The invites local residents to contemplate topics large and small this fall.
“What is a Soul?,” “Kabbalah 101,” “How to Talk to Your Children About Death,” “The Music of Shabbat,” “Stop Existing, Start Living” and “Birth is God Saying ‘You Matter’” are just a portion of the workshops presented as a part of “Jewish Living and Learning,” a year-long schedule of workshops being hosted by the JCC. The workshops stem from a partnership between the community center and local synagogues called "J Connection," which offers social and educational programs throughout the year for young families.
“J Connection was founded two-and-a-half years ago as a new department of the JCC focused on creating Jewish programs and services," ” said Barak Hermann, JCC Executive Director.
The Jewish Living and Learning workshops, led by a wide group of local Jewish clergy and educators, is geared toward those who weren’t raised religiously, as well as interfaith couples and those seeking more knowledge of the faith.
The full list of speakers includes:
- Rabbi Joel Abraham from in Fanwood
- Abraham's wife, Michelle, the education director at Temple Sholom
- Rabbi George Nudell from in Scotch Plains
- Rabbi Doug Sagal from Temple Emanu-El in Westfield
- Jill Cimafonte, early-childhood education director at Temple Emanu-El
- Rabbi Erin Glazer of Temple Emanu-El
- Rabbi Benjamin Goldstein from Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim in Cranford
- Rabbi Avrohom Blesofsky from the Chabad of Union County
- Malky Blesofsky, education director at Chabad of Union County
- Rabbi Levi Block from the Union County Torah Center
- Rabbi Joshua Hess from Congregation Anshe Chesed in Linden
- Cantor Steven Stern from Temple Beth O’r/Beth Torah in Clark.
The workshop series, Hermann said, "is critical in this day and age, with lots of apathy towards religion, and this is a way for people to be comfortable with religion and nationality. Another benefit is that it adds value to people so they they can explain things in a spiritual way and bring values into their homes if they’re wrestling with that.”
All of the workshops will be held at the JCC, with the exception of two evening sessions that will take place at Rockn' Joe's coffeeshop in Westfield.
The next program, a workshop on Sukkot hosted by Rabbi Hess, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 9:30 a.m. at the JCC. For football fans, the center hosts a "Jews and Brews" for the Monday Night Football game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys at 8 p.m.
For program information, workshop schedules and more, click hte PDF thumbnail at right, visit www.jccnj.org or contact Randi Zucker, J Connection director, by calling 908-889-8800, ext. 253, or emailing email@example.com.