Welcome to Lishma: a community of learners in our 20s and 30s
Whether you're a seasoned scholar or brand new to Jewish learning, we value the perspectives and experience you bring to the class.
In grateful recognition of J.B. and Dora Salsberg Fund for their support.
Semester 3 In-person @ Miles Nadal JCC Wednesday evenings, April 19 - May 24, 2023 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Controversy and the Jewish Tradition with Dr. Ori Werdiger Recent years have been characterized by a growing sense of political and social divides in North America, Israel, and across the globe. In this class we will draw on the intellectual and spiritual resources of the Jewish tradition, to explore constructive ways of dealing with controversy and disagreement. In this study of controversy, known as "makhloket", we will reflect on the ideological, social, and political dimensions of various disagreements in Jewish history and thought, from the Bible and until today. Case studies may include: the Korach rebellion, the opposing rabbinical schools of Hillel and Shamai, the Maimonidean controversy, Hasidism and its opponents, Zionism and its critics. Dr. Ori Werdiger (PhD., University of Chicago, 2021), is a postdoctoral fellow at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. He is currently working on a book project on Jewish existentialism, the diaspora, and biblical hermeneutics in postwar France.
Tending the Jewish Garden with Elena Potter Since the beginning, gardens have played an important role in Jewish life. In this class, we'll explore the plant realm together from a Jewish perspective. Expect to dig into how plants show up in Jewish text, folklore, ritual, medicine, cuisine, and culture. This is a participatory class in which we are all invited to use our senses, share our own plant experiences, and explore Jewish connections with plants. We will also discuss forming relationships with plants in our lives beyond the class, from gardening techniques to simply noticing. *Please note that this class will be masking-required.
Elena Potter is a gardener who has been steeped in Jewish farming and land-based practice for more than five years. After studying photography at Toronto Metropolitan University, she worked in public art and project management before making the leap to work full-time as a vegetable gardener with The Backyard Urban Farm Company. In 2022, she participated in the Adamah Jewish Farming Fellowship and cherished the immersion into living closer to the land and closer in community, as well as growing and cooking with beautiful vegetables! She has also recently worked with Shoresh as an outdoor educator and runs her own garden coaching practice. Connecting with plants and nature is woven throughout her life, and she also loves community building, Shabbat potlucks, LGBTQ+ histories and literature, and singing niggunim.
Marking Time: Creating a Jewish Calendar Together with Leah Gold A Printmaking Course for Artists of All Levels and Experience In this course we will be working together to create a hand-printed calendar, marking the Hebrew months, the phases of the moon, and important dates and holidays. Students will explore a variety of lo-fi, non-toxic printmaking techniques. Over the six weeks of sessions, we will work collaboratively to print a copy of the calendar for each participant to take home. No prior experience necessary.
Leah Gold is a visual artist and community arts facilitator, whose work uses playful imagery to explore emotional states and imaginary worlds. She has facilitated projects for such organizations as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Koffler Centre of the Arts, Arts Etobicoke, Lakeshore Arts, and the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for the Arts. With the Hijinks Collective, Leah creates participatory, multidisciplinary projects that combine a DIY ethos with professional calibre visual and sound art production. Leah grew up in the Camp Gesher and First Narayever communities, and most recently facilitated a collaborative textile project for the Danforth Jewish Circle in celebration of the congregation's 25th anniversary.
Costs and Funding Lishma is funded by student contributions and partnering organizations, providing us with coordination, teachers, facilitators and space. We strive to keep costs accessible and we use a sliding scale. The suggested contribution is $72 ($12/night). There is a minimum of $36 for the semester ($6/night). If you are unable to contribute at this time, please be in touch in confidence with Aaron Rotenberg at email@example.com.
