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 The humble telephone may have been replaced by state-of-the-art technology, but the original aim remains the same—to provide connection and community to all who seek it.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 Scholars series

written on September 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

October 17th, Thursday, 4-5pm “The Akedah in Christian history: Interpretation, Theology, Ethics, and Art.” An overview of some of the […]

Telephone Minyan Yom Kippur Services

written on September 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Telephone Minyan Yom Kippur service will be held this Saturday afternoon, September 14th, 2:30-3:30pm. It’ll include the traditional Yom Kippur […]

Telephone Minyan High Holy Day Services

written on September 3, 2013 // 0 Comments

Here are the dates for our Telephone Minyan High Holy Day services this year: Thursday, September 5th at 4pm, 1st Day Rosh HaShanah […]

Jewish Strength – Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilech

written on August 26, 2013 // 0 Comments

It’s not in the heavens nor beyond the seas: No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and […]

Telephone Study: Blessings and Curses, Seeing and Becoming

written on August 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Do we become what we see?  Can a change in our perception turn curses into blessings?  We’ll explore these questions […]

Torah Portion Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1 to 11:47)

written on March 28, 2013 // 0 Comments

Join our weekly Virtual Minyan, BCC’s “live podcast” of this week’s Torah portion. This week’s parshah is all about God […]

Virtual Minyan: Torah Portion Tzav

written on March 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

Marsha Epstein will lead this Thursday’s virtual torah study at 4pm. Her discussions are always a treat for their insight […]

Virtual Minyan: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 to 5:26)

written on March 14, 2013 // 0 Comments

Today at 4pm on our weekly Virtual Minyan we’ll discuss Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 to 5:26). The third book of the Torah, […]

Virtual Minyan: Building of the Mishkan (Ex. 35:1-38:20),

written on March 6, 2013 // 0 Comments

Tomorrow (Thursday) at 4pm on our weekly Virtual Minyan we’ll explore the building of the Mishkan, the Dwelling place of […]

Honoring the Stranger / Telephone Torah Study

written on February 6, 2013 // 2 Comments

In our Telephone Minyan this week ( Thursday, 4-5pm) we’ll be discussing Parshah Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 – 24:18).  After describing a series of laws […]