Oct
28
Thu
American Jews and Racial Justice: Where We Are Now and How We Got Here
Oct 28 @ 7:15 pm – 8:45 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 pm, 10 Sessions
Location: Zoom
Cost: $180; some financial aid available
Register: https://tinyurl.com/ja4h8pk2

Part One: Finding our place: Jews in the Struggle for Racial Equity
with Tema Smith – 6 Sessions: 9/30, 10/28, 11/18, 12/9, 1/13, 2/10

With a renewed awakening about the pervasiveness of systemic racism in our society, questions about where the Jewish community fits in are appearing more and more. How does the social construction of race impact the Jewish community? Are white-presenting Jews considered white? How does the Jewish community show up for Jews of Color? And where does antisemitism fit into this spectrum of oppression? In this course, we will dive into some of these hot-button topics and emerge with a deeper understanding of each of our places in the fight for justice.

Part Two: American Jews and Race: A Historical Perspective
with Dr. Marc Dollinger – 4 Sessions: 3/17, 4/7, 5/5, 6/2

Learn about the most important historical moments for American Jews and questions of race. Explore how white-presenting Jews have, and have not, been considered privileged in U.S. history. Dive deep into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, learning new insights into both southern Jews and northern Jewish participation in racial justice causes. Learn about the apparent break-up of the Black/Jewish alliance in the mid-1960s with a close reading of the Black Power movement and its inspiration for American Jewish public identity. Finally, examine actual historical documents going back 360 years revealing the interconnection between Jews, race, and racism, that show us how “becoming American” often meant participation in racist systems.

If you encounter any difficulties with registration, please contact Cindy Bernstein at cbernstein@hebrewcollege.edu or 617-559-8709.

There will not be much homework for this series.

Nov
3
Wed
The Diverse Cultures of Contemporary Israel: Exploring A Multiplicity of Identities Through Story And Film
Nov 3 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00pm
Dates: October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8, 15, 22 (Make-up: January 5th)
Location: Zoom
Cost: $325, generous financial aid is available
Register here. Open to all learners.

For a variety of reasons most American Jews have learned more about the history of modern Israel, but less about the full complexity of cultures that make up contemporary Israeli society.  This course will help participants grasp how that history actually gets lived out in the day-to-day life of a sprawling, vibrant, deeply multicultural, and multi-religious society.

Drawing on both popular and more elite media, such as film, short stories, television programs, and popular song videos (all in translation), and also taking advantage of helpful scholarly literature, this course will explore many facets of the contemporary cultural experience in Israel.

A great number of very different identities thrive in contemporary Israeli society. This ten-week course will focus on these identities, their histories and politics, and the relationships between them.

Some of the identities and topics we will be exploring include:

  • Religious and secular Jews
  • Different Kinds of Jewish culture (Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, Russian, Ethiopian, etc.)
  • Israeli Arab Identities (Muslim, Christian, Druze, etc.)
  • Palestinian intellectual and cultural perspectives on Palestinian identity
  • How Changing Conceptions of Gender Affect Identity, and
  • the multiplicity of LGBTQ identities in Israel

We will also be looking at popular culture and, in particular, at the growth of satire and humor as responses to and critiques of Israeli society.

Students will be asked to watch a few films at home, prior to class.  This may require access to free and paid streaming services.

For information about financial aid, please contact Marilyn Stern at meah@hebrewcollege.edu. If you would like assistance with registration, email Anna Katsevman at akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu

Nov
7
Sun
Community Gathering
Nov 7 @ 9:30 am – 12:15 pm

Join Kahal B’raira for a Community Gathering, featuring a service, time to schmooze, and and a talk by Christina Crowder:

The Kiselgof-Makovetsky Digital Manuscript Project connects international klezmer musicians today with klezmer musicians from more than 100 years ago. The collection contains approximately 1,400 melodies, from simple dance tunes to elaborate, classically-informed show pieces. Christina Crowder, a celebrated accordion player and ethnomusicologist will describe the project’s history and perform highlights of the project’s musical pieces.

9:30 – Schmooze/BYO coffee/Mifgash, outside if weather permits
10:00 – Announcements
10:10 – Candle Lighting and Service
-short break-
11:00 – Program by Christina Crowder
12:00 – Optional: Stay For an Extra 15 Min of Q&A
12:15 – End

The announcements and service, and program will be livestreamed to our Facebook page from about 10:00am-noon. Anyone can watch the livestream, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. We’ll be experimenting with different livestream setups for the first few gatherings, so your patience and feedback is appreciated! Questions? Interested in hosting a Zoom schmooze for remote viewers? Please email Lidia at L.Pruente@kahalbraira.org.

