Lunch and Learn


(This site best viewed with Google Chrome)

Lunch & Learn is going GREEN!

Temple Israel has purchased 10 tablet eReaders for class use. Not only will we save the paper and expense of handouts copied from books, tablets allow the reader to adjust the text size and other settings for maximum comfort. Participants also have the opportunity to use their own digital or hard copy, borrowed from the library, or purchased individually, if preferred.

We will typically read one chapter or essay per session.

Currently Reading:

by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD, Editor; Foreward by Rabbi Steven A. Fox

Reform Judaism is constantly evolving as we continue to seek a faith that is in harmony with our beliefs and experiences. This volume offers readers a thought-provoking collection of essays by rabbis, cantors, and other scholars who differ, sometimes passionately, over religious practice, experience, and belief. Its goal is to situate Judaism in a contemporary context, and it is uniquely suited for community discussion as well as study groups.

From the forward by Rabbi Steven A. Fox:

Innovation anchored in Jewish tradition is the central motif that runs throughout the history of our people, and especially in the ongoing evolution of Reform Judaism. A Life of Meaning captures the spirit of that innovation: its creativity, inherent tensions, and roots in traditional Jewish life. As an anthology of essays written by rabbis, cantors, and other prominent scholars in the field of Jewish thought, A Life of Meaning presents an in-depth examination of Reform Judaism’s practices, rituals, and beliefs, our relationship to Torah and halachah, the centrality of social justice in the Reform Movement, and issues such as conversion, interfaith families, and the relatively new Reform community in Israel.

Coming Up:

November 20, 27; December 4, 11, 18 (no class on December 25 and January 1)

  • Introduction: Not in the Heavens, Not Beyond the Sea, but Close to Us, Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD

"The book you hold in your hands is a collection of essays written by rabbis, cantors, and other scholars interested in liberal Judaism’s bold religious response to dramatic historical and sociological changes. Committed to their Jewish faith, the writers believe that it enriches our lives and merits all the time, energy, and emotional devotion we can put into it. This is so even though we fundamentally disagree with each other on many core religious principles."

  • Part 1: Knowing God
    • Critical Thoughts on a Reform Jewish Theology, Michael A. Meyer, Phd

"Is this all delusion, all of my own making? Or has the moral world and the physical world a single transcendent source, a Creator in whom my strivings are grounded? That is the question I ask myself each day, knowing that no final answer can be given."

    • An Experiential Approach to God, Rabbi Rachel Timoner

"I often find myself in the strange position of defending God. As a rabbi, I encounter many people who think of God as a throwback to earlier times, a fantasy that sensible people gave up in the twentieth century. They are usually too polite to ask, “Don’t you know about the big bang and evolution? Do you really believe there’s a big man up there in the clouds controlling our world?” In our era, when humanity has mastered so much of our world and can explain many previously mysterious phenomena, belief in God seems antiquated, I know."

    • My Fragmented Theology as a Reform Rabbi and Daughter of a Holocaust Survivor, Rabbi Suzanne Singer

"It is thanks to Reform Judaism that I was finally able to believe in God—because Reform Judaism allowed me to have a fragmented theology... Ultimately, what is so meaningful about Judaism for me is that whatever one’s belief in God, the real measure of our faith is how we enact it in the world."

Do you have a suggestion for Lunch and Learn?

Please email the Temple office with any articles, books, or videos you think we might enjoy during our Tuesday sessions: