JCVT Limmud Vermont – A Day Of Jewish Learning
December 3 @ 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Join us for an enriching day of Jewish learning, a comprehensive and engaging program designed to deepen our understanding of Jewish culture, history, traditions, and spirituality. This is a program sponsored by JCVT through the Covenant Foundation Signature Grant and Limmud North America.
This event is open to all – people of any religious background or experience. The program is free, though we are asking for a donation to cover the cost of lunch and to help offset other costs.
This event takes place at the end of OZ’s and Hillel’s Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation Weekend December 1-3.
Limmud Vermont Schedule – Sunday December 3
Lunch & Keynote: 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM
- Noon – 12:30 pm: Lunch prepared by Valerie Philmus at noon
- 12:30 – 1:00 pm: Keynote by Rabbi Rachael Isaacs
- Keynote: Strategies for Success in Small Town Jewish Life. Rabbi Rachel Isaacs has committed her rabbinate to supporting and serving small town Jewish communities. In her keynote address, she will reflect on her experience, and what makes small town and rural Jewish life distinct, and the strategies honed at the Center for Small Town Jewish Life to help small town communities nationally.
Keynote Summary: Strategies for Success in Small Jewish Communities: “We live in a moment of extreme polarization, defined by political litmus tests, secular banishing, and abundant brokenness. How do we come back together as a community and as a nation? We will look back to the sources in the Jewish tradition — from Biblical narrative to contemporary Israeli poetry — that focus on facilitating healing and reconciliation, mending effectively what has been rent, and defining the reasonable limits of reconciliation in cases of betrayal, injustice, and abuse. This session will include song, explorations of religious and secular texts, and open discussion. Folks of all faiths and backgrounds are encouraged to come, learn, and contribute.” –Rabbi Rachel M. Isaacs of Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville, Maine. Rabbi Isaacs was named one of “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis,” by The Forward in 2014, and was invited to offer the final Hanukkah benediction of the Obama administration in 2016. She is a faculty member of Jewish Studies at Colby College and Director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life. She also is a Covenant Grant Recipient and Pomegranate Award winner.
Session One: 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM
- Option 1: Yoga led by Peggy Price, RYT-200, and creator of Yoga Body, Jewish Mind.
- Option 2: Rabbi Jan Salzman and Rabbi David Edleson discuss “Revenge”: With all the oppression that Jews have endured over the millennia, there is a curious lack of revolts? After Bar Kochba, very few. Yet we all feel the impulse for revenge. What are the methods by which Jews have experienced the impulse for revenge yet also dismantled carrying it out? By taking a look at tanach and liturgical cycles, we will explore these issues.
- Option 3: Rabbi Rachael Isaacs will discuss “Reconciliation in the Jewish Tradition”: We live in a moment of extreme polarization, defined by political litmus tests, secular banishing, and abundant brokenness. How do we come back together as a community and as a nation? We will look back to the sources in the Jewish tradition — from Biblical narrative to contemporary Israeli poetry — that focus on facilitating healing and reconciliation, mending effectively what has been rent, and defining the reasonable limits of reconciliation in cases of betrayal, injustice, and abuse. This session will include song, explorations of religious and secular texts, and open discussion. Folks of all faiths and backgrounds are encouraged to come, learn, and contribute.
- Option 4: Rabbi Eliyahu Junik will discuss “A History of Burlington you never knew about!” Join us as we delve into the history of Burlington’s illustrious rabbis from the last century. We will explore the lives and responsa of the great local scholars: Rabbi Rosenberg (first Rabbi of Burlington, Rabbi Zacks (shochet), Rabbi Yehoshua Klevan (Rabbi of Ohavei Tzedek from 1925 to 1936), and Rabbi Yakov Meskin, (Rabbi of Chayai Adam from 1924 to 1931).We will also explore fascinating newspaper clippings that shed light on why Burlington (finally) decided to hire a Rabbi, political activism and more.
Session Two: 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM
- Option 1: “Relational Jewish Communities” by Rabbi Madeline Cooper of the Jewish Federations of North America
- Option 2: A presentation on the “Shaliach Tzibur” program by Daniel Heinrich, Director of the Center of Small Town Jewish Life at Colby College. The 6-month program educates and empowers lay congregants to lead Shabbat services, Havdalah ceremonies, and shiva minyans in their home communities. The program will be open to anyone in Vermont starting in January 2024. See this website for more information.
About Daniel: Originally from Royal Oak, Michigan, Daniel Heinrich (he/his/him) now lives in central Maine with his wife and their two cats. After graduating from Brandeis’ Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership and the Heller School of Public Policy (MA/MBA) and serving two years as the Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Daniel has joined the Center for Small Town Jewish Life as its first Deputy Director. With a background as a professional chef, a history of Jewish communal service in Maine, and experience in fundraising and program development for national programs with Hazon (now Adamah), he has had a passion for building sustainable and vibrant Jewish communities for over a decade. When he’s not working you can find Daniel covered in flour baking in the kitchen, tangled in yarn while knitting, or outside hiking, camping, or golfing.
- Option 3: Discussion of Israel / Palestine by Professor Denis Charbit from the Political Science Department at The Open University of Israel and guest Professor at UVM.
Closing Circle: 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
- Led by Rabbi Aaron Philmus and Rabbi Rachael Isaacs – Reflection and Song
- Lunch is $15 per person. The rest of the program is free with an optional donation appreciated.
About Our Sponsors:
- Jewish Communities of Vermont – Led by Rabbi Tobie Weisman, Jewish Communities of Vermont develops connections to promote pluralistic, inclusive, and welcoming Jewish life. The purpose of JCVT is to share, celebrate, and support Jewish life, in all its forms in Vermont
- Limmud North America – Through local, national and international programs, in-person and virtual, Limmud connect the dots in Jewish living, elevating curiosity and embracing ongoing commitment to Jewish learning.
- Ohavi Zedek – A vibrant, egalitarian and inclusive congregation committed to embracing tradition while actively participating in the changing Jewish world. OhaviZedek.org.