Under the leadership of Marilyn Kaufman, a new synagogue education concept has been adopted. A trend that has been growing in synagogues is to consolidate various education initiatives within a particular synagogue. Bringing disparate synagogue education programs under the umbrella of “congregation education” versus the familiar “adult education” nomenclature allows the synagogue to effectively plan and execute a synagogue wide education program. When various arms of the synagogue who are involved in education programs sit together under one committee, a complete picture is drawn of what is being planned for the synagogue. The group assembled can then discuss ideas and exchange information bringing clarity and cost effectiveness to the critical function of education in the synagogue. For example, when family and youth sit together with Sisterhood and Library representatives, program planning becomes much more focused and efficient. Duplication is avoided and relevancies are apparent. Having this group of people on the same page at the same time is invaluable and also raises the level of dialogue and participation in this vital function.
A number of congregation wide programs are being planned, including but not limited to the following:
Adult Learning – This year adult learning will include clergy directed programs such as Seudah Shlisheet, Thursday Lunch‘n’Learn, Monday evening rabbi class, the Wednesday Tefilah Togeher class and the Cantor study group. The JTS Context course will again be offered. A number of speakers on topics of interest to our community are being contacted and information will be forthcoming as they are scheduled.
Shabbat Across Queens – While in the past ICCJ has participated in a similar national program sponsored by the Orthodox outreach group Nation Jewish Outreach Program, this year, under to Rabbi Fryer Bodzin’s leadership we will be participating in a regional initiative instead. Shabbat Across Queens will is a project of the newly formed Queens Rabbinic Leadership Council, which consists of Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist rabbis among others. They will be putting together an educational program for member synagogues. Information will be shared with all synagogues that will be on the target list.
This two-day event spearheaded by congregation with direct involvement of Sisterhood and Men’s Club, addresses the
issue of Domestic Abuse against Women & Children. There will be a Friday night Shabbat dinner to be followed by our Guest speaker Dr. Carmella Marrone, Ph.D. Founder of the Women & Work program which helps women re-enter the workforce. The program also will feature Richard Brown, the Queens District Attorney on Saturday morning and on Saturday after Shabbos following Saturday
evening services, Rabbi Lisa Gelber of the Jewish Theological Seminary who participated in a documentary on this subject.
Cultural Shabbaton – As in years past the committee discussed various ideas for this program that highlights a particular Jewish community.
Jews in the Civil War – to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a program is being planned for the spring to be led by Rabbi Gerald Solomon who has done extensive research in this area.
Global Day of Learning November 18, 2012 – a multi-synagogue initiative, that includes PJ Library, to provide an adult and family learning experience. There is a curriculum in place that will be shared with all synagogues that have signed up as sites and ICCJ is among them.
Israel 65th Birthday- a special musical program is being planned for the spring to celebrate this milestone in the history of Israel.
Hebrew Language Immersion - As in years past ICCJ plans to offer conversational Hebrew courses in the fall and spring. Stay tuned for details…
ICCJ Library – As in years past, the ICCJ Harry and Bella M. Richter Memorial Library will be offering the ICCJ Book Café once every eight weeks. This year’s program is being planned and will integrate with other education program themes and include several guest authors. In addition, a Book and Gift Fair will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2012. On March 10, 2013, Rabbi Fryer Bodzin will lead the Book Café discussion of the book Sacred Trash, that chronicles the discovery and importance of the many important fragments found in the Cairo genizah. A follow up trip to the Jewish Theological Seminary rare book room is being planned for the week after to coincide and highlight this discussion.
Family and Youth – Once again ICCJ will offer the popular Mini Menschen Shabbat program, Junior Congregation, and other programs for our youngest members and their families. The popular Gesher program of Ohr Chadash for post Bar/Bat Mitzvah youth, will continue under the leadership of the rabbis of the school synagogue partners.
The education highlights above offer a glimpse into what is being planned for the coming year. We welcome your feedback and hope you will become an active participant in ICCJ Congregation Education activities.
Context is the new premier adult Jewish learning program conducted by the Jewish Theological Seminary which replaces the Me’ah program (no longer offered outside of Boston).The two year, four-semester program (eight sessions per semester) explores the span of Jewish civilization in two broad areas of study: Jewish Texts and Interpretation (The Bible, Rabbinic Texts) and Jewish Cultures and Communities (Jews in the Medieval World, Jews in the Post-Enlightenment World). This intellectual journey is guided by leading Judaic Studies scholar-teachers from prominent academic institutions and provides students with a sophisticated understanding of Jewish history and thought.
PLEASE CONTACT LYN FEINMAN FOR MORE INFORMATION. email@example.com 212-678-8821