Celebrating Jewish Women

Beth El's "Celebrating Jewish Women" Series

This year, Congregation Beth El will be hosting various programs to celebrate, honor, and explore the lives, accomplishments, and diversity of Jewish women throughout history.  In addition to the events announced below, additional details and events will be announced during the year. 

Friday, November 9, at 8:00 pm: Rachel Korazim, Women’s Voices

Stay after Shabbat Ruach services for a talk by Rachel Korazim, a Jewish education consultant specializing in curriculum development for Israel and Holocaust education and one of the foremost teachers of modern Hebrew literature and poetry. Dr. Korazim will present and discuss poems of women expressing their nuanced connection to the land of Israel, offering their unique way of reading Torah, creating new individual poetic prayers and speaking out in the political arena. This thought-provoking talk will open a window onto Israeli society, inviting listeners to engage with the country and its history in new ways. Co-sponsored with Shalom Hartman Institute, with support by a grant from the Koret Foundation. 

Friday–Sunday, December 7–9:  Celebrating Jewish Women Film Fest

Congregation Beth El's Adult Education Series presents our Film Festival! This year's theme: Courageous Jewish Women

Movie Preview night: Friday, December 7, at 8:00 pm
"Making Trouble: Three Generations of Jewish Funny Women" will screen right after Shabbat services.

All-Day Film Festival: Sunday, December 9 
Two screens, movies all day! Each film will be followed by 20 -30 minute discussion. Lunch (12:00-1:00) will be provided for those who RSVP. Registration for Lunch required - $10 Donation. Click here to RSVP for lunch. Please register by December 3.

Room: Beit Midrash
10 AM-12 Noon:          A Woman Called Golda (Part 1)
1:00-3:00 PM              A Woman Called Golda (Part 2)
3:00-5:00 PM:             Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
Room: Library            
10 AM-12 Noon:           Forgiving Dr. Mengele
1:00-3:00 PM:             Denial
3:00-5:00 PM:             Woman in Gold

Saturday, February 2: Jewish Women's Voices in the Bible and Today: A Reflective Conversation with Rabbi Rebekah Stern and Cantor Elaya Jenkins-Adelberg

In the era of #metoo and #timesup, our community will come together for an evening of conversation about women's voices. Through text study and discussion, we will explore both biblical narratives and personal experiences of the silencing and amplifying of Jewish women's voices. We will share and listen to the personal stories of women in our community, including Rabbi Stern and Cantor Jenkins-Adelberg. Together we will make havdalah, the ritual separation between Shabbat and the new week, and set an intention to create a separation between the existing culture that diminishes women's voices and a more just and equitable future. People of all genders are encouraged to attend and participate.

Tuesday, March 12, 7:30-9:00 pm: Jewish Women Tell Their Stories—Part 2: Rachel Calof’s Story

Our second book club book is Rachel Calof’s Story by Rachel Bella Calof.  This memoir describes Calof’s life as an immigrant Jewish homesteader on the North Dakota plains at the turn of the 20th century. Her account of the hardships, dangers and harshness she endured is a riveting tale. 

Thursday, March 28, 7:30-9:30 pm : Knowledge is Power:  Understanding and Managing BRCA-Related Cancer Risk 

Beth El is partnering with the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania for an important discussion about the experience of living with BRCA mutations and hereditary cancers.  These mutations affect all populations but are found 10 times more frequently (1 in 40 people) among Ashkenazi Jewish men and women.  A panel of experts in the field will discuss genetic counseling and testing, preventative care and navigating through the challenging decision-making and medical management options faced by mutation carriers.  Our distinguished panel will also feature members of our own Beth El Community.

Sunday, May 5, 10:00 am–2:00 pm: A Tapestry of Jewish Women's Experience

Our community contains a rich diversity of different ancestry and traditions, including Sephardic, hidden Spanish-Jewish ancestry, Mizrachi, African-American, conversion, as well as Ashkenazi. Join our panel of Jewish women from Beth El and the community for an exploration of their experiences and sense of identity growing from their diverse backgrounds. Q & A follows the panel discussion. Each participating woman will lay out a display of family photos and memorabilia reflecting her Jewish experience on one of the tables. Each woman will be at her table to discuss her display as other Beth El members explore the displays. If you’d like to participate in this important communal activity or need further info, please email Judy Gussmann ASAP at teachergus@aol.com . Make sure to write Tapestry in the Subject Line. I look forward to hearing from you.