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Lunch and Learn

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for Fall 2022 Events.

Due to uncertain COVID conditions, our presentations over the course of the entire season will come to you via Zoom. Please check OZ’s Coming Events webpage at the beginning of the Lunch and Learn week for the appropriate link.

Past Events

March 24, 2022 – Vermont author Michael FreedThall

Michael introduces his first novel, Horodno Burning, a gripping tale that brings history to life. The story, which takes place in the Pale of Settlement in an era of ferocious pogroms and violent oppression, also challenges religious dogma and limited opportunities for women. Learn more about the writer and the book at michaelfriedthall.com and join us for this reading and discussion!


April 21, 2022 – Learn about the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom

Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is a group founded in 2010 with chapters across America that brings together Muslim and Jewish women, who share many practices and beliefs and can help put an end to anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment. In 2018, women from Ohavi Zedek Synagogue and the Islamic Society of Vermont established the first group in Vermont. OZ’s Vivien Brown and Nausheen Ozair from the Islamic Society will share information and stories about the Burlington based group. “Before the pandemic, we would meet regularly at members’ homes, discuss our faiths, our families, our lives, and many other topics and become friends,” Vivien says. “Since the pandemic we began meeting on Zoom.” Don’t miss this presentation!

February 17, 2022: Migrant Justice

Migrant Justice is a human rights organization founded and led by immigrant farm workers in Vermont, was an eye-opener to many of us. The well-presented, very moving presentation focused on their Milk with Dignity initiative. The program was recorded and can seen here. To get involved:
Sign-up to get involved as a volunteer for Migrant Justice
Milk with Dignity Action Toolkit

Our Not So New American Holiday June 17, 2021

June honors two important historical American holidays: Juneteenth and Loving Day.  Come learn what they are, why they are important and what they mean for us today at a Lunch & Learn on June 17 at 12pm.

Margaret K. Bass will help us learn and take our questions. She is the special assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at St. Michael’s College.

In March 2021 we learned about Bill Schubart’s German-Jewish background in his talk about being Catholic, Jewish and agnostic all at once. A teacher, entrepreneur, speaker and writer of renown throughout the state, Bill posed questions that haunt him about religion in general.

April 2021 brought Michael Colby to Vermont via Zoom as a follow-up to Cantor Steve’s series on Broadway musicals through the decades. Michael’s talk, well-thought out and beautifully presented, outlined what it takes to bring a musical to Broadway today. His overview of the process as it has evolved over the years and through the pandemic was truly eye-opening! Many thanks to Wayne Senville for helping Michael, a high school classmate, bring this program to us!

Both presentations have been recorded. Here are the links:

MAY 6, 2021     


With Rabbi Amy Small and OZ President Nat Lew

Even before the COVID pandemic, American Judaism had begun to change. The 20thcentury model of broadly supported community-based synagogues was facing challenges from new models, as well as striking demographic and cultural shifts. The pandemic, by putting almost all Jewish gatherings online, accelerated this transformation. Almost all traditional elements of synagogue organization, such as membership and dues, now demand reconsideration.

In this hour, Rabbi Amy and Nat will discuss these national changes and the ways that Ohavi Zedek must and will adapt in order to thrive in a transformed world.

MAY 20, 2021


With Cantor Steve Zeidenberg     

Cantor Steve is preparing a presentation based on the research of ethnomusicologist Henry Sapoznik, credited for rediscovering a rare 100-year old recording by Thomas LaRue, one of at least a dozen black cantors of that era.

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