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Scholarstream.    Beth Israel is a proud sponsor of ScholarStream, a series of courses from top scholars of the Conservative movement from its leading institutions to engage deeply with our texts and traditions.  All the sessions are free for Beth Israel members due to our financial sponsorship.

Following a successful launch of our ScholarStream program in 5781, we are excited to announce the full year of ScholarStream learning in 5782! Beginning in October and spanning all the way up to Shavuot, the Conservative Movement seminaries and institutions are partnering to offer eight series that will bring your community face-to-face with the brightest and most engaging scholars our movement has to offer. 

Scholarstream 5782 features three distinct arcs of learning that stand alone or flow into each other. Cultivating Our Relationships (series 1 & 2), Defining Our Sacred Spaces (series 3, 4, and 5), and Renewing Our Resilience (series 6, 7, and 8) will offer an exploration of who we are, where we are in relation to others, and how we move forward in this complicated world.

2021-2022 Series:

Series #1: Torah Relationships
Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

•10/6: Dr. Alan Cooper, “God, Abraham and Isaac: Who is the ‘Hero’ of the `Aqeda?” 

The story of the “binding of Isaac” (`aqeda) in Genesis 22 is a tale of problematic relationships, those among the characters as well as the reader’s relationship with a troubling and alienating story.  How can God issue such a shocking and callous command to Abraham, a faithful follower?  Why does Abraham comply without objection, in contrast to previous interactions with God?  And why does Isaac remain passive and apparently acquiescent with his life at stake?  Is there a hero in this story, in the sense of a character who is to be celebrated for his actions, and what are we supposed to learn from him?  We will take up those questions in the light of both traditional and modern Jewish commentary.

•10/13: Liza Bernstein, “Gendered Gaps: Remembering Sarah Where She is Most Erased” 

When we study the Akeidah, the binding of Isaac, we often focus on the dynamics between Abraham, Isaac, and God. We rarely ask: where was Sarah? In this class, we will use traditional sources and gender theory to open up questions of gender, community, and parenting. Through our questioning, we will remember Sarah's story and re-member Sarah, in all her complexities, as a full part of our tradition.

•10/20: Rabbi Bradley Artson, “Loving Peace, One Person at a Time” 

We often think of the pursuit of peace as a task for nations, communities, and public figures. And it is all that. But the work of peace is also private and individual. In the person of Aaron, first High Priest and brother to Moses, the ancient sages imagine what an integrated approach to making peace might look like.

•10/27: Rabbi Elliot Dorff, “The Dysfunctional Families of Genesis: What They -- and Later Jewish Law -- Tell Us About How *Not* to Treat Our Parents, Siblings, and Children” 

We have all read the stories of Genesis many times over and have interpreted them in sermons and lessons. The goal of this session is to examine them in the context of family ethics.  What bad practices do they exemplify, and what does Jewish law tell us about how to form better family relationships and avoid family violence?

Series #2: Ethics
Tuesdays, November 2, 9, 16, 23 at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT 

Series #3: The Roots of Conservative Judaism 
Tuesdays, December 7, 14, 21 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT 

Series #4: The Other Within - Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in a Pluralistic Movement
Wednesdays, January 19, 26 and February 2, 9 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Series #5: Halakha - The Process Moving Forward & the Forward-Moving Process 
Wednesdays, February 16, 23 and March 2, 9 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Series #6: The Power of the Prophets
Tuesdays, March 22, 29 and April 5, 12 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Series #7: Liturgy of Miracles - Hanukkah, Purim, and Yom Haatzmaut 
Tuesdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT

Series #8: Israel - Models of Resilience 
Wednesdays, May 11, 18, 25 and June 1 at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PM

Sun, November 28 2021 24 Kislev 5782