Right now, no matter where you live or work, you can enjoy Torah study during your lunch break. The environment is informal, the content is approachable and the people are welcoming. Bring your curiosity and ask questions or simply listen. You’ll be glad you tried it. Downtown Lunch and Learn is a convenient opportunity for those who can’t take advantage of other daytime adult learning programs offered through Wise Center due to their work schedules. 

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020: Wise Temple Religious School Director Courtney Anthony presents “A Bintl Briv: A Bundle of Letters.” In this session the experiences of Jewish immigrants to the United States will be explored through their own words. By reading excerpts from letters written to the Daily Forward between 1906 and 1923, attendees will learn about the challenges people faced as they arrived in this country, adapted to their new lives, and became Jewish Americans.

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020: Rabbi Lewis Kamrass discusses “Jewish Peoplehood: When we began and how we evolve.” It is common knowledge that Abraham was the first Jew, but when did the Jewish people take shape? Our ideas and contours of defining ourselves as a people have evolved through the years, and even in our own lifetime. Join Rabbi Kamrass to study ideas of how the Jewish people took shape, how those boundaries change over time, and how those ever-evolving ideas impact our changing sense of Jewish identity in our own day.

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021: Rabbi Michael Danziger considers “What’s a Mishnah, Anyway? An Introduction to Rabbinic Thought.” The Rabbis of the early centuries of the Common Era play a tremendous role, to this day, in our Jewish lives.  Who were they, and how did they both change and preserve Judaism following the destruction of the Temple? Rabbi Danziger also takes a brief look at the Oral Law in writing, and the teachers who recorded it.

Thursday, Mar. 4, 2021: Rabbi Karen Thomashow examines “Unorthodox.” This Netflix hit mini-series is an incredibly fascinating portrayal of a young Orthodox woman from the Satmar Chasidic community in New York. It is multi-layered in its dealing with youth, religion, and gender, among other large topics of great interest. This session will take up a few moments from the main character’s life, and study them through the lens of our tradition. No prior knowledge of the show, or the book it is based on (“Unorthodox” by Deborah Feldman), is necessary.

Thursday, Apr. 8, 2021: Jonathan Falco, Wise Temple Rabbinic Intern presents “Got Kosher?” The story of Kashrut in America is one of adaptation and innovation, a merging of traditional practice with the American palate. Join us in discovering the intersection between the Jewish tradition and the world of American food, such as how products like Coca-Cola became kosher and the development of kosher certification in the age of the modern food industry.

Currently, all Downtown Lunch and Learn sessions are being offered as online events from 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM. 

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