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Summer Beit Midrash 2022

Past Sessions
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 27 Tammuz 5782 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM - In-Person
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 20 Tammuz 5782 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM - In-Person
Tuesday, July 12, 2022 13 Tammuz 5782 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM - In-Person
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 6 Tammuz 5782 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM - In-Person

Note: The July 26 session has been POSTPONED due to unforeseen circumstances. 

July 5

City of Refuge vs. City of Refugees 
with Lilli Shvartsmann and Lindsay Goldman, JTS Rabbinical Students 

In this session we will explore the purpose of the cities of refuge laid out in the Torah before moving on to some of the critical questions the rabbis raise in rabbinic literature about what these cities need to function to meet the needs of their residents. We will reflect if we and our communities are truly serving as cities of refuge for innocent Ukrainian refugees who are in desperate need of our help. 

Lindsay Goldman is beginning her fifth year of rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the fall. She earned her Bachelor's degree in General and Special Education from New York University. Lindsay spent two years at Maryland Hillel as the Jewish Experience Associate where she later served as the Slifka-Nadich Rabbinic Intern as a first year rabbinical student in 2018. Prior to studying at JTS, Lindsay spent two years teaching middle school students at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. She now serves in her third year as the Rabbinic Intern and Spiritual Life Advisor at The Bronfman Center at NYU and is so excited to be returning to the DMV area to build Jewish community with college students this summer. Lindsay loves country music, traveling the world, and reading new books with her feminist book club.

Lilli Shvartsmann, a Los Angeles native, has always found outlets to further her passion for Jewish education. A rising fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Lilli just completed three years working as a rabbinic intern at Hillel at Binghamton University, where she provided a community rabbinic presence, learning opportunities and pastoral care for students. In 2020, Lilli organized virtual learning festivals centered around the Jewish holidays, in which hundreds of students participated nationwide. Lilli is spending her summer in Washington, D.C. spearheading an organizing project that engages and builds a community of Jewish summer college interns. Previously, Lilli has spent her summers as a division leader for USY on Wheels and as a teacher at Camp Ramah, and in her spare time she prepares students to become B’nai Mitzvah. Lilli graduated with a degree in Child Development from California State University, Northridge, then spent one year serving in the Avodah Jewish Service Corps, and a subsequent year as a fellow at Hadar Institute before coming to JTS. When not teaching or learning, Lilli loves to spend her days baking cookies and challah, or searching for the best plate of pasta in NYC (and this summer, in DC).


Did Esau have ADHD? 
with Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz

Inspired by the writings of Dr. Ora Horn Prouser in her book, Esau’s Blessing, we will examine biblical characters and narratives through the lens of disability studies. In so doing, we aim to better understand these complex and multifaceted characters, and consider how the lessons we learn can help us build a more inclusive community. 


Choosing To Be Chosen—Talmudic Texts about Conversion 
with Rabbi Michael Safra

What should be the process of inviting a person to join the Jewish people? Are some people deemed more worthy than others? Do people who convert to Judaism occupy a lower status than individuals who were born to a Jewish mother? It turns out that many of the things we think we know about conversion are false. Our study of Talmudic texts will uncover ancient attitudes about outsiders and conversions. Our discussion will explore what has changed and what remains the same. Texts include Yevamot 24b, 47a; and Bava Metzia 58b.


Crisis as Opportunity
with Rabbi Cheryl Stone

These can be challenging times. How do we face challenges in our lives? What does our tradition teach us about how to cope when a crisis arises? 

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Wed, October 5 2022 10 Tishrei 5783