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.
Semester 1 ONLINE
Wednesday evenings, Oct 13 - Nov 17 (online)
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Spoken Word Poetry: Resistance and Resilience with Ayla Lefkowitz
Join us as we dive into the art of spoken word poetry from a Jewish lens! Spoken word poetry is an art-form meant to be shared in community. Together we will both learn from the poems of powerful spoken word artists and write and share our own pieces of poetry. Spoken word is an art-form based in social justice and giving back power to voices and stories often overlooked. For this reason, this course will focus on topics related to Jewish identity and ancestry, social justice and solidarity, and resilience. Each week we will explore a different topic through spoken word, write our own poems and share what we are comfortable sharing. Spoken word is not like the poetry we learned in school, spoken word poems are written in our own voice and language - no Shakespearean pros, rhyming or any experience necessary!
Ayla Lefkowitz is a Toronto-based poet, educator, social entrepreneur, and mamma. In 2017, Ayla came in first at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and has been featured at several local events include Toronto Poetry Slam, International Festival of Authors, Word on the Street and WordSpell. Many of Ayla's poems explore Jewish ancestry, intergenerational trauma, gender, and social justice. She released her first book of poetry titled Armour, and has been published in the journal of Canadian Woman Studies, Oratorealis, and Living Hyphen. Ayla is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of CANVAS Arts Action Programs (www.canvasprograms.com), a charity that uses arts-based education to prevent sexual violence, homophobia, and transphobia.
Image by Nunzio Paci
Exploring Jewish Medical Ethics Rabbi Isaama Goldstein-Stoll
Join us for an exploration of Jewish answers to a host of medical ethical dilemmas. We will look at both ancient and modern sources, particularly focusing on Jewish responsa literature. Through this course we will look at medical ethics as it impacts every stage of life from abortion and end of life care to organ donation, transgender medical care and ethical issues related to COVID. All who are curious are welcome; no previous medical or Jewish textual knowledge necessary. Rabbi Isaama is a Reform Rabbi joining us from New Haven, Connecticut. She has served as a Rabbi and Jewish educator in a wide variety of Reform and pluralistic Jewish settings, most recently serving as the former Senior Jewish Educator at Yale Hillel. Her experiences also include hospital chaplaincy, chaplaincy at a Jewish Family Services adoption agency, and curriculum writing for Jews of Color and LGBTQ+ Jews. Rabbi Isaama holds a BA from Carleton College in Minnesota, and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Image by Francesca Gardner
Release, Rest, and Reset with Risa Alyson Cooper
Shmitah (the Sabbatical year), which began this year on Rosh Hashanah, can serve as a guide for how to create just and equitable communities, while living in sustainable balance with the natural world. This series offers a deep dive into the biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary teachings of Shmitah. Together we will explore the radical agricultural, ecological, and economic rebalancing that is at the centre of this ancestral teaching, and can guide us in how to live in right relationship with the earth, its creatures and peoples.
Risa Alyson Cooper is an ardent educator, environmentalist, and urban homesteader. She is the Executive Director of Shoresh (shoresh.ca) and is happiest when frolicking in fields and forests. She loves talking about Shmita.
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)
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