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Adult Education: Guest Rabbis 5780

In November and December, 2020, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association under the leadership of Rabbi Elyse Wechterman facilitated an opportunity for movement rabbis who were not leading High Holiday services for congregations to offer to provide teaching and service leading for their pulpit colleagues after High Holidays during the month of Heshvan. Beth Israel was grateful to benefit from this initiative and invited three guest teachings during the month. 

Audio Recordings are available to logged-in members of Beth Israel.  Please log in and then return to this page, and the Recordings section will then be visible.

Rabbi Vivie Mayer

The Five Books of Torah: A Template for Approaching Key Jewish Concepts

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

This class used the meta-themes of the five books of the Torah as a Template for the five ways in: five ways to connect with the Divine, five ways to look at the concept of yetzer Hara’ and sin, and five ways to explore teshuva.

Rabbi Vivie Mayer (RRC ’96) directs and teaches in the Mekhinah program at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She also serves as director of the Bet Midrash. In additional to living in Israel for seven years in Beit Shemesh, Vivie served as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Danbury, CT, for 10 years. During that time she also served as a chaplain for Jewish women at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury. For seven years she was an active member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association board and executive board. She is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York.


Rabbi Sarah Newmark

Prophets, Prostitutes and the Patriarchy: Lesser-Known Women of the Bible

Thursday, November 19th

This class is part of a longer ongoing series I have taught in the past. In our time together, we'll explore two of the prophetesses, Devorah and Huldah. Devorah is much better known than Huldah, but the rabbis, staunch upholders of the patriarchy, proved to be equally threatened by any woman who was called a prophetess. We'll be reading about Devorah in Judges 4:1- :16 and about Huldah in 2 Kings 22:14 -20 and Chronicles 34:22-48 If you don't have a Tanakh at home, you can view these sections from Sefaria or another online source. I look forward to studying with you all!

Rabbi Sarah Newmark (RRC '10), lives in picturesque Gig Harbor,Washington, about an hour south of Seattle. After her husband semi-retired at the end of 2018, she decided that she wanted more flexibility in my life, too, partly so that they could travel for longer periods of time. Besides serving as an interim visiting rabbi in a small community in Wisconsin last year, she has been focusing her rabbinate on Jewish life cycles, teaching, pastoral care and, most recently, political activism, at both local and national levels. For her, Judaism and political activism are strongly inter-twined. She also believes in "big tent Judaism," where everyone is invited into the "tent" without necessarily ascribing to a certain set of beliefs or practices.



Rabbi Micah Weiss

You Shall Not Go Empty: Wrestling with Reparations as Reconstructionists

Thursday, December 3rd

For the past 31 years a bill has annually been introduced to congress calling for a study of slavery and its linger effects as well as recommendations for appropriate remedies.That bill, H.R. 40, has never made it to the House floor for discussion. In this class, we will employ a Reconstructionist approach to explore classical Jewish to see what a Jewish case for reparations might look like, and what our role as American Jews can be in the struggle for racial justice at this unprecedented moment in American history.

Rabbi Micah Geurin Weiss is the Assistant Director of Thriving Communities and Tikkun Olam Specialist at Reconstruct- ing Judaism in Philadelphia. In his professional role, Rabbi Micah works to support the day-in and day-out needs of synagogues in the Reconstructionist movement, specializing in congregation-based social justice work. He is most passionate about sup- porting racial justice work in the Jewish community and beyond. Micah holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Religious Studies and African American studies and was a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar for two years. Rabbi Micah chairs both the Tikkun Olam Committee and the Jews of Color and Allies Advisory Group for the movement.

Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyyar 5784