The journey to Jewish expression looks different to each of us, especially when we seek exciting and relevant pathways. This series kicks off at the end of Shavuot, when we celebrate receiving the Torah by engaging in sweet Jewish learning. This confection is full of opportunities to embark on a new, personal pathway to Jewish expression!
Introducing our RebBEEs-in-Residence: Choose your own adventure from this platter of offerings from Rabbis around the country!
Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael (he/him or they/them) serves as Keshet’s Director of Education and Training. Before Keshet, Micah served as the Coordinator of Community Chaplaincy with Jewish Family Services of St Louis, providing spiritual care for individuals throughout the St. Louis community. Micah has a BA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St Louis and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Micah enjoys cooking and baking, and lives in St. Louis with his wife Aviva, four children, and assorted pets.
Session 1: Bringing Our Whole Selves to...the Table
Wednesday, May 19th at 6PM PT/9PM ET
So much of the Jewish (and Jewish-adjacent) story can be told through foods. The things that we serve and eat can place us in the context of history, time, and place – or bring us together across difference. For many of us, they can also raise questions of authenticity. Together we will cook a (savory) Egyptian Jewish Shavuot treat, and explore the ways that food traditions of various Jewish communities have changed and evolved to reflect the experiences of cooks and foodies across time.
*Click to see ingredients list here
Session 2: Bringing Our Whole Selves to...the Timeline
Thursday, June 24 at 6PM PT/9PM ET
Every time that we teach, study, or read about history we are selecting whose stories get told, which stories are important, and whose lived experiences are reflected in the story of “us.” There are many moments in LGBTQ and Jewish history that are not commonly taught in mainstream history classes, and that reveal the ways in which LGBTQ Jews have always been a part of the Jewish story. Through an interactive game, we will learn about a small sampling of these moments, and think about what it means to expand the notion of whose stories get told.
Session 3: Bringing Our Whole Selves to...the Text
Wednesday, July 21 at 6PM PT/9PM ET
For many, Jewish thought is expressed through text and text study, while for others text study is used as a barrier between those who are “in the know” and those who are “not.” In this session, we will learn a short text about changemaking together, and explore the ways in which bringing our own lived experiences to the text can illuminate, transform, and bring new life to ancient texts.
Rabbi Mira Rivera (She/Siya/Ella) is the first Filipina-American woman to receive ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2015 with an M.A. in Jewish Studies. Born in Michigan to immigrant parents, she grew up in the Philippines under the care of her maternal grandmother. She has been dreaming of a space like Ammud for a long time, hoping to create pathways for JOCs to study and belong. In this same vein of work, she co-founded Harlem Havruta with Dr. Renee Hill, “a brave space for Jews of Color, allies, and co-conspirators”, and took part in the first cohort of the Jewish Women of Color (JWOC) Resilience Circle, led by DIMENSIONS Inc and the Selah Cohort 15 through Bend the Arc.
Session 1: Who are the "right" people?
Monday, May 24 at 5PM PT
Well, for instance, you want to be seen eating lunch/davening/studying with the right people!? So who are the right people? Well, those with “Yichus/יחוס.” While the word originated in Hebrew, it is generally used to signify genealogy, lineage, taking into account the accomplishments of forbearers and current descendants in scholarship and religious observance. Come and learn about the concern for Yichus in medieval Eastern Europe. What could taint a community’s yichus? How does Torah envision the role of ancestors in holy lineage? What might “spiritual yichus” look like today?
Session 2: The Centrality of Narrative and Storytelling in Living Jewishly
Monday, June 7 at 5PM PT
Foundational narratives like those found in Oral and Written Torah clarify the fundamental existence of our people around meaningful motifs, values, rights, and responsibilities. How has the impulse that led Jews to recount and to document events given future generations access to what could have been forgotten? Whenever and wherever civil behavior toward Jews have deteriorated into pogroms or expulsions, what ways do we have in Judaism for saving these events into blueprints for remembrance and trauma recovery?
Session 3: "For Us by Us" Spaces by Jews of Color
Monday, June 21 at 5PM PT
As the summer morphs into the month of Elul just before the High Holidays, I will go in and out of the revolving door of Heshbon Nefesh (the accounting of the soul). My fingers will knuckle down on the memory of unyielding bars on gates that have shut me out of Jewish treasures because of the color of my skin. And I cried out, “Open the gate for us!” Pinioned away behind gates, I was pilloried by baseless assumptions honed and polished to perfection, passed from generation to generation. Petach lanu shaar – open the gate for us. This I asked of fellow JOCs. And we have: by creating For Us By Us spaces. How have we done this? Come learn with us.
Hayom yifneh hashemesh yavo, the day is turning, the sun is returning
V’yifneh navoah shearecha, may we now come into your gate
Rabbi Lizz Goldstein (she/her) has been an educator and spiritual and community leader in Jewish communities of Northern Virginia since her ordination from the Academy of Jewish Religion in 2016. She is also an active member of IfNotNow DC, a T’ruah chavera, a former Global Justice Fellow with American Jewish World Service, and a proudly continuous supporter of NYC Shut It Down now from afar. She is committed to building Jewish communities grounded in justice, and her sessions with the Hive at Leichtag Commons will address intersections of Judaism and Social Justice. She enjoys ghost tours, reading in the sunshine, and watching movies at home with her husband and cat.
Session 1: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself: Judaism and Social Justice.
Thursday, May 27 at 4PM PT/7PM ET
In this one hour session, Rabbi Lizz will give a broad overview of her view of Jewish Social Justice, and provide some useful sources texts directly from our sacred writings to illustrate how Jews should act not only with inclusion and tolerance in mind but with full advocacy for equity and justice for all.
Session 2: Musings of a Would-Be Broadway Star Turned Social Justice Rabbi: Progressive Jewish themes and critiques of classic musicals,
Sunday, June 27 at 12PM PT/3PM ET
As a child, Rabbi Lizz truly envision a career on Broadway before being called to serve the Jewish people as a spiritual and communal leader. Over the years, she has gleaned much Torah from some of her favorite musicals, and would love to share some of those insights with you!
Session 3: Midrash: What is it, and Can we write our own?
Tuesday, July 27 at 4PM PT/7PM ET
Rabbi Lizz likes to flippantly describe Midrash as “Torah Fanfiction” but in reality, it is so much more! And spoiler alert, you can write your own – learn how in this session.