Drop your kids off at religious school, then come over to BJBE, grab some coffee and a bagel at the Beit Cafe, and sit down with congregants of all ages to learn something new about Judaism.
“We Shall Bear Witness”: Holocaust Survivor Stories, In Their Own Words
Sundays: November 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2014
As Jews worldwide commemorate the tragic anniversary of Krystallnacht this November, we will have the honor to hear first-hand three stories of tragedy, survival, and renewal.
- Nov. 2 – Aaron Elster lived in the Sokolow (Poland) Ghetto with his two sisters, mother and father until the liquidation of the ghetto in September, 1942. He escaped the liquidation and hid in the surrounding forests and farms. Eventually, Aaron found refuge in the attic of a Polish family, where he hid for two years until the war's end. An Executive Board Member of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Aaron is the author ofI Still See Her Haunting Eyes.
- Nov. 9 – Gertrude Pollitt narrowly escaped the Nazi regime in Austria and, after the war, relocated to Germany to help children whose lives had been shattered. Currently a practicing social worker and psychotherapist here in Deerfield, Dr. Pollitt is the author ofChildren of Separation and Loss.
- Nov. 16 - Magda Brown was taken from her home in Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on her 17th birthday, where she was separated from her mother and father. In 1945, she was miraculously able to escape during a death march to Buchenwald, and was found and liberated by two American Armed Forces.
- Nov. 23 – 11:30 a.m.– Guided Tour of the Illinois Holocaust Museumwith docent (and BJBE’s Immediate Past President) Terri Argentar. As part of the tour, we will see the special exhibition on “Race: Are We So Different?” The fee for the tour is $10/person. To reserve your spot, RSVP to Terri Argentar.
Sing a Song of Social Significance: Jewish Songwriters & American Popular Music
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Instructor: Rabbi Ken Kanter, Dean of the Rabbinical School, Hebrew Union College-Cincinnati campus (via interactive video connection)
Jewish lyricists and composers have made an indelible imprint on American popular culture, from the Oscar Hammerstein and the Gershwin brothers to modern-day Broadway composers like Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim, and Jason Robert Brown. Learn about how these composers drew on their Jewish heritage and values in writing music that has entertained, inspired, and educated America.
Worship of the Heart: Understanding the Words & Symbolism of the Prayer Service
Sundays: January 11, 18 & 25, 2015
Instructors: Rabbi Brian Stoller & Cantor Jennifer Frost
Rabbi Larry Hoffman, a past BJBE scholar-in-residence, has described the prayer book as the script of a spectacular spiritual drama that we enact every time we pray. And like any good script, it follows an artfully designed structure and uses words and symbolism to create a beautiful and inspiring experience. Rabbi Stoller and Cantor Frost will help us understand the nuances of the service, so that we can deepen our prayer experience.
Creative Writing & the Art of Prayer
Sundays: February 8 & 15, 2015
Instructors: Rabbi Karyn Kedar & Rabbi Brian Stoller
From the ancient sages who composed our traditional prayers, to the Spanish dreamers who penned romantic spiritual poetry, to the authors of creative liturgy in our own time, writing has been a primary means of giving expression to the soul’s longing for God. Exploring the connection between writing and the art of prayer through text study and experiential writing exercises, Rabbi Kedar and Rabbi Stoller will help us tap into the authentic prayer that resides deep within each of us.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
This brunch, which benefits The Jewish United Fund of Chicago, will feature a high-profile speaker on issues of concern to the Jewish community.
Dealing with Difficult People
Sundays: March 1, 8 & 22, 2015
Instructors: Rabbi Brian Stoller & Guest Experts
Every one of us has to deal with difficult personalities from time to time, whether it’s a boss or colleague whose communication style is vastly different from our own, a parent who doesn’t respect our space, a critical or unsupportive spouse, an in-law with whom we inevitably clash, or others with whom healthy relationships seem impossible. In this series, which is part of BJBE’s ongoing participation in the JCARES Safer Synagogues Initiative, our speakers will offer expert guidance and Jewish wisdom for dealing with the difficult people in our lives.
March 1 – How to Deal with Difficult People – Debbie Gross, LCSW
March 8 – Coping Strategies & Personal Care – Margot Andersen, MSW, RYT
March 22 – Spiritual Guidance from Jewish Tradition – Rabbi Brian Stoller
Parenting at Each Stage: Jewish Wisdom & Modern Strategies
Sundays: April 12, 19 & 26, 2015
Instructors: Rabbi Karyn Kedar, Rabbi Brian Stoller & Kelly Goldberg
Each stage of our children’s lives brings new challenges and opportunities, requiring us to adapt to changing circumstances and recalibrate our role as parents. We will explore some of the Jewish principles and practical strategies that can guide us in each stage of parenting, from the toddler years to adulthood. Because we are always learning as we go, each session will be led by a teacher who is currently parenting in that stage.
April 12 – Parenting Toddlers – Rabbi Brian Stoller
April 19 – Parenting Teens – Kelly Goldberg
April 26 – Being a Parent to Adult Children – Rabbi Karyn Kedar