Telephone Torah Study: Archive

After more than a decade, the Telephone Minyan/Telephone Torah Study is hanging up the phone to clear the way for innovative programs that continue serve the current needs of our ever-changing community.

The Telephone Minyan was founded in 2005 by five BCC members who were homebound at that time: Ray Eelsing, Bob Adels, Evelyn Poplawski, Sarah Trutt and I. Feeling isolated from our Jewish spirituality and BCC community inspired us to study the weekly Torah portion via conference phone. Soon after, others who sought connection and community for varied reasons — distance, travel, and recuperation from temporary illness or surgery — joined in. Quickly, Telephone Minyan events broadened as we added High Holy Day and Yom HaShoah services, along with classes-by-phone led by scholars throughout the United States.

Over time, people called in to the Telephone Minyan from remote places like Brazil, Germany, North Dakota, and the San Fernando Valley. We even made forays into providing remote access to BCC’s regular Shabbat services--remember those days at 6000 Pico when we balanced the conference phone on the bimah while the clergy led services?

Most proudly, the Telephone Minyan was the kickstarter to the highly successful BCC Live and its motto—Wherever you go, BCC goes with you! Since 2011 when we moved to our new building, BCC has been able to live-stream its weekly Shabbat services, members’ simchas, classes, guest speakers and special events to a worldwide audience—and archives the videos for those who missed them or want to forward the link to friends. The humble telephone may have been replaced by state-of-the-art technology, but the original aim remains the same—to provide connection and community to all who seek it.

I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to chair and facilitate the Telephone Minyan these many years. I thank all those who helped make it a trailblazer in re-envisioning community for BCC and the larger Jewish and LGBT communities. Check the G’vanim and BCC website for more to come in the secular New Year 2015.

- Bracha Yael

Telephone Torah Study: Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat

written on November 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

In this week’s Telephone Torah Study (Thursday 4-5pm) we’ll study the famous story (that turned into a musical…) Joseph and […]

Telephone Torah Study: Jacob Wrestles with God

written on November 11, 2013 // 0 Comments

In this week’s Telephone Torah Study (Thursday 4-5pm) we’ll study Jacob wrestling with God, the Rape of Dinah and Jacob’s […]

Jacob’s Ladder, Telephone Torah Study, Thursday, November 7th, 4pm

written on November 2, 2013 // 0 Comments

We’ll study Jacob’s Ladder and other highlights of the weekly Torah portion Vayeitzei (Gen. 28:10-32:3), Thursday, 4-5pm. To join in on the conference […]

Jacob the Trickster, Telephone Torah Study, Thursday, October 31st, 4pm

written on October 30, 2013 // 0 Comments

This week on our Telephone Torah Study we’ll study how Jacob (with an assist from his mother Rebekah) changed his […]

Torah and Personal Transformation: Telephone Torah Study

written on October 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

This week we’ll explore Torah and personal transformation in Chayei Sarah (23:1-25:18), Thursday, 4-5pm. To join in on the conference call, please dial […]

The Binding of Isaac in Christian History with Petra Verwijs Ph.D

written on October 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

“The Akedah in Christian history: Interpretation, Theology, Ethics, and Art” discussion led by Petra Verwijs Ph.D. in Religion (Hebrew Bible), […]

God Makes a Covenant with Abraham: Telephone Torah Study

written on October 8, 2013 // 0 Comments

God establishes God’s Unique Covenant with Abraham and Sarah in this week’s Torah portion, Lech L’Cha (12:1-17:27), Thursday, 4-5pm. To join in on […]

Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel, Telephone Torah Study

written on September 30, 2013 // 0 Comments

We study the great flood, the Rainbow Covenant and the Tower of Babel in parashah, Noach (6:9-11:22), this Thursday, October 3rd, 4-5pm. […]

In the Beginning…The Book of Genesis

written on September 24, 2013 // 0 Comments

We begin Genesis with the parashah, B’reishit (1:1-6:8), a smorgasbord of Top Billboard Torah Hits!, this Thursday, 4-5pm. To join in on […]

Telephone Torah Study / September 19, 2013

written on September 17, 2013 // 0 Comments

We conclude the final two Torah portions of Deuteronomy, Haazinu-V’Zot Hab’rachah, this Thursday, September 19, 4-5pm.  Haazinu (Deut. 32:1-52) includes Shirat Haazinu (The Song of […]