Sunday School
Nov 7 @ 9:30 am – 12:15 pm

Our Sunday school curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, ethics, history, and culture. We welcome students and families from all backgrounds, including LGBTQ+, interfaith, and intercultural families. Visitors are welcome! For more info, please email Sophia Brion-Meisels, our school director, at eddirector@kahalbraira.org.

9:30-9:45 – Mifgash (outside in the backyard, weather permitting)
9:45-noon – Class time

Nov
10
Wed
The Diverse Cultures of Contemporary Israel: Exploring A Multiplicity of Identities Through Story And Film
Nov 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00pm
Dates: October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8, 15, 22 (Make-up: January 5th)
Location: Zoom
Cost: $325, generous financial aid is available
Register here. Open to all learners.

For a variety of reasons most American Jews have learned more about the history of modern Israel, but less about the full complexity of cultures that make up contemporary Israeli society.  This course will help participants grasp how that history actually gets lived out in the day-to-day life of a sprawling, vibrant, deeply multicultural, and multi-religious society.

Drawing on both popular and more elite media, such as film, short stories, television programs, and popular song videos (all in translation), and also taking advantage of helpful scholarly literature, this course will explore many facets of the contemporary cultural experience in Israel.

A great number of very different identities thrive in contemporary Israeli society. This ten-week course will focus on these identities, their histories and politics, and the relationships between them.

Some of the identities and topics we will be exploring include:

  • Religious and secular Jews
  • Different Kinds of Jewish culture (Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, Russian, Ethiopian, etc.)
  • Israeli Arab Identities (Muslim, Christian, Druze, etc.)
  • Palestinian intellectual and cultural perspectives on Palestinian identity
  • How Changing Conceptions of Gender Affect Identity, and
  • the multiplicity of LGBTQ identities in Israel

We will also be looking at popular culture and, in particular, at the growth of satire and humor as responses to and critiques of Israeli society.

Students will be asked to watch a few films at home, prior to class.  This may require access to free and paid streaming services.

For information about financial aid, please contact Marilyn Stern at meah@hebrewcollege.edu. If you would like assistance with registration, email Anna Katsevman at akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu

Nov
15
Mon
Anti-Racism Book Group (members only)
Nov 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

KB members are invited to join our book group where we will learn together through reading, self-reflection, and discussion. We will read both non-fiction and fiction (current and historical fiction) and will also share online resources with each other that will support our learning and current experiences. This is a peer-supported group and not led by an expert on the subject. We are on a learning journey and hope you will join us.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the group will meet twice per month. You’re welcome to attend one or both of these meetings.

For the Zoom link, please email Melinda Rothstein, or Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org

Tentative Schedule

September 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part One (Introduction & 1619-1659 & Poem); page xiii – p 35
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (fiction)
October 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Two (1659-1699 & Poem); pages 40-69
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (non-fiction)
November
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Three (1699-1739 & Poem); pages 73-108
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee (memoir, non-fiction)
December
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Four (1739-1779 & Poem); pages 111-145
  • The Vanishing Half (fiction)
January
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Five (1779-1819 & Poem); pages 149-184
  • Minor Feelings (memoir)
February
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Six (1819-1859 & Poem); pages 187-221
  • The Night Watchman (fiction)
March
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Seven (1859-1864 & Poem); pages 225-263
  • The Cooking Gene (memoir, non-fiction)
April
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Eight (1899-1939 & Poem); pages 267-304
  • Interior Chinatown (fiction)
May
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Nine (1939-1979 & Poem); pages 307-347
  • TBA
June
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Ten (1979-2019 & Poem & Conclusion); pages 351-392
  • TBA
Nov
16
Tue
Executive Committee Meeting
Nov 16 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The Executive Committee is Kahal B’raira’s leadership and coordinating body. It includes the president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, members-at-large, Sunday school chair and representative to the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Meetings are open to all KB members. For the Zoom link, please email Lidia at l.pruente@kahalbraira.org.

Nov
17
Wed
The Diverse Cultures of Contemporary Israel: Exploring A Multiplicity of Identities Through Story And Film
Nov 17 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00pm
Dates: October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8, 15, 22 (Make-up: January 5th)
Location: Zoom
Cost: $325, generous financial aid is available
Register here. Open to all learners.

