up being our bus for the next 10 day and we went along for the ride. Exhausted, yet excited, we were all looking out the windows to see what we had been waiting to see for so long. Our first stop – the coast of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea, and boy, what a site was that! Unbelievable! I had only heard about the Mediterranean Sea in geography class, and had only learned about Tel Aviv in Sunday School class.
Over the next couple days I would experience so much. From riding camels to watching the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee; from pushing our way through the Shabbat-crazed shuk to hugging one another while standing at the Western Wall – it was all so amazing to say the least. Out of all the things we did, making new friendships and strengthening old ones was my favorite experience. I met some of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met, and became so much closer with the people I already knew.
Over the course of the 10 days we were all together, we became extremely close. If one person was having troubles of some kind, whether they weren’t feeling well or were having trouble hiking down the Snake Trail at Masada, we all had each others’ backs. It was incredible to see the love we had all created for each other over this short period of time. I was truly blessed to have been a part of such an outstanding group of kids, and I hope to keep in touch with the great people I met and become even closer with those I already knew. Until next time, Israel!
Our next Aggie Hillel Taglit-Birthright Israel trip will take place in May, right after finals and graduation. Registration begins on February 19 at freeisraeltrip.org. For more information, contact Veronica Beskin at email@example.com.
The Marilyn and Sigi Ziering Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) is an intensive experience in Jewish learning, culture and community offered to young adults, ages 18 to 26, at our summer camp in Southern California. It is a 26-day exploration of Judaism, community, and self within a safe, pluralistic environment. BCI brings together young Jews from all over the world to study with some of the most compelling and talented scholars and artists. Apply by the early bird deadline of March 12, 2014 and the cost is only $250 for domestic participants and BCI will reimburse your airfare! BCI 2014 will take place from June 17 to July 13. For more information and to apply please see the BCI website, http://bci.aju.edu/.
BCI assistant director Amanda Sissman will be at Hillel next Tuesday night to share more information about this incredible summer learning opportunity!
The conference is free and open to everyone.
The conference schedule is as follows:
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Concert of Sephardic Music performed by the Bibicos from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
Coffee and cake: 8:45-9:00 p.m.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Rabbi Peter Tarlow, Ph.D and Dr. Maria Ferrier: Welcome and Setting the Stage from 9-9:30 a.m.
Dr. Armando Alonso: The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Experience from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Dr. Hilaire Kallendorf: Losing the Self: Inquisitorial Scribal Mediation and the Paradox of Crypto-Jewish Autobiography from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Either at the Hillel Building or on your own. (Cost for Hillel lunch $10.00 per person)
Dolores Sloan: Writing Fiction About Crypto Jews: Identity, Appropriation and Agency from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Dr. Ethan Katz: North African Jews in Disguise During the Holocaust: How Far From Al-Andalus? from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Dr. Marie-Theresa Hernandez: Enigmas of Identity: Claiming Jewish Ancestry Five Centuries After the Inquisition from 3:00-4:00 p.m.
David ben Yosef: Sabbateanism and the Marrano Experience from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Closing at 5:30 p.m.
For more information or to register please visit: www.hispanicjews.com