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CHAI – Community Hebrew Adult Ed Institute

CHAI is back!!  CHAI is an adult education institute sponsored by ten reform and conservative congregations in Suffolk County. It runs for six consecutive weeks each fall following the High Holidays and offers local clergy-led courses and leading guest scholars at each session. This year, it will be held virtually via Zoom.  We welcome all in the community to participate.

Mondays on ZOOM.  October 19 – November 30,

7:30 pm – 8:15 pm Class sessions, 8:15 pm – 9:30 pm Guest lecturer

$36 for the entire six week semester of courses and lectures for each household

 

Rabbi Taught Classes and Genealogy

Rabbi Aaron Benson – All six sessions
“Manasseh ben Israel, the First Modern Rabbi.”
Learn how this child of Spanish conversos (Jews who hid their identity) grew to be one of the brilliant rabbis of the city of Amsterdam, sought to educate others who had not had access to their Jewish heritage, took an interest in the discoveries of the New World, ran a printing press, and was highly esteemed in the non-Jewish world as well, making friends with the likes of Rembrandt, Oliver Cromwell, and Queen Christina of Sweden.  Through study of his biography as well as a number of his own works, we will learn why he is the first modern rabbi.

Rabbi Howard Buechler- All six sessions
“Plagues & Pandemics in Jewish History”
From the Ten Plagues to the Coronavirus, how plagues and pandemics have impacted upon Jewish history, culture and religious practices.  The social and cultural consequences of plagues has often transformed our world and our Jewish world.  A most powerful inquiry and exploration of how plagues have been (and continue to be) most consequential throughout Jewish history!

Rabbi Ian Silverman – 10/19, 10/26 & 11/2
“Multiplicities of Understanding of “Messiah: Anointed One”
Study the spectrum of understandings of Messiah (anointed one), and the tensions that underlie it between the “expansionist” view versus the “circumscribed” one, using the sources in our Tanach.  What were the forces that maximized or minimized its role, which influences our notions of “messiah” in Jewish thought?

Rabbi Jonathan Waxman – All six sessions
“Lesser Known Dates in Jewish History”:
1. 1096 The First Crusades and the Jewish Communities of Germany
2. 1290 The expulsion of Jews from England
3. 1391 The Beginning of the End for Spanish Jewry
4. 1565 The publication of the Shulchan Aruch
5. 1675 The Dedication of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam
6. 1777 The first Cherem (Ban) on Hassidism issued by the Vilna Gaon

Rabbi Susie Moskowitz-11/2, 11/16 and 11/30
Removing the Schmutz from Your Soul 
Understand the Practice of Mussar – through a study of the background and basic principles and then apply them to your everyday life.

Rabbi Moskowitz studied extensively with Alan Morinis who is credited with bringing Mussar to today’s Jews.

Nolan Altman – All six sessions
Jewish Genealogy: How to Research and Document Your Family History—A Tale of Two Families
The vast majority of our Jewish ancestors came to the United States during one of two great migrations; German Jews during 1820-1880 and a larger migration of Eastern European Jews between 1880 and the early 1920’s. Our goal is to rediscover our ancestor’s history from the time they came to the United States as well as trying to go back to the “old country”. Discussion of resources available to assist in trying to find information on family members that did not come to America and may have been lost during the Holocaust.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! JEWISH GENEALOGY
A SPECIAL SIX WEEK COURSE STARTING 10/19 7:30 – 8:15

Guest Lecturers

Rabbi Benjamin Blech- “Michelangelo and the Jewish Secrets of the Sistine Chapel”
“The Sistine Secrets,” claims that Michelangelo was fascinated and influenced so greatly by Kabbalah and Midrash, that he incorporated many Jewish ideas, often heretical to the church of his day, into his frescoes. Ninety-five percent of the painting depicts scenes from the Old Testament. – Oct 19
Rabbi Benjamin Blech is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author, and lecturer.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz-“Jewish Resilience through Chocolate: Learn how chocolate nurtured Jews facing upheaval in earlier generations” – Oct 26
R. Prinz co-curated “On the Chocolate Trail”, an exhibit at the Bernard Museum of Temple Emanu-el, NYC, which now travels around the world. R. Prinz has held leadership positions in the Reform movement including the mentoring program at Hebrew Union College.

Professor Joseph Luzzi – “Five Jewish Writers Who Changed the World.” – Nov 2 Explore the riches of the Jewish literary tradition, worldwide, as Prof. Luzzi discusses authors Anne Frank, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, Primo Levi and Philip Roth. These fascinating authors help us understand some of the most pressing concerns today, including the nature of religious faith, questions of personal identity, even the quest for the “American Dream.” Participants will be encouraged to develop their own list of “essential reading,” as Professor Luzzi helps them acquire the skills necessary for enriching their encounters with books of all kinds in our ever-changing global society.

Steve Pressman – “Holy Silence” Documents the Vatican’s Role in the Holocaust. Nov 16 Could the Catholic Church have done more to save Jews during the Holocaust? The documentary reveals actions and inactions leading up to and during World War ll. This documentary not only addresses the silence of Pius Xll (Pope from March 1939-1958) but also discusses his predecessor, Pius Xl, who was on the verge of issuing a Papal encyclical that would have denounced Hitler and antisemitism.

Marisa Scheinfeld – The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland. Nov 23
Today the Borscht Belt is recalled through the nostalgic lens of summer swims, Saturday night dances, and comedy performances. But its current state, like that of many other formerly glorious regions, is nothing like its earlier status. Forgotten about and exhausted, much of its structural environment has been left to decay. This illustrated lecture features Marisa Scheinfeld’s photographs of abandoned sites where resorts, hotels and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

Nov 30 – TO BE ANNOUNCED


$36 for the entire 6 week semester of courses and lectures for each household

Each class session will have a separate ZOOM link. You must indicate your preferences when you
register. You may change your classroom but will need to contact DHJC office 631-499-6644 for the
ZOOM link

To register, go to Dix Hills Jewish Center website.