For a variety of reasons most American Jews have learned more about the history of modern Israel, but less about the full complexity of cultures that make up contemporary Israeli society.  This course will help participants grasp how that history actually gets lived out in the day-to-day life of a sprawling, vibrant, deeply multicultural, and multi-religious society.

Drawing on both popular and more elite media, such as film, short stories, television programs, and popular song videos (all in translation), and also taking advantage of helpful scholarly literature, this course will explore many facets of the contemporary cultural experience in Israel.

A great number of very different identities thrive in contemporary Israeli society. This ten-week course will focus on these identities, their histories and politics, and the relationships between them.

Some of the identities and topics we will be exploring include:

  • Religious and secular Jews
  • Different Kinds of Jewish culture (Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, Russian, Ethiopian, etc.)
  • Israeli Arab Identities (Muslim, Christian, Druze, etc.)
  • Palestinian intellectual and cultural perspectives on Palestinian identity
  • How Changing Conceptions of Gender Affect Identity, and
  • the multiplicity of LGBTQ identities in Israel

We will also be looking at popular culture and, in particular, at the growth of satire and humor as responses to and critiques of Israeli society.

Students will be asked to watch a few films at home, prior to class.  This may require access to free and paid streaming services.

For information about financial aid, please contact Marilyn Stern at meah@hebrewcollege.edu. If you would like assistance with registration, email Anna Katsevman at akatsevman@hebrewcollege.edu

Nov
18
Thu
Anti-Racism Book Group (members only)
Nov 18 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

KB members are invited to join our book group where we will learn together through reading, self-reflection, and discussion. We will read both non-fiction and fiction (current and historical fiction) and will also share online resources with each other that will support our learning and current experiences. This is a peer-supported group and not led by an expert on the subject. We are on a learning journey and hope you will join us.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the group will meet twice per month. You’re welcome to attend one or both of these meetings.

For the Zoom link, please email Melinda Rothstein, or Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org

Tentative Schedule

September 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part One (Introduction & 1619-1659 & Poem); page xiii – p 35
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (fiction)
October 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Two (1659-1699 & Poem); pages 40-69
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (non-fiction)
November
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Three (1699-1739 & Poem); pages 73-108
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee (memoir, non-fiction)
December
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Four (1739-1779 & Poem); pages 111-145
  • The Vanishing Half (fiction)
January
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Five (1779-1819 & Poem); pages 149-184
  • Minor Feelings (memoir)
February
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Six (1819-1859 & Poem); pages 187-221
  • The Night Watchman (fiction)
March
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Seven (1859-1864 & Poem); pages 225-263
  • The Cooking Gene (memoir, non-fiction)
April
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Eight (1899-1939 & Poem); pages 267-304
  • Interior Chinatown (fiction)
May
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Nine (1939-1979 & Poem); pages 307-347
  • TBA
June
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Ten (1979-2019 & Poem & Conclusion); pages 351-392
  • TBA
American Jews and Racial Justice: Where We Are Now and How We Got Here
Nov 18 @ 7:15 pm – 8:45 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 pm, 10 Sessions
Location: Zoom
Cost: $180; some financial aid available
Register: https://tinyurl.com/ja4h8pk2

Part One: Finding our place: Jews in the Struggle for Racial Equity
with Tema Smith – 6 Sessions: 9/30, 10/28, 11/18, 12/9, 1/13, 2/10

With a renewed awakening about the pervasiveness of systemic racism in our society, questions about where the Jewish community fits in are appearing more and more. How does the social construction of race impact the Jewish community? Are white-presenting Jews considered white? How does the Jewish community show up for Jews of Color? And where does antisemitism fit into this spectrum of oppression? In this course, we will dive into some of these hot-button topics and emerge with a deeper understanding of each of our places in the fight for justice.

Part Two: American Jews and Race: A Historical Perspective
with Dr. Marc Dollinger – 4 Sessions: 3/17, 4/7, 5/5, 6/2

Learn about the most important historical moments for American Jews and questions of race. Explore how white-presenting Jews have, and have not, been considered privileged in U.S. history. Dive deep into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, learning new insights into both southern Jews and northern Jewish participation in racial justice causes. Learn about the apparent break-up of the Black/Jewish alliance in the mid-1960s with a close reading of the Black Power movement and its inspiration for American Jewish public identity. Finally, examine actual historical documents going back 360 years revealing the interconnection between Jews, race, and racism, that show us how “becoming American” often meant participation in racist systems.

If you encounter any difficulties with registration, please contact Cindy Bernstein at cbernstein@hebrewcollege.edu or 617-559-8709.

There will not be much homework for this series.