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 1 In-person @ Miles Nadal JCC Wednesday evenings, Oct 26 - Nov 30 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tools for Ending Antisemitism: Understanding Ourselves and the Canadian Context of Antisemitism with Aaron Rotenberg This 6-week session will be a platform for Jews in their 20s and 30s to learn about and discuss the multi-faceted issues of antisemitism, with both historical and current lenses, and how we understand ourselves in the current context of antisemitism within Canada. Each session will provide personal investigation space, with resources or speakers on relevant subjects to provide tools for understanding antisemitism. Facilitated discussions will help generate suggestions for bringing new ideas into action and collectively envisioning an end to antisemitism. Sessions will include: Understanding Antisemitism, Histories and Shoah, Current Landscape and Definitions, Israel and Antisemitism, Intersections: Racism, Antisemitism and White Supremacy.
Aaron Rotenberg, among his many leadership endeavours, is the spiritual leader of Annex Shul community and a rabbinical student at ALEPH. He spends his summers as the Educational Manager of Heart to Heart, a society-building summer camp program for Jewish and Palestinian teens.
The Jewish View on Reproductive Rights with Cantor Cheryl Wunch As we watch our neighbours to the south struggle with the repeal of Roe V. Wade, it is interesting to learn what Jewish tradition says about reproductive health. Together we will explore ancient texts and modern responses to the question of abortion and the right to choose. We will see how different groups of the Jewish people have evolved their views over the years including within the context of Canada and we will discuss what might come next in this difficult debate. No previous knowledge of Jewish texts is required for this class.
Cantor Cheryl Wunch earned her Cantorial Ordination and master’s degree from the Hebrew Union College in 2011. She has since served congregations in the US, the UK and Canada. Before attending seminary, she worked as a Child and Youth Worker in classrooms, youth shelters, and group homes advocating for children and teens with a variety of educational, developmental, and behavioural needs. Currently, Cantor Wunch serves as the Sole Spiritual Leader of Congregation Shir Libeynu, Toronto's longest-running intentionally LGBTQ+ inclusive congregation. Cantor Wunch's passion is helping people find modern meaning in our ancient texts, and reimagining ritual to suit the individual needs of her community members. She loves helping people explore their Jewish identity, and firmly believes in meeting people where they are and working together to find meaning.
Surfing the Waves of the Jewish Internet with Rabbi Eliza McCarroll If deciphering the Talmud is like swimming in a sea of ink, then surfing the Jewish internet is like riding waves in the ocean - always an adventure! This class will be exploring the many different facets and corners of the Jewish internet, from social media (the Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok pages you just have to know), to podcasts, to pop culture websites (think HeyAlma, Kveller), Jewish food content, and Jewish learning tools (Sefaria, MyJewishLearning) and so on. Using these resources, we will ask ourselves the question: what does our niche of the world-wide web have to say to us, and what does it say about us? Join us as we dive in head-first, and have a lot of fun along the way!
Eliza McCarroll is the Assistant Rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple, following ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi McCarroll obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications, majoring in Public Communication, from the University of Technology in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, and later a Graduate Diploma of International Relations from Macquarie University, also Sydney. Upon receiving her BA, she studied for a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and also volunteered for the Israel Religious Action Center. During her time at HUC-JIR, Rabbi McCarroll had the privilege of serving as the student rabbi at congregations in Ohio, Michigan, and in Australia, and worked in various capacities in research, religious school, Jewish day school, recruitment and admissions for the College, and in chaplaincy. In her spare time, Rabbi McCarroll enjoys anything to do with food, nature, comedy, music, photography, and, most importantly, spending time with loved ones.
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