Learning to make Lachuch in Middle Eastern Cooking with Ronnie Abraham (October 2020)
2021/22: Semester 1: ONLINE Shmita: Release, Rest, and Reset with Risa Alyson Cooper Spoken Word Poetry: Resistance and Resilience with Ayla Lefkowitz
Semester 2: ONLINE North African Jewish Storytelling: Miracles, Folk Tales, and Histories with Chaim Grafstein Diaspora Judaism & Reconciliation: Locating Ourselves in the Conversation with Sterling Stutz Tackling Talmud: Leadership and Society with Rabbi Jordan Shaner
Summer mini-mester: ONLINE Learning and Unlearning: Exploring the Experiences of Jewish People of Colour and Inequality in Canada with Sara Yacobi-Harris
Semester 1: ONLINE @ Beth Tzedec Hands-On Track: Middle Eastern Cooking with Ronnie Abraham Judaism +Modernity Track: Finding Our Place: Jews in the Struggle for Racial Equity with Tema Smith Text and Context Track: Exploring Sephardi Jewry through Rabbinic Texts with Chaim Grafstein
Semester 2: ONLINE @ Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre Multigenerational Trauma and Resilience with Carmelle Wolfson, MSW, RSW and Adrianna LeBlanc, MSW Punishment and Prisons: the Polemics and Politics with Dyanoosh Youssefi Homesteading the Holidays with Rabbi Becca Walker
Semester 3: ONLINE @ Holy Blossom Klezmer Crash Course with Lorie Wolf, Toronto Klezmer Society Hands-on History: The Early Years of the Toronto Jewish Community with Sharoni Sibony The Illustrated Pirke Avot with Rabbi Zachary Goodman and special guest, Jessica Tamar Deutsch
Semester 1: @ CSI Annex Tzedakah (Hands-On Track): Dyeing & Doykheit: An exploration of natural dyeing, connection to land and Jewish diaspora with Sarit Cantor T’shuvah (Judaism +Modernity Track): Returning, Repenting & Reconnecting with Yacov Fruchter T’fillah (Text and Context Track): Learning to Live Whole-Heartedly with Rabbi Julia Appel Semester 2: @ Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre Hands-On Track: Jewish Self-Care through the Arts with Or Har-Gil Judaism + Modernity: Faith Based Social Justice with the Lishma Team Text and Context: 6 Amazing Texts with Rabbi Zachary Goodman
Semester 3: @ Holy Blossom Temple Hands-On Track:New Jewish Film with Aaron Rotenberg Judaism + Modernity: Bad@$$ Sheroes with Rabbi Becca Walker Text and Context:Jewish Couplehood with Yacov Fruchter
Semester 4: ONLINE @ Beth Tzedec Hands-On Track: Creative Writing with Tikva Hecht Judaism + Modernity: Medical Ethics with Rabbi Steven Wernick Text and Context: Queer Apocalypse in the Jewish Imagination with Rabbi Andrea Myers 2018/19:
Semester 1: @ Miles Nadal JCC Hands-On Track: Hebrew Calligraphy as Jewish Art with Baruch Sienna Judaism +Modernity Track: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text with Jenny Isaacs Text and Context Track: Weekly Torah for Beginners with Rabbi Jordan Helfman Semester 2: @ Beth Tzedec Hands-On Track: Tachles! Learning (Beginner) Conversational Hebrew with Lior Sagi Judaism + Modernity: PJ Library/Melton Foundations of Jewish Living with Daniel Silverman Text and Context: People of the Book, People of the Land with Risa Alyson Cooper
Semester 3: @ CSI Annex Hands-On Track:Mindfulness in Silence and Song with Aviva Chernick / Jewish Music for the Healing of the Soul with Aaron Lightstone (split course) Judaism + Modernity:Jewish Couplehood with Yacov Fruchter Text and Context: Feminist Torah with Rabbi Denise Handlarski
Semester 4: @ Holy Blossom Temple Hands-On Track: Starting an Indigenous/Jewish Conversation with Leah Mauer Judaism + Modernity: Refugees, Judaism and Asylum with Howard Adelman Text and Context: Judaism and Happiness with Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl