Days of Learning Spring 2021

The fact that throughout history people have devoted their lives to extending the frontiers of knowledge is a compelling testimony to the restlessness of the human spirit and its constant desire to go further, higher, deeper.- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Days of Learning, running on Zoom from Monday, April 26, to Friday, April 30, marks a special time on RS’s calendar. Coming just a few weeks after Passover when we recommit ourselves to the goal of human dignity for all people and just a few weeks before Shavuot when we recommit ourselves to Jewish learning, it invites congregants of all ages to learn from each other and create profound relationships. 

Choose as many of our 10 wide-ranging classes as fit your schedule:

Join us to go inward by studying psalms or outward to the galaxy by looking at Star Trek’s take on Judaism. Travel back in time to the heyday of music that Jews composed for the movies. Or go further back to colonial Jewish Philadelphia or even further back to the music and stories of Jews along the Silk Road. Step into the present to hear about the unique paths some congregants took to RS or discover what you have in common with fellow congregants as you talk and laugh over quirky questions. Or meet published authors in our midst, learn about local food equity in action, or explore how to make retirement more meaningful. 

All this awaits you in Days of Learning. Register now.

Questions? Contact Gail 'Malka' Meister or Ellen Poster.          

Click here to learn more about our moderators and presenters. 

Days of Learning Planning Group: Ben-Zion Friedman, Howard Green, Avi Katz, Marc Lowenstein, Jeffrey Saunders, Jerry Silverman
Co-Chairs: Gail 'Malka' Meister and Ellen Poster

Click here to download the schedule of classes.

Register below.


Monday, April 26

Meet the Family, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Jill Ivey

What have you always wanted to know about your fellow RS members...but were afraid to ask?  Get to know your fellow congregants in a novel, fun, and SAFE way by sharing answers to quirky questions in several Zoom breakout rooms, then sharing some of what you learned (if you are comfortable) when we return to our larger group. Be prepared to laugh, be inspired, and celebrate our diverse community!

Jewish Journeys, 4:30 to 5:45 PM
Panelists Gail ‘Malka’ Meister, Michael Riccardi, Alice Sayles, Len Sayles, and Seif Sekalala, and Scott Engel, moderator

A rabbi once said, “One who walks 100 feet and one who walks 2,000 miles have in common that both must take a first step before taking a second step.” Listen to the Jews of Color, Jews by choice, and Jews by birth on our panel describe the Jewish journeys that have brought each of them to RS.

Tuesday, April 27

More Meaningful Retirement: A Jewish Perspective, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Michael Freidman and Rabbi William Kuhn, with Roberta Brenner and Scott Engel

Hear and discuss what psychology and Jewish wisdom can teach us about opening doors to new meaning after closing the door on the workplace, with Michael Freidman and Rabbi Bill Kuhn, and small group facilitators Roberta Brenner and Scott Engel. Join for the first time or return to continue the provocative discussion we started last fall.

Star Trek to Judaism and Beyond, 3:00 to 4:00 PM
Hector Kilgoe and Len Lipkin, moderator

Boldly go on a journey through time and space in a conversation about the Jewish and American values represented on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Learn about how a man with a dream brings together African Americans, Jews, and humanoid alien species of the future as allies inspired by the story of the Exodus.

Wednesday, April 28

Bread and Torah2:00 to 3:30 PM
Panelists Allie Hauptman, Jane McDowell, and Dan Seltzer, and Rabbi Eli Freedman, moderator

Meet a farmer who partners with adults with developmental disabilities, a South Philly grocery store owner, and a volunteer leader in feeding our food-insecure neighbors as they discuss aspects of food equity through a Jewish lens. The panel will be moderated by Rabbi Eli Freedman, who will discuss how food equity is rooted in our Jewish texts and values.

Authors Among Us, 5:00 to 6:15 PM
Panelists Robin Black, Rachel Dougherty, Katherine Locke, and Louise Simons, and Ivy Barsky, moderator

Sit down with Robin Black, novelist and short-story writer; Rachel Dougherty, book author-illustrator; Katherine Locke, young adult and children’s author; and Louise Simons, poet, short-story writer, and editor. Hear them read from their published works and tell their own stories about their creative process, writing careers, and how their Jewish sensibilities intersect with their work.

Thursday, April 29

Jews Go to the Movies…and Write the Songs, 10:30 to 11:45 AM
Lou Bernstein and Jon Broder

Join us as we remember some of the greatest songs ever written for the silver screen. This interactive session will feature music by Leonard Bernstein, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, and many more.

Can You Find the Words? More Spiritual Expression and Growth through the Book of Psalms, 1:30 to 2:45 PM
Rabbi Jill Maderer

The isolation of the pandemic continues not only to challenge our physical health, but also to threaten us with personal stagnation. These challenges compel us to seek out ways to grow spiritually and personally in all aspects of our lives. In this study, we will work on the growth of our souls as we shed light on the ancient words of the Psalms. All are welcome: come for the first time or come back if you studied Psalms with Rabbi Maderer last fall.

A Musical Journey in Central Asia: The Jewish Diaspora Along the Silk Road, 5:00 to 6:15 PM
 Adam Grode and Adelle Rubin, moderator

Travel from the comfort of your home to ancient Central Asia with a Fulbright Award-winning ethnomusicologist. Through stories and songs, Adam Grode will provide a living soundtrack for the rich cultural heritage and musical traditions of the Jews who for millennia have lived in Central Asia’s oases and steppes. This class is designed for people of all ages. Children and adults will be equally captivated!

Friday, April 30

Jews of Penn’s City, 10:00 to 11:15 AM
Joella Clamen and Jerry Silverman, moderator

Before the United States became a country, the Jews of Philadelphia were already exporting kosher meat and praying in a minyan. What discrimination did they face?  What were their accomplishments and dilemmas? Discover their stories as you join tour guides Joella Clamen and Jerry Silverman for a virtual journey through the homes, businesses, artifacts, and legacies of Philadelphia’s Jewish founders.



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