2018 saw the strengthening of TALI partnership with the Ministry of Education. Today TALI is Israel’s largest pluralistic in-school Jewish studies program, educating 50,000 children and providing professional support to 2,500 educators in 315 public schools and pre-schools from the Golan to Eilat.
From an a capella concert of traditional Moroccan love songs to a Iranian jazz fusion evening, cutting-edge Israeli musicians have brought to the Neve Schechter’s stage a renewed take on their heritage.
Music and prayer have been combined since ancient times. A prayer tune, conveyed from generation to generation, sets the atmosphere for the service and allows the congregation to focus on the connection with the Divine.
Get right into the mode for the upcoming Holiday with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, as he explains with great emotion and passion how the same verse is recited in different tunes in multiple synagogues around the neighborhood.
Dr. Ramon describes the beautiful scene that takes place at the Western Wall, the Kotel, in the early pre-dawn hours during the month of Elul. She talks with yearning and wonder that will make you want to close your eyes and join her in the next Selichot prayer.
A very special Torah reading, four students who studied Torah cantillation via Skype with Cantor SaraLee Shrell Fox, a teacher at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, reached a new milestone and read Torah for the very first time.
How do we overcome aloneness in the world? In Parshat Eikev the word love is used four times as we are commanded to “circumcise our hearts” and love God. Rabbi Dr. Reb Mimi Feigelson, Mashpiah Ruhanit (Spiritual Mentor) and senior lecturer of Rabbinics and Hasidic Thought at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, explores these different understandings of commanded love and suggests a connection between loving God and the creation of the first human in Genesis.
The Ten Commandments appear in the Torah twice: once in the Book of Exodus, in Parshat Yitro, and the second time in Deuteronomy, in Parshat Va’etchanan. The prohibition “Thou shalt not covet” in the Exodus version says “Do not covet the household of your neighbor”, and then lists the neighbor’s belongings: his “wife, his servants, his ox and his donkey.” In Deuteronomy the prohibition is somewhat different. It states, first and foremost, “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife”, and only then “thou shalt not covet the household of your neighbor”. Why the difference? Read more on how sacred texts change to reflect evolving morality.
Israeli society is so religiously polarized that most people are forced to identify as religious or secular with little exposure to the myriad other ways one can be Jewish. TALI schools show that when given the opportunity to engage in pluralistic Jewish expression, students, teachers and parents are eager to take part in the diversity of Jewish experience.
As a modern-day researcher of Jewish thought, I especially love the personal descriptions that Jewish philosophers insert parenthetically into their Jewish philosophical text. These descriptions allow us to learn about central customs in Jewish community life, as well as the educational values and philosophical insights that were etched into the Jewish consciousness of the philosopher in question.