Everyone can agree that 2020 was a year like no other. While most activities in the Jewish community are still being conducted on a remote basis, we look forward to being together again. Meanwhile, here are some opportunities to connect, communicate and learn as we begin 2021.
Thursday, January 7
Kalman Samuels, founder and director of Shalva National Center in Israel and author of Dreams NeverDreamed, will do a virtual presentation on behalf of Congregation Beth Jacob of Irvine. Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, is dedicated to providing quality care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. To join the presentation, click on https://www.gotomeet.me/RabbiCiner.
Wednesday, January 13
Congregation B’nai Israel presents “A Celebration with author, Dr. Ron Wolfson, and Rabbi Elie Spitz” on Zoom. Among the questions for Wolfson and for you are:
- What prompted you to write, The Seven Questions You’ll be Asked in Heaven?
- What would be your 8th question and why?
- What did you gain from participating?
Professor Ron Wolfson teaches at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, who earned his PhD in Education from Washington University in St. Louis. Author of many books on optimizing Jewish living, he is the co-founder of Synagogue 3000, which guides synagogues across the county on best practices. He eats frozen yogurt just about every day.
Wednesday, January 13
In the absence of live theater at present, Cantor David Reinwald of Temple Beth Sholom will offer his Jewish Drama program, reading and discussing plays with Jewish content. The first session will be a study of The Revisionist by actor/playwright Jesse Eisenberg. Register at https://tbsoc.shulcloud.com/event/jewish-drama-the-revisionist.html.
Tuesday, January 19
Women’s Connection at University Synagogue is hosting an evening with Oliver Nam, fitness expert and CEO of Thrive Training in Irvine as well as their team Registered Dietitian, Whitney Lynott. Topics for “Fostering Physical Well-Being during Covid-19 with Nutrition & Exercise” will include fitness for adults over 40 and balance and strength while making healthy food choices. Covid-19 is a trying time for everyone, both mentally and physically. Learn how simple and consistent habits can give you the energy you need, the focus for your day, and the sleep you need at night.
For more information or to RSVP, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be an opportunity to ask questions the evening of the event.
Thursday, January 28
Temple Beth Emet will have a Zoom Happy Hour/Tu B’Shevat Seder. Participants will sample four cups of wine in gradations of red and white as well as four types of fruit grown in Israel. They will hear about the symbols of the holiday and the renewal of its meaning when Israel became a state. For more information, contact Temple Beth Emet at email@example.com or (714) 772-4720.
January 3 – January 31, 2021
CSP 20th Annual One Month Scholar Series
CSP’s annual program features Ariel Burger live from Sharon, MA. Burger is the founding director and senior scholar of The Witness Institute, a new project to empower emerging leaders, inspired by the life and legacy of Elie Wiesel. He is an author, artist, and teacher whose work integrates spirituality, the arts and strategies for social change. An Orthodox-trained rabbi, Burger received his PhD in Jewish Studies and Conflict Resolution at Boston University under Elie Wiesel. A lifelong student of Professor Wiesel, Burger served as his Teaching Fellow from 2003-2008, after which he directed education initiatives at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. He recently published a book about his tenure with Elie Wiesel entitled “Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom” (winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Biography).
As a Covenant Foundation grantee, Burger develops cutting-edge arts and educational programming for adults, facilitates workshops for educators, consults for non-profits, and serves as scholar/artist-in-residence for institutions around the U.S. When not learning or teaching, he is creating music, art, and poetry He lives outside of Boston with his family.
The program, which is honoring Tamar and Martin Brower, is fully funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County. Here is the calendar for “The Jewish Love Affair with Stories”:
Opening Lecture, Sunday, January 3 (4 PM): The Jewish Love Affair with Stories
Tuesday Lunch Series, January 5, 12, 19 & 26 (12:30 PM): The Greatest Jewish Tales
Wed. Evening Series, Jan 6, 13, 20 & 27 (4 PM): Stories by and About the Chasidic Masters
Thurs. Lunch Series, Jan 7, 14, 21 & 28 (12:30 PM): Tales of Conflict & Wrestling with Sacred Texts
Sunday Afternoon Series, January 10, 17 & 24 (12 PM): The Life and Legacy of Elie Wiesel
Private Patron/Legacy Event, Sunday, January 17 (4 PM): Jewish Diversity and Pluralism
Special Event, Sunday, January 2 (4 PM): Yiddish Folktales – A Learning and Art Experience
Closing Event, Sunday, January 31 (4 PM): Jewish Spirituality 2021
OMS partners are Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Heritage Pointe (Mission Viejo, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Temple Judea (Laguna Woods, CA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY), University Synagogue (Irvine, CA) and Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA).
To learn about upcoming events this month, visit www.occsp.net.
Congratulations to Rabbi Marcia Tilchin of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, who was named one of the Orange County Register’s 100 most influential people. According to the article, “The founder of the Jewish Collaborative organized and facilitated a variety of programs that serve people of all faiths, including social justice programs to enhance the lives of the homeless as well as detained refugees. Also, she holds weekly religious and educational programs via the Internet.”