Educational Weekend 2017
Please join us as we welcome Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Rubenstein, one of the world's foremost scholars of Talmudic stories. Professor Rubenstein will be with us from March 31-April 2. Throughout the weekend, Professor Rubenstein will lead us in fascinating explorations of Talmudic stories of love, destruction, and shame, enabling us to better understand these stories and the lessons they can teach us.
We hope you will join us for what promises to be a weekend of delicious food, fascinating learning, and warm community!
Educational Weekend 2017 Co-chairs
See below for the schedule and additional information about the scholar,
and click here to register!
Friday, March 31
5:45 pm: Kabbalat Shabbat Services in the Main Sanctuary, led by Cantor Brian Mayer and conducted by Rabbis Wayne Franklin and Rachel Zerin
7:00 pm: Shabbat Dinner in the Alperin Meeting House
Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by a passionate and talented group of Emanu-El chefs! In honor of Professor Jeffrey Rubenstein's first talk, Love, Babylonian Style, this meal will transport us to modern-day Babylonia, as we enjoy delicious Iraqi cuisine. The menu will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
$18 for adults; $10 for children; $50 family maximum. All are welcome, but registration is required! Please click here to register.
8:15pm: The Peter J. and Anna C. Woolf Education Fund Lecture: Love, Babylonian Style in the Main Sanctuary
Professor Rubenstein will lead us in an exploration of Talmudic stories about rabbis and their wives. What were their relationships like? What happened when the rabbis’ love of family conflicted with their love of Torah study?
Saturday, April 1
9:30am: P'sukei d'Zimra and Shaḥarit service in the Main Sanctuary, led by Cantor Brian Mayer and conducted by Rabbis Wayne Franklin and Rachel Zerin
11:00am: The Rabbi Morris G. and Rebbitzen Diana Silk Memorial Lecture in the Main Sanctuary will feature Professor Rubenstein's d'var Torah entitled Hearing the Call.
12:15pm: An Israeli themed buffet kiddish luncheon in the Meeting House, prepared by the same team of dedicated volunteer chefs.
1:00pm: The Rabbi Morris G. and Rebbitzen Diana Silk Memorial Lecture: Stories of Shame in the Talmuds in the Vestry
Together with Professor Rubenstein, we will study two sets of parallel stories that appear in the two Talmuds. We will discuss why, in the Babylonian Talmud, the ethic of shame or of not shaming another person is thematized, while in the Jerusalem Talmud, this theme is absent. Through the study of the theme of shame, we will see how stories were changed by storytellers for their own didactic purposes.
Sunday, April 2
9:30am: Brunch and Learn: Stories of Destruction in the Vestry
We will come together to enjoy a light brunch, prepared by our wonderful volunteer chefs. Immediately following brunch, Professor Rubenstein will teach several Talmudic stories of destruction. Through these stories, we will learn how the rabbis addressed the question of why historical disasters happen, and consider ways in which stories help us to process disasters.
$5 per person. All are welcome, but registration is required! Please click here to register.
About Our Scholar
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is one of the world's foremost scholars of Talmudic stories. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Rubenstein grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and is currently a Professor in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of New York University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph. D. from the Department of Religion of Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Jewish Theological Seminary, in addition to his current position at New York University.
Professor Rubenstein has written several books on Talmudic stories, including Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1999; Stories of the Babylonian Talmud, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2010, and Rabbinic Stories, published in the Classics of Western Spirituality Series in 2002. These works explore both the ways in which the rabbis used narratives to grapple with fundamental questions about Jewish life and culture, and the ways in which the transmission of narratives can teach us about the composition of the Talmud and the cultural and theological perspectives of the Talmud's editor-redactors. Professor Rubenstein's other works include The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Period, published in the Brown Judaica Series in 1995; and The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2003. Most recently, Professor Rubenstein translated, edited, and annotated David Weiss Halivni's famous Hebrew work The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud, which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive examination of the process of the composition and editing of the Babylonian Talmud. Professor Rubenstein has also written numerous articles on the festival of Sukkot, Talmudic stories, the development of Jewish law, and topics in Jewish liturgy and ethics.